News Brief
Photo: Michael Putland/Getty Images

Fela Kuti Named As Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Nominee

In arguably the most diverse and inclusive ballot to date, the king of Afrobeat is joined by the likes of Mary J. Blige, Jay-Z and many more favorites.

Fela Kuti's estate has been keeping the Nigerian icon's name and legacy alive and well over the past few months. With a recent collaborative merch drop with Online Ceramics, and the resurgence of Finding Fela! , the documentary detailing his life, the Kuti name is one that won't be losing heat anytime soon.

And now, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame seems to be keen on immortalizing the creator of Afrobeat, as he's included on this years list of nominees.

"24 years since his passing, we're so happy to see our Father recognised in this way," Fela's children write to OkayAfrica, via his longtime manager Rikki Stein. "Hoping that his fans around the world will vote for him, multiple times!"


Other popular names on 2021's ballot include US queens of R&B Mary J. Blige, Chaka Khan (her 7th time being nominated!), Dionne Warwick, rap geniuses Jay-Z, LL Cool J (his 6th nomination), rock superstars Foo Fighters, Rage Against the Machine and legends Tina Turner and Carole King.

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame announced this years nominees via their official Twitter account.

2020's virtual ceremony saw the Notorious B.I.G. and Whitney Houston inducted posthumously. While rock bands Nine Inch Nails, Depeche Mode, T.Rex and the Doobie Brothers were awarded top honors too.

If you're a fan and an active voter, votes can be casted at RockHall.com. While fan votes add to the final count, they don't guarantee entry.

Interview

A Candid Conversation With Olamide & Fireboy DML

We talk to the Nigerian stars about the hardest lessons they've learned, best advice they've ever been given and what Nigeria means to them.

Olamide and Fireboy DML have been working together for three years, but the first time they sit down to do an interview together is hours after they arrive in New York City on a promo tour.

It's Fireboy's first time in the Big Apple — and in the US — and the rain that's pouring outside his hotel doesn't hinder his gratitude. "It's such a relief to be here, it's long overdue," he tells OkayAfrica. "I was supposed to be here last year, but Covid stopped that. This is a time to reflect and refresh. It's a reset button for me."

Olamide looks on, smiling assuredly. Since signing Fireboy to his YBNL Nation label in 2018, he's watched the soulful young singer rise to become one of Nigeria's most talked-about artists — from his breakout single, "Jealous," to his debut album Laughter, Tears & Goosebumps, hit collabs with D.Smoke and Cuppy, and his sophomore release, Apollo, last year.

Even while he shares his own latest record, UY Scuti, with the world, Olamide nurtures Fireboy's career with as much care and attention as he does his own, oscillating between his two roles of artist and label exec seamlessly. His 2020 album Carpe Diem is the most streamed album ever by an African rap artist, according to Audiomack, hitting over 140 million streams. When Olamide signed a joint venture with US-based record label and distribution company, Empire, in February last year he did so through his label, bringing Fireboy and any other artist he decides to sign along for the ride, and establishing one of the most noteworthy deals on the continent.

Below, Olamide & Fireboy DML speak to OkayAfrica about their mutual admiration for each other, what makes them get up in the morning and how they switch off.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

Adekunle Gold Is Living His Best Life

We speak to the Nigerian star about how marriage and fatherhood have led him to find both newfound happiness and newfound freedom as an artist.