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Photo: AIDA MULUNEH.

Seun Kuti, Bombino, Fatoumata Diawara, Soweto Gospel Choir & More Earn 2019 Grammy Nominations

And, yes, they're still calling it "world" music.

The 2019 Grammy nominations have been announced, and some of our African favorite artists have made the cut—though they've, once, again, mostly been constrained to the vague and reductive category of "world" music.

This year, four out of the five nominees for the category are of African descent, including Seun Kuti and his band Egypt 80 for Black Times, Malian singer Fatoumata Diawara for her album Fento, Niger-born Tuareg musician Bombino for the album Deran, and the Soweto Choir, who performed at OkayAfrica and Global Citizen's Next 100 Summit in Johannesburg just last week, earned a nomination for their album Freedom.

We're rooting for all of these musicians, but it's be nice if they weren't all lumped into one category, considering they all have very different sounds. We also hoped that with the massive cultural impact of afrobeats, that one of the genre's big names would have made the cut. It's clear that the Grammys remain behind on fully recognizing the talent coming from the continent.


Hip hop has been recognized in a major way this year with the two most nominated artists of 2019 being Kendrick Lamar and Drake with eight and seven nominations respectively. Lamar earned a Best Album nod for his work on the Black Panther soundtrack, which featured a slew of South African artists including Babes Wodumo, Yugen Blakork and more. It's the first album of the year soundtrack nomination since 2000, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The rapper earned four other nominations for the single "All the Stars," featuring SZA.

The Grammys lack of gender diversity has often been bought into question. In response, this year many of the biggest awards this year are dominated by deserving women artists, including Janelle Monáe, whose Dirty Computer earned an Album of the Year nomination.

Beyoncé and Jay-Z (The Carters) earned two nominations for best Urban Contemporary Album and best R&B album. Tiffany Haddish earned a nomination for Best Spoken World Album for The Last Black Unicorn.

The award show will air on February 10.

Check out the full list of 2019 nominees via Billboard.

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Burna Boy, Angelique Kidjo, Trevor Noah & More Earn 2020 Grammy Nominations

Wizkid, Shatta Wale and more were nominated for their work on Beyoncé's 'Lion King: The Gift' while Mr Eazi earned a nod for his contribution to Bad Bunny and J Balvin's 'Oasis.'

The 2020 Grammy nominations have just been announced, and it looks to be a standout year for African artist.

Burna Boy has earned his first-ever nomination in the (albeit dubious) 'Best World Music' category for his celebrated album African Giant. Speaking with Grammy.com about the vision for the album back in August, the artist said: My vision is just to...shine a light on a place and on people and a situation and everything that there hasn't been a light on for a long time."

In that same category is three-time Grammy winner Angelique Kidjo for her album Celia, which pays homage to the late Afro-Cuban legend Celia Cruz. Burna and Kidjo worked together on the track "Different" from African Giant.

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"85 to Africa" album art.

Listen to Jidenna's New Album, '85 to Africa'

Plus watch the music video for his latest single "Worth the Weight" featuring Seun Kuti.

It's been two years since Jidenna dropped his debut album, The Chief, today, the artist shares his latest studio album 85 to Africa.

In the lead-up to the album's release, the artist dropped the singles "Tribe," "Sufi Woman" "Sou Sou," and "Zodi" featuring fellow Nigerian artist Mr Eazi. He also held several listening parties across the US ahead of its release, and from what we can tell from videos that have been circulating on social media—they've been a really great time for both Jidenna and his fans.

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Still from RTN TV's YouTube page.

Prominent Somali Activist Almaas Elman Shot and Killed In Mogadhisu

The organizer and sister of Nobel Peace Prize-nominated activist Ilwad Elman, was shot dead while riding in a car on Wednesday.

Almaas Elman, a prominent Somali rights activist and organizer was killed today in Mogadishu. She died after being hit by a bullet while riding inside of a car in the Halane compound, reports the Somali news site Hiiraan.

Though details surrounding her death remain uncertain, according to security on the ground Elman "was riding in a car along a road inside the airport," Mohamed Omar, a Somali security official told News 24. "A stray bullet hit her, and she died within a few minutes." The complex is also the headquarters of African Union soldiers.

She was believed to been heading to the airport after attending a meeting at the Elman Peace Centre, which was founded by her father, the respected Somali activist Elman Ali Ahmed, who was assasinated in Mogadishu in 1996.

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Simi in "Selense" (Youtube)

The 11 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Burna Boy, Tiwa Savage, Kwesta x Rich Homie Quan, Simi, Teni, Khuli Chana, Mr Eazi x Tyga and more

Every week, we highlight the cream of the crop in music through our Best Music of the Week column.

Here's our round up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks, which you can also check out in our Songs You Need to Hear This Week playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

Follow our SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK playlist on Spotify here and Apple Music here.

Check out all of OkayAfrica's new playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

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