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.
The award show will air on February 10.
Check out the full list of 2019 nominees via Billboard.