This Day (Lagos)

4 December 2009

Nigeria: Femi Kuti Gets Grammy Nomination

Lagos — Afrobeat maestro, Femi Kuti, has been nominated for the 52nd edition of the Grammy Awards under the 'Best Contempo-rary World Music Album' category for his 'Day by Day' album.

Femi is currently signed to Mercer Street Records alongside his compatriot Asa. This is Femi's second Grammy nomination.

Kuti, 47, is the first son of late Afrobeat creator, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti.

Thenetng reported yesterday that he is in contention with Amadou & Mariam, Bella Fleck, Oumou Sangare and Omar Sosar for the World music category.

Femi is one of the most remarkable performers from the African continent and has built a steady career since forming his positive force band over two decades ago.

His first Grammy nomination was in 2003 - for the critically-acclaimed album, Fight to Win. He lost the prize to Ruben blade from Mundo.

Nominees for the 2010 Grammy were announced yesterday, amidst performances on broadcast partners, CBS Network.

Singer Beyonce leads the pack with a whopping 10 nods while Taylor Swift, who has had an interesting and eventful year, follows with eight nominations. Kanye West got six (all for his works with other artistes) while rave act Lady Gaga earned five nods.

Sunny Ade and Femi kuti are the only indigenous Nigerians to have been nominated for the Grammy's.

Nigerian-born artistes who have won the award in the past are Helen Folasade Adu (who first achieved the success in the 1980s as the frontwoman and lead vocalist of the popular Brit and Grammy Award winning English group) and Seal Henry Olusegun Olumide Adeola Samuel (who was born on February 19, 1963 in Paddington London). Both are British citizens.

Seal's "Kiss from a Rose" won a Grammy Award for Record of the year, Song of the Year in 1996, becoming his best performing single on the market.

Kuti was born June 16, 1962 and is an award-winning Nigerian musician and the oldest son of legendary afrobeat pioneer Fela.

He was born in London to Fela and Remi Kuti and grew up in Lagos. His mother soon left his father, taking Femi to live with her.

In 1977, though, Femi chose to move in with his father. Femi eventually became a member of his father's band.

Like his father, Femi has shown a strong commitment to social and political causes throughout his career, but he differs from his father in his religious views.

According to Wikipedia, in 2001, Femi collaborated on his album Fight to Win with a number of U.S. musicians, such as Common, Mos Def, and Jaguar Wright.

In 2002, Femi's mother, who had played an influential role in Femi's life, died at the age of 60. Femi's 12-year-old son currently appears as part of his act, playing alto saxophone.

Femi's voice is featured in the videogame Grand Theft Auto IV where he is the host of radio station IF 99 (International Funk 99, described as "playing a great selection of classics from West Africa, the US and elsewhere").

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