By Oluwaseyi  Ajadi

The Grammy Awards pulled its surprise on Africa’s most streamed artists despite high expectations and the razzmatazz before D-day. Nigerian sensation Davido had disappointment across all three of his nominations, including the highly anticipated Best Global Music Album category. Despite his album “Timeless” amassing over a billion streams on major platforms, it fell short against the unexpected victor, “This Moment” by Shakti.

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The loss not only underscored the unpredictability of awards ceremonies but also sparked debates about the alignment between streaming success and traditional accolades. Although his devoted fans across the world were hoping for a victorious evening, the disparity between the Grammy results and streaming figures underscores the complex relationship between technology and the music business.

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In 2023, Asake held the top position as the most streamed artiste in Nigeria on Spotify’s Wrapped. His songs ‘Lonely At The Top’, ‘2:30’, and ‘Amapiano’ held dominance as most streamed tracks for the year.

Kworb, a platform tracking artists’ performance across iTunes and Spotify charts, ranked Burna Boy and other nine Nigerian music acts as major global players. They lead the top on the African continent.  The list include Rema, Tems, Ayra Starr, Wizkid, Ckay, Omah Lay, and Fireboy DML. All of them big musical exports.

However, the Grammys does not work the way streaming metrics runs. The Grammy Awards run with its own set of criteria, which may not always align with public expectations or streaming metrics. Even though Davido has achieved unquestionable success in the digital sphere, the Grammy selection process takes into account a wide range of considerations beyond streaming figures. Therefore, while some may disagree with the result, it is challenging to determine with certainty whether Davido fulfilled all requirements for success in each category due to the complexity of the Grammy’s criteria and voting process. This contradiction highlights the subjective nature of creative acclaim and the intricacy of award ceremonies.


Fans and industry insiders have expressed their thoughts on social media, with some linking Davido’s defeat to what they see as “politics” in the Grammy voting process. This sentiment has led to questioning the credibility of the Grammy Awards, particularly following Davido’s rejection in the Best Global Music category despite the extraordinary popularity of his album “Timeless”. This response prompts consideration of how uniform the criteria are for award recognition. In reaction to the passionate outcry from Davido’s fans, several internet users have questioned whether the same scrutiny and support were extended to previous setbacks for singers such as Wizkid and Burnaboy.

This comment calls attention to a perceived lack of consistency in the public’s response to Grammy results and raises the idea that award ceremonies should be held more consistently accountable for their choices. Future Grammy ceremonies might see a change in the standards used to assess artists’ success as technology continues to transform the music industry, going beyond conventional measurements.

Even legendary Jay-Z ignited emotions around the politics of the Grammy with his comment at this year’s Grammys.

Jay-Z complained: “We want y’all to get it right. At least getting close to right. And obviously it’s subjective. Y’all don’t gotta clap at everything. Obviously it’s subjective because, you know, it’s music and it’s opinion-based. But, you know, some things — I don’t want to embarrass this young lady, but she has more Grammys than everyone and never won Album of the Year. So even by your own metrics, that doesn’t work. Think about that. The most Grammys, never won Album of the Year. That doesn’t work.”

Still the continent got its win at 2024 Grammys in South Africa’s singer and songwriter, Tyla. She won the Best African Music Performance award for her “Water” on a night when the inimitable tune of  ‘Water No Get Enemy’ by Nigeria’s Fela, the legendary inspirator of Afrobeat, was played in a somewhat awkward moment that trailed the announcement of Tyla’s sexualised mid-tempo tune of ‘Water’.

For a moment, the audience were in flummox as to whether Tyla’s ‘Water’ has been confused for Fela’s evergreen ‘Water No Get Enemy’ to further raise the argument over whether the judges at the Grammys in the words of Jay-Z truly needs to get it right.

Eight Nigerian artistes lost out of the Grammy in their combined 10 nominations across different award categories. They are Ahmed Ololade, aka Asake; David Adeleke, aka, Davido; Damini Ogulu, aka Burna Boy; Temilade Openiy aka Tems; Adedamola Oyinlola Adefolahan aka Fireboy DML; Olamide Adedeji, aka Baddo; Oyinkansola Aderibigbe, aka Ayra Starr; and Chukwuka Ekweani aka Ckay.

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