Beninese singer, Angélique Kidjo, former U.S. first lady, Michelle Obama and rapper, Nipsey were all honored at the Grammy awards.
At an event which was clouded by the sudden death of basketball legend, Kobe Bryant earlier in the day, Kidjo received the award in the World Music category, while Michelle Obama and Nipsey Hussle shoved off competition to scoop Spoken Word Album and Best Rap Song respectively.
This will be the fourth time Kidjo will be claiming the prestigious honor. In a category that had Nigeria’s Burna Boy, Altin Gün, Bokanté & Metropole Orkest, Nathalie Joachim With Spektral Quartet, Kidjo dedicated her win to the Nigerian.
During her acceptance speech, Kidjo celebrated a new generation of African artistes coming up to represent the continent while thanking luminaries who came before her for their contributions to world music, including Celia Cruz.
“Four years ago on this stage, I was telling you that the new generation of artistes coming from Africa are going to take you by storm. And the time has come.
“This is for Burna Boy.
“Burna Boy is among those young artistes that come from Africa that is changing the way our continent is perceived and the way African music has been the bedrock of every music,” she said.
The former first lady and bestselling author, Michelle Obama added another feather to her hat.
Receiving the award for best-spoken word album, she beat competition from John Waters and two of the Beastie Boys for the audiobook version of her 2018 memoir Becoming. According to Vogue, Becoming surpassed two million books sold in the U.S. and Canada, selling more than 725,000 copies alone on its first day out.
This isn’t the first time one of the Obamas has claimed gold at the Academy Award.
In 2006 and 2008, former president, Barack Obama won the prestigious award for his books From My Father and The Audacity of Hope, respectively.
Former first lady, Hillary Clinton has also won in the same category for the audiobook version of It Takes a Village in 1997.
In a glowing tribute to the rapper, Nipsey Hussle, superstars John Legend, Meek Mill and Dj Khaleed clothed in Eritrea’s traditional outfit sang Higher which is a collaboration with the late rapper.
Singer Kirk Franklin later joined in the tribute, described by many as beautiful.
Other winners of black origin include: Tyler the Creator, Lizzo, Lil Nas, Anderson, Paak, PJ Morton, DJ Khaled, John Legend, Jermaine Cole, Dacoury Natche, 21 Savage, Kirk Franklin, Gloria Gaynor, Ranky Tanky, Koffee and Dave Chappelle.