For the first time in its 65-year history, the prestigious Grammy Awards in the US has created the ‘Best African Music Performance category’, specifically recognizing the song of the year from the continent. The Grammys, organized by the Recording Academy, typically focuses on achievements in the US music industry but has expanded its scope to embrace the global impact of African music. The 66th Grammy Awards nominations featured prominent Africans musical talents like Davido, Burna Boy, Ayra Starr, alongside debutants Tyla, Olamide and Asake, showcasing the growing influence of African artists on the world stage. ALSO READ: African stars nominated for Grammy 2024: Olamide, Asake makes their debut, key nominees However, this historic move, which is set to give African music its due recognition and marking a big step for a genre some critics argue that it should have been acknowledged earlier and that breaking news about “becoming a part of pop music” should be a thing of the past. Notably, the introduction of the Best African Music Performance category underlines the global prevalence of music from the continent. South African artist Tyla’s viral song ‘Water’ exemplifies this, solidifying Amapiano’s rise and making her the highest-charting African female solo act after reaching No. 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. Streaming platforms play a crucial role in bridging borders, with Afrobeats alone experiencing over 500% growth on Spotify since 2017, according to the platform. Besides, collaborations like Davido and Musa Keys’ ‘Unavailable’ showcase the cross-border synergy between Afrobeats and Amapiano, earning them a Grammy nomination. Additionally, Rema’s ‘Calm Down’ remix with singer Selena Gomez, has refused to calm down. It is worth noting that on November 24, 2020, Kakoma Somi, a Rwandan jazz vocalist and songwriter based in the US, achieved a historic moment in her music career. The ‘Last song’ singer received a Grammy nomination for the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards held on January 31, 2021, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Her album ‘Holy Room’ was shortlisted in the Best Jazz Vocal Album category, making her the first African woman nominated in any jazz category and the first African artist nominated for a jazz vocal performance. ALSO READ: Rwandan Jazz songstress Somi nominated for 2021 Grammy Awards Beyond the music scene, African artists have left their mark on global stages, from Rema at FIFA’s Ballon d’Or event to Burna Boy thrilling audiences at the UEFA Champions League final. Davido also contributed to the official FIFA World Cup soundtrack in 2022. While African artists have previously won Grammys, including Miriam Makeba in 1966 and Burna Boy in 2021, it’s essential to highlight the absence of African artists in the Lifetime Achievement Award category. Adding to the anticipation, Burna Boy will make history as the first Afrobeats performer to grace the Grammy stage with a performance at this year’s ceremony in Los Angeles.