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Femi flexes muscles @ the GRAMMYs

Afrobeat maestro, Femi Kuti

That Afrobeat maestro, Femi Kuti, is  nominated for the 52nd edition of the Grammy Awards is no longer news. What is news is that as the world witnesses the largest gathering of some of the best musicians on Sunday our own local boy Femi Kuti will be flying high out green and white flag.
He will be slugging it out in the World Music Album category with the likes of Amadou & Mariam of Mali, Béla Fleck, Oumou Sangare and Omar Sosa.

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

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.

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.
The nominations have been announced on Wednesday and favorites include Beyonce, with ten noms, Taylor Swift, with 8, the Black Eyed Peas, 7 and Lady Gaga, 5, as Billboard can confirm.

This year’s nominations have been subject to a different set of rules as the award ceremony itself will take place on a different day than in previous years. The most important of them was that the eligibility period was cut short, from October 1, 2008 to August 31, 2009, so that the Grammy falls in the first, awards heavy first months of the year.

With August 31 being the final date, Whitney Houston’s much hyped comeback, “I Look to You,” rushed out on the same day, barely made it in time for the nominations. Yet it was completely overlooked, with neither Whitney nor the album making the cut for any category, the music oriented publication points out.

On the other hand, Beyonce is the strongest contender of the night, with nods in three major categories, including Album of the Year for “I Am… Sasha Fierce,” Song of the Year for “Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It),” and Record of the Year for “Halo.”

Country singer and recently the entire world’s favorite artist Taylor Swift is not far behind, with eight nominations. Lady Gaga is also holding strong, as noted above, with five nominations, including three in the same top categories as Beyonce – which can only mean that competition will be stiff. Other heavy contenders are Kanye West and Maxwell (6 nominations each), and Jay Z and David Guetta (5 nominations each).


Song of the Year
“Poker Face” – Lady Gaga
“Pretty Wings” – Maxwell
“Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)” – Beyonce
“Use Somebody” – Kings of Leon
“You Belong With Me” _ Taylor Swift

Best Pop Performance By A Duo Or Group With VocalsA
_ “I Gotta Feeling” – The Black Eyed Peas
_ “We Weren’t Born To Follow” – Bon Jovi
_ “Never Say Never” – The Fray
_ “Sara Smile” – Daryl Hall & John Oates
_ “Kids” – MGMT

Best Rock Album
_ Black Ice – AC/DC
_ Live From Madison Square Garden – Eric Clapton & Steve Winwood
_ 21st Century Breakdown – Green Day
_ Big Whiskey And The Groogrux King – Dave Matthews Band
_ No Line On The Horizon – U2

Best Rap Solo Performance
_ “Best I Ever Had” – Drake
_ “Beautiful” – Eminem
_ “D.O.A. (Death Of Auto_Tune)” – Jay_Z
_ “Day ‘N’ Nite” – Kid Cudi
_ “Casa Bey” – Mos Def

Record of the Year
_ “Halo” – Beyonce
_ “I Gotta Feeling – The Black Eyed Peas
_ “Use Somebody” – Kings of Leon
_ “Poker Face” – Lady Gaga
_ “You Belong With Me” – Taylor Swift

Best Female Pop Vocal Performance
_ Adele (for “Hometown Glory”)
_ Beyonce (for “Halo”)
_ Katy Perry (for “Hot N Cold”)
_ Pink (for “Sober”)
_ Taylor Swift (for “You Belong With Me”)

Best Male Pop Vocal Performance
_ John Legend (for “This Time”)
_ Maxwell (for “Love You”)
_ Jason Mraz (for “Make It Mine”)
_ Seal (for “If You…”)
_ Stevie Wonder (for “All About The Love Again”)

Best New Artist
_ Zac Brown Band
_ Keri Hilson
_ Silversun Pickups
_ The Ting Tings

Album of the Year
_ “I Am… Sasha Fierce” (Beyonce)
_ “The E.N.D.” (BEP)
_ “The Fame” (Lady Gaga)
_ “Big Whiskey And The Groogrux King” (Dave Matthews Band)
_ “Fearless” (Taylor Swift

Best Contemporary World Music Album
Welcome To Mali — Amadou & Mariam
Throw Down Your Heart — Béla Fleck
Day By Day — Femi Kuti
Seya — Oumou Sangare
Across The Divide — Omar Sosa


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