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22 November 2019 18:32

Cadet Ciara Russell Wilson

Burna Boy thrills fans with Stormzy, Ed Sheeran collaboration

In fact, he couldn't even impress Western observers enough to truly back him - well, except Akon and his 'deals.' But something good happened, African immigrants and their children in the UK showed passion and 'afrobeats' started getting mooted as a generic name for a diverse range of sounds with African dance percussion. In 2013, Burna Boy released his debut album, L.I.F.E. It had hits like 'Like To Party' and 'Tonight.' It also followed his 2010 mixtape. However, he still managed to plant incredible seeds with 'Jaiye Jaiye' and 'On Top Of Your Matter.' For his part, Burna Boy wasn't even close to the level those two operated on at the time. That year and aged 21, Davido capped a stellar year with Artist of the Year at the 2014 MTV Africa Music Awards and Best International Act at the BET Awards. Some of the songs that Nigerians didn't like from the Ayo album were fan-favourites on Wizkid's tours of the UK.

Wizkid was too scared to call it an album and seemingly didn't want to drain its seriousness by calling it a 'mixtape.' Some liked album - it transcended the Nigerian standard yet fell below it while also being destined to make no impact on the market he aimed at - America. That same year, Burna Boy hit a major problem called, Mr. 2Kay. For his conduct, he got blackballed and had to claw his way back. It didn't truly make a mark till May 2017, but it was a moment that gave everybody a reminder of the range, versatility, dynamism and expansive sonic pallete of Burna Boy - at a level Wizkid and Davido lack. Two of its biggest stars had failed to deliver and latin pop music was on the horizon - it was also more profitable. The three other mega-hits were 'FALL,' 'FIA' and 'Like Dat.' Davido was flying, but the American market had a shifted focus to LatinX-Pop music.

Nonetheless, Wizkid still had some heavyweight features - afrobeats and African acts refused to go away. Burna Boy released three singles, but they basically refused to pop. The role of a poster boy became vacant, but then, Burna Boy stole a march with news that he was the only feature on Fall Out Boy's album, M A N I A. By the end of the year, more than five latin-pop music videos hit one billion views on YouTube. While 'Fall' did pop on American radio around this time with a nudge from Sony Music, both Wizkid and Davido seemed weary of America.

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Burna Boy didn't stop - he released two more hits in 'Gbona' and 'On The Low' before capping off the year with 'Killin Dem' featuring Zlatan. What ensued was aggressive marketing for Burna Boy who also worked harder. This level of push, brilliance and impact have culminated a Grammy nomination for Best World Music Album and he might just win it. Davido gets some high class features, but the Burna Boy push is immense. Are Wizkid and Davido still poster boys? Photos: Here are some of Africa's biggest music stars Nigeria's Burna Boy has been nominated for the Best World Music Grammy. Photos: Here are some of Africa's biggest music stars Tanzanian recording artist, Diamond Platnumz is an award-winning musician. Photos: Here are some of Africa's biggest music stars Nigerian born musician, Yemi Alade, gained prominence after winning a Talent Show in 2009, and is best known for her hit single 'Johnny,' which has become an international anthem. Photos: Here are some of Africa's biggest music stars Tiwa Savage won the Best African Act at the 2018 MTV Europe Music Awards, becoming the first woman to win the category. Photos: Here are some of Africa's biggest music stars Award-winning Nigerian entertainer, Wizkid has collaborated with multiple international artists including Drake, Wale, Skepta and Beyonce. Photos: Here are some of Africa's biggest music stars South African singer, Sho Madjozi won the 2019 BET New International Act. In her acceptance speech, she said, 'My story is a testament that you can come from any village, in any forgotten part of the world, and still be a superstar." Hide Caption 8 of 10 Photos: Here are some of Africa's biggest music stars South African singer-songwriter and poet Busiswa Gqulu gained prominence after featuring on popular South Africa's DJ Zinhle's song, 'My Name Is.' Hide Caption 9 of 10 While this is a reunion for Stormzy and Sheeran, this is the first time Burna Boy has paired with the grime star on a song.