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Afrobeats Giant Burna Boy Makes TIME’s “100 Most Influential People” List

Nigerian music superstar Burna Boy, real name Damini Ogulu, has secured a coveted spot on Time Magazine’s prestigious “100 Most Influential People of 2024” list. This recognition marks a significant milestone for the Grammy-winning artist and Afrobeats music as a whole.

Burna Boy’s inclusion on the list comes under the “Icons” category, alongside other inspirational figures across various industries. The tribute written for Burna Boy highlights his immense contribution to the global recognition of Afrobeats. Legendary Beninese singer Angelique Kidjo penned the tribute, praising Burna Boy for “making that vision [of global African music acceptance] a global reality.”

Kidjo further acknowledged Burna Boy’s unique sound, which draws inspiration from rich Nigerian folk traditions and carries the torch lit by the legendary Fela Kuti, the pioneer of Nigeria’s Afrobeat sound.  She emphasized his success as a role model for a new generation of African artists.

Time Magazine recognition solidifies Burna Boy’s reputation as a global force in music.  His achievements include becoming the first African artist to sell out a U.S. stadium in 2023 and the first Afrobeats artist to perform at the Grammys in 2024. Burna Boy joins fellow Nigerians, Skepta and Damson Idris, who were also recognized on the list this year.

The “100 Most Influential People” list, established in 1999, is a yearly honor by Time Magazine that celebrates individuals who have made significant contributions to the world through their work in various fields. Burna Boy’s inclusion marks a significant win not just for himself but for Afrobeats music’s growing influence on the global music scene.

Ezinwanne Onwuka reports for TruthNigeria from Abuja.

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