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Burna Boy Secures Spot on Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People in 2024

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Prince Jean

Apr 17, 2024

Time Magazine

Burna Boy Featured Among Icons in Time Magazine's 2024 List of 100 Most Influential Individuals. Photo:GettyImages

Angelique Kidjo, the multi-Grammy-winning songstress, has authored a heartfelt homage to fellow musician Burna Boy, following his inclusion in Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People of 2024. The esteemed Beninese artist lauded the Nigerian Afro-fusion sensation, recognizing him as an artist who has carved out a historical legacy and serves as an inspiration for Africa’s youth.

In her tribute, Kidjo reflected on her advice to young African artists, urging them to embrace the richness of African traditions instead of emulating American artists. She noted the global influence of African music, calling it an unfailing source of inspiration with the power to captivate the world.

Burna Boy, according to Kidjo, has actualized this vision on the global stage. Drawing inspiration from the powerful rhythms of Nigerian folk music and honing his craft in the tradition of Africa’s great singer-songwriters, he walks in the giant strides of Fela Kuti, the iconic Afrobeats pioneer and activist. Kidjo highlighted Burna Boy's unique style and rhythmic groove, which have led him to a succession of groundbreaking achievements. In 2023, he was the first African artist to headline and sell out a stadium show in the United States. In 2024, he became the first Afrobeats performer to take the stage at the Grammy Awards.

Burna Boy's influence extends beyond music, as he stands as a historical figure shaping a new generation of African youth.

Since his international breakthrough in 2018, Burna Boy has emerged as one of the world’s leading musicians. His 2019 Grammy-nominated album 'African Giant' included a collaboration with Kidjo and Damian Marley on the track 'Different'. Furthermore, Kidjo and Burna Boy joined forces on her Grammy-nominated song 'Do Yourself' in 2021.

Out of a diverse list of luminaries, Burna Boy stands as the sole African artist named in Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People of 2024, signifying his remarkable impact on music and culture.

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