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US Ambassador Meg Whitman: I’m pushing for Nairobi to be the headquarters of African Grammys

By Sinda Matiko February 19th, 2024 2 min read

US ambassador to Kenya Margaret ‘Meg’ Whitman says she would be vouching for Kenya to be made the capital of the African Grammy Awards.

The US tech billionaire, told Nairobi News, that of the four African countries that have been proposed for one to be made the headquarters of the African Grammy’s, she would throw her weight behind Kenya.

“Grammys is one of the most very important events in the United States, it’s the recording industry of the United States and you probably know they do the American Grammys. Well about ten years ago, they also started the Latin-American Grammys which is now the same size as the American Grammys. And recently they just announced they are doing the African Grammys.,” she explained.

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“So there are four founding countries of the African Grammys, Kenya is one of them, and you might imagine Nigeria is one of them. So now there is a battle royale as to who is going to get the headquarters of the African Grammys and if I have anything to say about it, it’s going to be Nairobi,” Meg told Nairobi News.

November last year, the National Academy of Recording Arts and Science, organizers of the Grammy Awards selected regional hubs for future shows by tapping five cities namely; Abidjan, Lagos, Nairobi, Johannesburg and Kigali.

The five hubs are to act as creative centers that will provide essential infrastructure for artists ensuring they get paid for their creative work as they function as the primary point of entry for artists and professional members and the greater music community.

However, there is already a battle for recognition and a fierce war has been waging as to who gets the headquarters of the Africa Grammys.

African leaders including President William Ruto have been lobbying to secure the slot for their respective countries.

Just like President Ruto, Nigerian President Bola Tinubu has already met with the Grammy Global Venture CEO Harvey Mason Jr.

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For the first time this year, African music had its own category at the Grammys.

The Recording Academy introduced three new categories for the 4th February 2024 awards which included the Best African Music Performance category.

The addition of the African categories has been attributed to the meteoric rise in the global popularity of African Music, especially Afrobeats.

On Spotify alone, Afrobeats streams have grown over 550% since 2017 with the giant Swedish streaming platform terming Afrobeat as the fastest-growing genre.