The highly successful South African music group, Soweto Gospel Choir copped the Best World Music Album plaque for their album ‘Freedom’ at the 61st Grammy Awards held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday.
This is the group’s fifth nomination and their third win in the category. Soweto Gospel Choir was absent at the event last but the award was received by their album producer Diniloxolo Ndlakuse, Shimmy Jiyane, Mary Mulovhedzi, Mulalo Mulovhedzi, whose late father, David Mulovhedzi co-founded the group alongside Beverly Bryer 17 years ago.
Soweto Gospel Choir are no aliens to both local and international acclaim. They’re unarguably one of the most successful music groups in Africa, raking series of highly coveted awards and recognitions both home and abroad. Soweto Gospel Choir is a recipient of an EMMY awards, an Oscar nomination for their collaboration with Peter Gabriel on the soundtrack for the film Wall-E. In December 2018, the music group also joined Beyoncé to deliver a stellar performance at the Global Citizen concert in the honour of late Nelson Mandela held in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The Grammy award-winning body of work “Freedom” was released in June 2018 as a tribute to the 100 years of Mandela Celebration. The group contended alongside Nigeria’s Seun Kuti (Black Times), Niger’s Bombino (Deran), Mali’s Fatoumata Diawara (Fenfo) and Soviet’s Yiddish Glory (The Lost Songs of World War II).
According to the GRAMMYs, the nomination for Best World Music Album recognizes “albums containing at least 51% playing time of new vocal or instrumental World Music recordings”.
This is Seun Kuti’s first ever Grammy nomination. He also performed at the Premiere ceremony before the main event last night.