Angelique Kidjo says the Grammy Awards need to embrace “diversity and gender equality” in order to survive.


The Beninese singer spoke to BBC after she was named a recipient of Sweden’s prestigious Polar Music Prize.

The Grammys have been accused of sidelining hip-hop in particular.

No rap project has won album of the year since Outkast’s body of work ‘Speakerboxxx’ in 2004.


In the same vein, some top artistes like Drake and The Weeknd have boycotted the Grammys.

They protest their music is either confined to genre categories like rap and R&B or not recognised at all.

Kidjo, who is a trustee of the Recording Academy, has now pointed out that the Grammys have a “diversity problem”.


Kidjo, however, said the academy is trying to repair relationships under the leadership of its CEO Harvey Mason.

“He came in a moment [that was] very difficult and he is embracing this challenge head-on,” the singer added.

“He is open for discussion, he is open for proposals. People have to reach out to Harvey, and we have to start this conversation and help him get there.

“The music industry is dominated by men, so we have to think about the whole infrastructure. We’re working on it.


“I think what is important for us to understand when it comes to Recording Academy is that we are musicians, we are producers and we have a different way, perhaps, of listening to music than the public.

“That’s what makes the Grammy Awards so important. We are honoured by our peers. So if all of us come together and decide that’s what it is, then that’s what it is.”

Kidjo is a five-time Grammy winner and is set to become the third African to receive the Polar Music Prize.


Copyright 2023 TheCable. All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from TheCable.

Follow us on twitter @Thecablestyle