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Burna Boy Lands a Spot on ‘TIME’ 2024 Most Influential People List: ‘He Is History in the Making’

Burna Boy has been named as one of TIME‘s 100 most influential people of 2024, which was announced on Wednesday (April 17).

Fellow Grammy-winning African artist Angélique Kidjo penned the essay highlighting Burna’s outstanding achievements, from becoming the first African artist to sell out a U.S. stadium — when the “Last Last” singer performed at New York City’s Citi Field last July — to becoming the first Afrobeats artist to sing at the Grammys, when he brought Brandy and 21 Savage on stage to perform “Sittin’ on Top of the World” (which was up for best melodic rap performance this year).

“Inspired by the fantastic drums of Nigerian folk music, and studied in the craft of the great African singer-songwriters, he follows in the footsteps of Fela Kuti — the internationally celebrated Afrobeats artist and activist,” Kidjo wrote. “He is history in the making. Now a whole generation of young people from the continent is looking up to him.”

Burna wrote the essay for his “Sittin’ on Top of the World” collaborator 21 Savage, who also made the TIME 100 list. “Like 21, I know what it’s like to rise above challenging beginnings, and it makes his success all that much more remarkable. … His approach to rap is refreshingly genuine; he speaks to us in a relatable way, effortlessly navigating the complexities of the genre,” he reflected in part. “I’m excited to witness the greater evolution of his artistry and the impact he continues to make on the world stage.”

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