As the news of Burna Boy and Wizkid filtered into Nigeria that they won the 2021 Grammy Award, it is important to state that Sikiru Adepoju, now 70 years-old was the first Nigerian ever to win the global award.
Adepoju, a percussionist and recording artist from Nigeria, primarily in the genres of traditional African music and world music, plays a variety of instruments and styles.
Born in Eruwa, Oyo State, Adepoju was a member of Ebenezer Obey’s Inter Reformers Band until he left for the US in 1985. In the US, the ‘drummer boy’ joined O. J. Ekemode’s Nigerian All-Stars, and three months later met Babatunde Olatunji.
He became an integral part of Olatunji’s Drums of Passion, and through Olatunji met Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart
He was part of Mickey Hart’s group Planet Drum, whose title album won the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary World Music Album in 1991, the first year there was a Grammy in that category. He was also part of Mickey Hart’s latest group Global Drum Project, whose title album won the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary World Music Album at the 51st annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles 8 February 2009.
Other Nigerians, though half cast that have won the award are:
Olusegun Olumide Adeola Samuel (Seal), Sade Adu, Hakeem Seriki, Lekan Babalola and Kevin Olusola.