After missing out on the Grammy awards for three decades, multiple award-winning South African music group, the Soweto Gospel Choir, carted home the revered Grammy Awards for the Best World Music Album category for their album titled ‘Freedom’ which is a collection of popular African freedom/liberation songs and chants.
The group won the award for third time after being nominated for the fifth time. Their last win came almost a decade ago in 2008, after winning their first in 2007 – both awards came in the Best Traditional World Music Album category.
Formed to celebrate the unique and inspirational power of African Gospel music, the group’s award was received by Mulalo Mulovhedzi whose late father David Mulovhedzi co-founded the group with producer/director Beverly Bryer 17 years ago and album producer Diniloxolo Ndlakuse Shimmy Jiyane as well as Mary Mulovhedzi.
Three other prominent contenders in the category who lost out at this year’s Grammys were Omara “Bombino” Moctar from Niger, Fatoumata Diawara from Mali, and Seun Kuti & Egypt 80 from Nigeria (son of the legendary Fela Kuti).
A special appearance at this year’s Grammys which is the 61st edition of the Awards was by the former first lady of the United States of America, Michelle Obama, and the crowd just couldn’t help with a frenzied standing ovation, with so much grace and glamor as the former first lady oozed.
The group’s feat attracted a barrage of congratulatory messages, one of which was a message from the president of South Africa through his official twitter handle @CyrilRamaphosa wrote:
“Congratulations to the Soweto Gospel Choir for being awarded the Best World Music album for ‘Freedom’ at the #GRAMMYs. This is the choir’s third Grammy award and we thank them for telling our story to the world and flying the flag high. We are all proud of the Soweto Gospel Choir and the other nominees, thank you for making Africa proud.”
The Grammy Awards 2019 took place Sunday, 10 February 2019 in Los Angeles, United States, and was hosted by celebrated music artist, Alicia Keys.