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B Side, Music

Burna Boy Makes TIME’s List of 100 Most Influential People of 2024

This recognition celebrates the African Giant’s immense impact on the global music scene.

  • Melony Akpoghene
  • 17th April 2024
Burna Boy Makes TIME’s List of 100 Most Influential People of 2024

Nigerian music sensation Burna Boy joins the ranks of TIME Magazine‘s 2024 list of the 100 Most Influential People. The African Giant is the only African artist on the list.


This recognition celebrates his immense impact on the global music scene. Fellow music icon and Grammy winner Angélique Kidjo penned a glowing tribute detailing Burna Boy’s remarkable achievements.


These include becoming the first African artist to sell out New York City’s massive Citi Field stadium last July and the first Afrobeats artist to ever take the stage at the Grammys.


Ten years ago or so, when young African musicians would come to me for advice, I would tell them, “You don’t need to mimic American artists! The world needs the amazing richness and beauty of our traditional African music and our culture. This land is where most of modern music comes from,” Angelique Kidjo wrote.


This source of inspiration is inexhaustible. Its freshness and its elegance will get the world’s attention for sure. Burna Boy has made that vision a global reality. 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. Burna Boy’s deeply original flow and his signature groove have conquered the world with an impressive series of firsts: in 2023, he became the first African artist to sell out a U.S. stadium, and in 2024, he became the first Afrobeats artist to sing at the Grammys. He is history in the making. Now a whole generation of young people from the continent is looking up to him.


Burna Boy in turn wrote the tribute for 21 Savage, his partner on the remix of “Sittin’ on Top of the World”, who also landed a spot on the TIME 100 list.


He stated: “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. 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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