Burna Boy Earns Icon Status On 2024 TIME100 List of the Most Influential People

Nigerian Afrobeats star Burna Boy has landed a spot on TIME magazine’s list of most influential people in 2024.

The annual list, now in its 21st edition, spotlights and honours industry paragons across entertainment, politics, activism and fashion, as well as visual and literary arts.

Burna Boy, a Grammy winner and among a host of creatives and entertainers featured on the list, was named in the Icons category, alongside the likes of US actress Taraji P Henson, Ugandan activist Frank Mugisha, and Spanish footballer Jenni Hermoso. Other categories include Artists, Titans, Leaders, Innovators and Pioneers.

In her tribute to the artist, Beninese legend and fellow Grammy winner Angélique Kidjo writes: “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. 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 Afrobeat 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 US 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.”

In his letter to readers about the 2024 TIME100 list, TIME editor-in-chief Sam Jacobs writes: “Influence, we know, is complex: it can be for better and for worse, it can span generations, categories, and perspectives … Now in our 101st year, TIME continues to evolve.

Today, we convene our TIME100 community across the globe, with events spanning 12 cities and four continents … TIME100 is an unparalleled way for us to tell essential stories about the people and ideas that shape and improve the world.”

Meanwhile, TIME will honour the 2024 TIME100 list at the TIME100 Summit and Gala in New York , US, featuring speakers, performers and special appearances, including a TIME Impact Award presentation to Canadian-American actor and activist Michael J Fox.

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