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Wizkid’s ‘Made In Lagos’ tipped for Grammy Album of the year eligibility

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Well, we made it to the end of the Grammy eligibility year without a surprise release (yet) from Grammy darling Adele, whose last two albums won album of the year, or Beyoncé or Kendrick Lamar, who are overdue for a win in that category.

As the 13-month eligibility period for the 64th annual Grammy Awards comes to an end on Thursday (Sept. 30), it’s time to survey the field of likely album of the year nominees.

The Recording Academy’s bombshell announcement in April that it is disbanding its nominations review committees means that this will be the first time in 27 years that voting members will have the final say on the nominations in the Big Four categories: album, record and song of the year plus best new artist.

Last year, 1,225 albums were entered in the album of the year category. The top 20 vote-getters went to the committee, which picked the eight nominees. This year, the top eight vote-getters will become the nominees.

Here are the eight best bets for album of the year nominations (listed alphabetically), followed by a dozen alternates (also listed alphabetically). We also share how high each album climbed on the all-genre Billboard 200.

Best Bets: 

Doja Cat, Planet Her: Doja Cat, who received three nominations last year, solidified her stardom this year, landing another smash in “Kiss Me More” (featuring SZA) and hosting the VMAs. This album, her third, reached No. 2.

Drake, Certified Lover Boy: This blockbuster, which has spent its first three weeks at No. 1, would be Drake’s third consecutive studio album (following Views and Scorpion) to receive an album of the year nod. Drake would be the third hip-hop artist, following Kanye West and Lamar, to receive album of the year nods for three studio albums in a row. Drake has won just four Grammys, a surprisingly low total for an artist of his stature.

Billie EilishHappier Than Ever: Eilish’s sophomore album spent its first three weeks at No. 1. Eilish would be the first artist to be nominated in this category with both of their first two proper studio albums since Lady Gaga a decade ago. Eilish has won seven Grammys in two years.

Ariana Grande, Positions: This would be the pop superstar’s second nod in this category in three years. She was nominated two years ago for Thank U, Next. Both albums spent their first two weeks at No. 1. Grande won her second Grammy, best pop duo/group performance for her Lady Gaga collab “Rain on Me,” at the 63rd annual Grammy Awards in March.

H.E.R., Back of My Mind: H.E.R. was nominated in this category with two compilation albums, H.E.R. and I Used to Know Her, making it hard to bet against her first proper studio album. This album reached No. 6, H.E.R.’s best showing to date. H.E.R. won two Grammys, including song of the year, in March. Six weeks later, she won an Oscar for best original song. That’s what you call a hot streak.

Lil Nas X, Montero: As with H.E.R., the headline-maker was nominated in this category even before the release of his first official studio album. That album, with the artist’s birth name as its title, enters the Billboard 200 at No. 2 this week. Lil Nas X’s EP 7 was nominated in this category two years ago, when he won his first two Grammys.

Olivia Rodrigo, Sour: This album has logged five weeks at No. 1. It also made history as the first debut album to include two singles that entered the Hot 100 at No. 1: the classic breakup ballad “Drivers License” and the pop-punk smash “Good 4 U.”

Taylor Swift, Evermore: If Evermore is nominated, it would mark a first for Swift, who has never been nominated for album of the year with her follow-up to an album of the year winner. (In other words, Speak Now and Reputation, which followed Fearless and 1989, respectively, fell short). Evermore, Swift’s follow-up to Folklore, spent four weeks at No. 1. Swift is an 11-time Grammy winner.

Alternates:

Justin Bieber, Justice: Bieber was nominated in this category five years ago with Purpose, when the extent of his maturation from teen idol to mainstream pop star first became apparent. Justice spent two weeks at No. 1 in April. Bieber won his second Grammy in March for “10,000 Hours,” his hit collab with Dan + Shay. (Oddly, he has won in dance music and country but not yet in pop.)

Bad Bunny, El Ultimo Tour Del Mundo: This would make history as the first Latin album to land an album of the year nod. (José Feliciano’s Feliciano!, nominated in 1968, was an English-language pop album.) Bad Bunny’s album reached No. 1 in December. He won his first Grammy in March: best Latin pop or urban album for YHLQMDLG.

Foo Fighters, Medicine at Midnight: The Foos are on a victory lap. In May, they were announced as 2021 inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In September, they were named the inaugural global icon winners at the VMAs. The Foos, 12-time Grammy winners, have been nominated in this category twice, for Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace (2007) and Wasting Light (2011). This album reached No. 3.

Halsey, If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power: This album, produced by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, constitutes one of the most unexpected and intriguing artist/producer pairings in recent years. The album reached No. 2. Halsey has yet to win a Grammy and has been nominated just twice, for featured roles on recordings by Bieber and The Chainsmokers.

Megan Thee Stallion, Good News: Megan, who won three Grammys in March, could join the growing list of female hip-hop artists to receive a nod in this category. Cardi B and Lizzo were nominated in the past three years. Good News, which reached No. 2, was nominated for album of the year at the BET Awards in June.

Kacey Musgraves, Star-Crossed: Musgraves won in this category three years ago with Golden Hour. She would be the first female country artist with two album of the year nods since Swift (who was a country artist at the time of her first two nominations.). Star-Crossed reached No. 3. Musgraves is a six-time Grammy winner.

Chris StapletonStarting Over: Stapleton was nominated in this category six years ago for Traveller. If Starting Over is nominated, he’ll become the first male country artist ever to receive two nominations in this category. Starting Over, which reached No. 3, is up for a CMA Award for album of the year. Stapleton has won five Grammys.

Jazmine Sullivan, Heaux Tales: This album reached No. 4, Sullivan’s best showing to date. It won album of the year at the BET Awards. While Sullivan has gone 0-12 at the Grammys over the years, this may well be her year to finally bring one (or more) home.

Tyler, the Creator, Call Me If You Get Lost: This album, which debuted at No. 1 in July, is one of the year’s most critically lauded releases. This would be the rapper’s first album of the year nod as a lead artist, though he was nominated as a featured artist nine years ago on Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange. Tyler’s previous album, Igor, won a Grammy for best rap album.

Morgan WallenDangerous: The Double Album: This country blockbuster logged 10 weeks at No. 1, more than any other album in this eligibility period. It would have had a much better shot if Wallen hadn’t used a racial slur earlier this year. To many, if not most, voters, he’s still under a cloud. This is up for a CMA Award for album of the year.

Kanye West, Donda: This would be West’s fourth nod in this category, which would be the most by any hip-hop artist (as a lead artist). It would be West’s first album of the year nod in 14 years. The album debuted at No. 1 in early September. West won his 22nd Grammy in March: best Christian music album for Jesus Is King. West has yet to win in a Big Four category, a sore point with him (as it is with such other similarly situated artists as Jay-Z).

Wizkid, Made in LagosThis could be a sleeper. Made in Lagos is the second major-label album by the Nigerian singer and songwriter. It features guest appearances from such artists as Ella Mai, H.E.R., Damian Marley and Burna Boy. On Aug. 27, a deluxe edition was released with a guest appearance by Bieber. The album has climbed as high as No. 28. Wizkid won his first Grammy in March as a featured artist on Beyoncé’s “Brown Skin Girl” music video.

SOURCE: Bilboard

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WATCH: Tiwa Savage speaks on leaked sex video

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Tiwa Savage has reacted to her leaked sex video weeks after she claimed someone was trying to blackmail her with the video. (more…)

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Meet Stella Agyei, the midwife taking health education from the classroom to remote areas.

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According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the number of women and girls who died each year from complications of pregnancy and childbirth declined from 451,000 in 2000 to 295,000 in 2017.

These improvements are particularly remarkable in light of rapid population growth in many of the countries where maternal deaths are highest. Still, over 800 women are dying each day from complications in pregnancy and childbirth. And for every woman who dies, approximately 20 others suffer serious injuries, infections, or disabilities.

Quite disturbingly, two regions, sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, account for 86% of maternal deaths worldwide. Sub-Saharan Africans suffer from the highest maternal mortality ratio – 533 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, or 200,000 maternal deaths a year. This is over two-thirds (68%) of all maternal deaths per year worldwide.

It is statistics like these as well as hands-on, personal experiences with real-world cases that motivated a young midwife to embark on an aggressive campaign of educating would-be as well as new parents on the risk factors of infant and maternal mortality.

From early beginnings at the Shai Osudoku Hospital in Accra, Stella Agyei has expanded her sensitisation and education drive to the television screens, reaching a wider audience and having a greater impact, in spite of tremendous difficulties. Below, we delve into the making of the young but vastly experienced midwife who is redefining health education and outreach.

Early life and education

Stella describes her humble childhood as “not easy” owing to “the lack of support and understanding from her guardian,” as well as having to contend with all that came along from very evident financial constraints. She was, however, a sprightly child who exuded confidence and had a knack for self-motivation, traits she has carried along into adulthood and impacted all who come across her path with.

Having a penchant for reading and realizing that nothing was going to be offered her on a silver platter, Stella was determined to turn her narrative around through academic excellence, most notably, during her time at the Nsaaba Presbyterian School, when she was so many miles away from home.

Her desire to succeed was heightened through the various vacation schools she attended. It was through these schools that she realized that she was equally as good as her counterparts from the A-rated schools in Kumasi despite her attending a B-rated school.

Following a stellar performance during the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), she gained admission to the University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS), where she was again excelled in her studies and earned her first degree, with Bachelor of Midwifery.

Health education as a lively passion

During her days at UHAS, she engaged in the buying and selling of garments to augment the source of her educational funding, which was inadequate. This was the beginning of her entrepreneurial journey.

Upon graduation, she was posted to the Shai Osudoku Hospital in Accra or her mandatory year of national service. There, she took delight in educating expectant parents, having realized the rather disturbingly high infant and maternal mortality rates, all the while discharging duties related to labour management.

This passion and the skills required to execute it were further honed during a number of Community-based Health Planning and Services (CHIPS) compounds in and around the Volta Region.

The Health Link Show

The desire continued and has evolved, with a special focus on preventive health and education, culminating in the birth of the Health Link Show. This came after the insistence of a bosom friend, who believed that Stella had the right mix of skill, passion, and experience to put together a very successful and impactful health-centric TV show. She began committing resources towards the show around October of 2018.

Several challenges came along the way in putting this health-education show together, most notably, identifying and attracting the right sponsors, particularly for the very first season. Despite being an uphill task, as she had very little verifiable record in this new venture, she was, through grit, persistence, and a detailed plan, able to secure good sponsorship deals which enabled her to shoot the first season.

The pilot episode aired a year after on October 29, 2019, on GHOne Television. So far, two seasons have been aired on GHOne, with the third season is coming up. Despite ongoing challenges, including signing up sponsors, putting together a production crew, content creation, research, and logistic constraints, Health Link is on course for season three, which will focus on some selected rural communities.
The third season will have the regular health education element, donation of medical logistics, provision of some primary health care where applicable. Additionally, clothing and consumables will also be given to some members of these communities who are impoverished.

Impact

The young, yet experienced midwife has been able to impact a lot of lives through her platform as a health educator and promoter, particularly through the show where she has oftentimes had to serve as the sole host, executive producer, marketer, and scriptwriter among others.

Through the success of the show, Stella has been able to legally establish a foundation aimed at supporting individuals and communities with pertinent and pressing health issues.

This is called the Health Link Specialist Foundation. Though this foundation is still in its nascent stage, it has provided logistics, consumables, and funds to support some health-related charitable causes in many communities.

These items include cash, wheelchairs, Zimmer frames, foodstuffs (oil, rice, tomato pastes, etc.), toiletries (soap, detergents, sanitary pads, diapers,), and medical supplies (thermometers, sphygmomanometer, skin creams, medications, nose masks, hand sanitizers etc.).

In prior seasons, Health Link TV show has been sponsored and supported by Nestle Ghana Limited, Moods Condom, M&C Properties, Prince Syrup, Unilever, Pharmanova, BD medical laboratories, and Home fresh foods.

So far, with the production of the third season underway, only one sponsor has come on board, and Health Link is thankful to the management of Serene Insurance for its commitment.

According to Stella Agyei: “We are humbly appealing to other individuals and corporates to come on-board. We are still accepting sponsorship and donations from individuals and companies to enable us to cover costs of production, surgeries, hospital & medication bills, and other unforeseen expenses of some sick people in need of medical attention in this third season.”

 

Source: thebftonline.com

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Psalm Adjetefio “TT” blames current predicament on his ex-wife

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Veteran  Ghanaian actor, Psalm Adjetefio, popularly known as T.T, has disclosed that all the mishaps in his life are as a result of his ex-wife. (more…)

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Shatta Wale receives birthday shout out from Beyoncé

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Self-acclaimed “King of Dancehall”, Shatta Wale has received a special birthday shout out from the Queen Bee herself, Beyoncé. (more…)

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Finance Minister urges Ghanaians to venture into entrepreneurship as gov’t payroll is full

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The Minister of Finance Ken Ofori-Atta has revealed that the government’s payroll is full, therefore, the youth must venture into entrepreneurship to boost the economy. (more…)

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Showcasing Ghana To The Rest Of Africa: Alphonse Menyo’s First Short Film “Perceptions” Has Been Selected For Afriff!!!!

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From the stables of Nkuluziza Film Productions comes yet another production which has been selected to be screened at the biggest showcase for African films and filmmakers, AFRIFF! Being produced and directed by Alphonse Menyo, “Perceptions” seeks to break the stereotypes many of which have been created through Western film images of Africa. “Perceptions” is the only Ghanaian short film to have been selected to be screened at the 10th Africa International Film Festival which is scheduled to take place from 7th-13th November, 2021 in Lagos, Nigeria.

 

The director, Alphonse Menyo manages to successfully display Ghana in the beautiful cinematography which seeks to promote the culture and values of Ghanaians to the rest of Africa. The director believes that most people in the society remained unfulfilled in life due to their acceptance to live in another man’s world rather than pursuing their dreams. “Perceptions” seeks to artistically portray the relevance of pursuing after true happiness.

 

Alphonse Menyo is a Ghanaian born actor/filmmaker and his passion and determination led him to achievements such as Best Actor nomination in the 2020 AMAA Awards, winner of the Best Actor in the 2019 Ghana Movie Awards and the Best Actor at the 2018 Fickn Film Festival. Some of his notable productions include Gold Coast Lounge, Utopia, Black Rose, Freetown among others.

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