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Burna Boy, Fela Named Among Rolling Stone’s ‘200 Greatest Singers of all Time
Fela Kuti, the late Afrobeat legend, and Burna Boy, the Afrofusion singer, are named in Rolling Stone’s ‘200 greatest musicians of all time list.
The music publication released the list spanning 200 singers it said are among the all-time greatest.
It said the singers were judged on originality, influence, catalogue depth, and the breadth of their musical legacy.Rolling Stones described the ‘African Giant’ crooner as an “ambassador of Afrobeats as a global movement”.
“[He] is the ambassador of Afrobeats as a global movement that can feel equally at home climbing the European charts and maintaining a subtle emotional connection with past African genres,” it wrote.
“Burna’s voice is sweet like caramel, but it can also soar on slickly produced tracks like his recent megahit ‘Last Last’ or the 2019 gem ‘Anybody’ amped up by deep bass accents and insanely sophisticated polyrhythms.
“His vocal lines find inspiration in everything from hip-hop and R&B to hooky pop and dancehall. The world is his playground.”
On Fela Kuti, the publication said: “Fela Kuti’s iconic songs of the 1970s and 1980s are sprawling orchestral instrumentals, an innovative swirl of African highlife, American soul, and jazz.“Through his music, he shared an anti-colonialist, Pan-African vision and challenged Nigeria’s corrupt military government, which routinely subjected him and those around him to immense harm.
“Yet it wasn’t just Fela’s lyrical rebellion that makes him so important — it’s the way his voice carried his vision; the way he sang, his tone commanding and direct, plain and firm.
“His stern but conversational melodies made his movement more accessible.“On 1986’s ‘Teacher Don’t Teach Me Nonsense’ where he tackles whitewashed education and failed governments, he coos, ‘I say, I sing, I beg everyone to join my song’. And he performed in such a way that they could.”