Almost 24 years after the death of Afrobeat music icon, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, Nigerians have continued to throw their weight behind the Pan-Africanist who has been nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for 2021.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame published 16 nominees for its 2021 class of inductees, and on the list is the Afrobeat originator, who many believed had been eligible for some time and is finally being recognized for the honour.
Fela was nominated alongside 15 other artistes including Jay-Z, LL Cool J, Mary J. Blige, Chaka Khan, and Dionne Warwick.
In a statement, the Chairman of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation, John Sykes, said, “This remarkable ballot reflects the diversity and depth of the artistes and music the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame celebrates. These nominees have left an indelible impact on the sonic landscape of the world and influenced countless artists that have followed them.”
Meanwhile, since the news made the rounds on Wednesday, celebrities and other notable personalities have been passionately canvassing votes for Fela.
As of the time of filing this report, Fela had over 116,362 votes, followed by Tina Turner with 80,223 votes, while Foo Fighters had 59,287 votes.
Fela’s son, Seun, who leads his father’s former band, Egypt 80, took to his Instagram page to thank his father’s supporters and urged them to keep voting for ‘Abami Eda’ as the late music icon called himself.
He wrote, “On behalf of the Anikulapo-Kuti family, we want to say thanks for the support. One can vote every day so please visit the website to keep the numbers going up. I have to say though, we Africans all over the world have already put Fela in the greatest hall of fame of all time— our hearts. #liberationgeneration.”
Seun’s elder brother, Femi, also wrote, “Vote for Fela Anikulapo Kuti for a well-deserved place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.”
Nigerians who have canvassed votes for Fela include the Minister of Transportation Rotimi Amaechi, Davido, Don Jazzy, Burna Boy, Banky W, Japheth Omojuwa, Omoyele Sowore, and Funke Kuti.