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What Year Did Burna Boy Blow Up?

What Year Did Burna Boy Blow Up?

In the realm of contemporary African music, Burna Boy has emerged as one of the most influential and groundbreaking artists of his generation. With his unique blend of Afro-fusion, captivating performances, and thought-provoking lyrics, Burna Boy has captured the hearts of millions of fans worldwide. But the question lingers: What year did Burna Boy truly “blow up” and make his mark on the global music scene? In this article, we will delve into the pivotal year that catapulted Burna Boy to international acclaim.

The Early Years

Born Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, in July 1991, Burna Boy showed an early inclination towards music. His grandfather, Benson Idonije, was a renowned music critic and manager to the legendary Fela Kuti, an Afrobeat pioneer. Influenced by his family’s musical background, Burna Boy began honing his talent and crafting his sound.

Burna Boy Initial Success

Burna Boy’s musical journey started in 2010 with the release of his debut studio album, “L.I.F.E. – Leaving an Impact for Eternity.” Though the album garnered attention in Nigeria, it did not receive widespread international recognition. However, his sophomore album, “On a Spaceship,” released in 2015, showcased his growth as an artist and laid the foundation for future success.

The Breakthrough Year 2018

It was in 2018 that Burna Boy experienced a meteoric rise that firmly established him as a force to be reckoned with in the music industry. His third studio album, “Outside,” released in January 2018, received critical acclaim and resonated with audiences across the globe. The album featured hit tracks such as “Ye,” “Gbona,” and “Heaven’s Gate,” which showcased Burna Boy’s unique style and lyrical prowess.

The single “Ye” was particularly influential in propelling Burna Boy’s career to new heights. Its infectious rhythm and memorable lyrics caught the attention of music lovers, eventually becoming a cultural anthem. “Ye” resonated with listeners far beyond Nigeria’s borders and cemented Burna Boy’s position as a global superstar.

International Recognition

As the year progressed, Burna Boy’s popularity continued to soar. In 2019, he released his critically acclaimed fourth studio album, “African Giant.” The album earned him a nomination for the Best World Music Album at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards, bringing him international recognition and firmly establishing his place on the global music stage.

Furthermore, Burna Boy’s collaborations with renowned international artists such as Beyoncé on “Ja Ara E” for “The Lion King: The Gift” album and Stormzy on “Own It” further solidified his presence in the international music scene. These collaborations showcased Burna Boy’s versatility and ability to seamlessly blend genres.

Grammy Win and Continued Success

The pinnacle of Burna Boy’s career came in 2021 when he won the Grammy Award for Best Global Music Album for his fifth studio album, “Twice as Tall.” This historic win marked a significant milestone for not only Burna Boy but also for African music as a whole. It affirmed the global impact of his music and solidified his status as a trailblazer.

Following his Grammy win, Burna Boy has continued to release chart-topping hits, collaborate with renowned artists, and headline major music festivals and concerts around the world. His ability to stay true to his roots while appealing to a diverse audience has been instrumental in his sustained success.


While Burna Boy’s musical journey began years before his breakout year, it was undoubtedly in 2018 that he experienced a transformative rise to global prominence. With his unique sound, infectious hits, and unapologetic authenticity, Burna Boy has become an icon of contemporary African music. His influence transcends borders, and his success serves as an inspiration for aspiring artists worldwide. As we reflect on Burna Boy’s extraordinary career, we eagerly anticipate the future chapters of his musical legacy.

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