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(Nigeria) Cynthia Erivo Brings Home a Grammy for Africa

You Go Girl!

For her performance as Celie in the 2015 Broadway revival of The Color Purple, Erivo won the 2016 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical as well as the 2017 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album.

Wizkid and Kah-Lo failed to win at the Grammy Awards, but Nigerians didn’t totally lose out. The duo whose nominations brought great joy and press coverage of the Nigerian music industry, but were edged out in their respective categories, as they failed to pick up any award.

Wizkid, the Nigerian pop star made the list for his contribution to Drake’s 2016 “Views” album which was nominated for Album Of The Year. Kah-Lo is a Nigerian musician known for the vocals on ‘Rinse and Repeat‘ by British DJ, Riton. Her humorous yet edgy delivery gave the song a unique charm that has made it a club favourite around the country.

Although these losses hurt, they weren’t exactly the only Nigerians at the Grammys that night. Another Nigerian picked up an award. She is Cynthia Erivo.

She performed the role in the 2013 Menier Chocolate Factory production as well. Erivo is also known for her performance as Deloris Van Cartier/Sister Mary Clarence in the U.K. tour of Sister Act.

Cynthia Erivo is a singer and actress born in London to Nigerian immigrants. She won a Grammy for Best Musical Theatre Album for the cast recording of the musical The Color Purple, she played the role of Celie Harris in the Menier Chocolate Factory production.

Erivo was born to Nigerian immigrants in Stockwell, South London. She attended La Retraite R.C Girls School. Erivo began a music psychology degree at the University of East London, however a year into her degree, she applied and subsequently trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art.

Erivo was also a performer on Grammy night, as she joined John Legend for the show’s In Memoriam segment. The pair sang a simple cover of the Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows,” while a montage of clips of musicians who died over the past year, like Leonard Cohen, George Michael, Prince, Phife Dawg, played in the background.

Erivo first appeared in roles on British television programmes such as Chewing Gum and The Tunnel. Her first stage role was in Marine Parade by Simon Stephens at the Brighton Festival.

Before winning the Grammy award, Erivo had won the Tony award for Best Actress in a Musical for her performance in the same role.

In 2013, Erivo played the role of Celie Harris in the Menier Chocolate Factory production of The Color Purple. Erivo had previously portrayed Sister Mary Clarence/Deloris Van Cartier in the UK tour of the musical stage version of Sister Act which Goldberg also originated in its film adaptation

Before breaking onto the scene with her role in The Color Purple, she had appeared on various British television shows, such as Chewing Gum, and in the UK tour of Sister Act.

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