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Kechi Okwuchi Did Not Win America’s Got Talent But She Won Our Hearts

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Kechi Okwuchi before and after the plane crash

Kechi Okwuchi before and after the plane crash

America’s Got Talent 2017 crowned its winner and it is not Nigerian Semi Finalist Kechi Okwuchi. However, Okwuchi’s performances did land her a huge prize – our hearts. Her song selections resonated with so many. Seeing her sing them as she wears the scars of the fatal crash that took the lives of over 100 passengers in 2005 drove a powerful message home; When you are knocked down by life, you can pick up the pieces and rise back up again.

As I listened to her sing renditions of some of my favorite songs, my eyes welled up; not in pity of her situation – oh no. My eyes welled up in admiration of her strength and how she gracefully bears the scars of her traumatic and devastating accident.  Her performance of Ray Charles’ “This Song For You“, did it for me. I doubt there were many dry eyes in the room. 

Her performances moved the ever so opinionated and unapologetic Simon Cowell to go out of character with praise. He called her performance of Estelle’s “Conqueror” and ‘anthem’. There wasn’t a single judge on the panel, not Mel B or Heidi Klum who were left unaffected by Kechi. Here are just a few of her performances. You judge for yourself.

 

 

Lyrics of Some Songs Kechi Okwuchi Performed

Estelle’s “Conqueror”

 
Estelle’s “Conqueror” Lyrics

Life is like a big merry-go-round
You’re up and then down
Going in circles tryin’ to get to where you are
Everybody’s been cutting you out
But where are they now?
Sitting in the same old place
Just faces in the crowd
We all make mistakes
You might fall on your face
But you gotta get up!

I’d rather stand tall
Than live on my knees
‘Cause I am a conqueror
And I won’t accept defeat
Try telling me no
One thing about me
Is I am a conqueror
I am a conqueror
Ooh oh

Got a vision that no one else sees
Lot of dirty work, roll up your sleeves
Remember there’s a war out there
So come prepared to fight!
You never know where the road leads ya
Not everyone’s gonna believe ya
And even though they’re wrong,
Don’t prove ’em right

I’d rather stand tall
Than live on my knees (Can’t live on my knees)
‘Cause I am a conqueror
And I won’t accept defeat
Try telling me no
One thing about me
Is I’m a conqueror
I am a conqueror
Oh oh (Ooh ooh)

I am a conqueror

We all make mistakes
You might fall on your face
But you gotta get up!
We all make mistakes
You might fall on your face
Don’t ever give up!

I’d rather stand tall
Than live on my knees
‘Cause I am a conqueror
And I won’t accept defeat
Try telling me no
One thing about me
Is I am a conqueror
I am a conqueror
Oh oh

I am a conqueror, oh no

We all make mistakes
You might fall on your face
But I am a conqueror

Written by Jaramye Daniels, Sharif Slater, John Lardieri, Akil King, Claude Kelly, Kyle Owens, Angel Leona Higgs, Estelle Swaray, Author Unknown Composer • Copyright © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, BMG Rights Management US, LLC

Frances’ “Don’t Worry About Me”

 

Frances’ “Don’t Worry About Me” Lyrics

I’ll feel the fear for you, I’ll cry your tears for you
I’ll do anything I can to make you comfortable
Even if I fall down when you’re not around
Don’t worry about me, don’t worry about me

‘Cause if I fall, you’ll fall
And if I rise, we’ll rise together
When I smile, you’ll smile
And don’t worry about me, don’t worry about me

I’ll feel the fear for you, I’ll cry your tears for you
I’ll do anything I can to make you comfortable
Even if I fall down when you’re not around
Don’t worry about me, don’t worry about me

I’ll climb the hills you face, I’ll do this in your place
I’d do anything to go through it instead of you
But even if I fall down when you’re not around
Don’t worry about me, don’t worry about me

‘Cause if I fall, you’ll fall
And if I rise, we rise together
When I smile, you’ll smile
And don’t worry about me, don’t worry about me

‘Cause if I fall, you’ll fall
And if I rise, we rise together
When I smile, you’ll smile
And don’t worry about me, don’t worry about me

‘Cause if I fall, you’ll fall
And if I rise, we’ll rise together
When I smile, you’ll smile
And don’t worry about me, don’t worry about me
Don’t worry about me, don’t worry about me

Written by Sophie Frances Cooke • Copyright © Universal Music Publishing Group
 

Katy Perry’s “By The Grace of God”

 
Katy Perry’s “By The Grace of God” Lyrics

Was 27 surviving my return to Saturn
A long vacation didn’t sound so bad
Was full of secrets locked up tight like iron melting
Running on empty, so out of gas

Thought I wasn’t enough and I wasn’t so tough
Laying on the bathroom floor
We were living on a fault line
And I felt the fault was all mine
Couldn’t take it any more

By the grace of God (there was no other way)
I picked myself back up (I knew I had to stay)
I put one foot in front of the other and I
Looked in the mirror and decided to stay
Wasn’t gonna let love take me out
That way

I thank my sister for keeping my head above the water
When the truth was like swallowing sand
Now every morning
There is no more morning oh I
Can finally see myself again

I know I am enough
Possible to be loved
It was not about me
Now I have to rise above
Let the universe call the bluff
Yeah the truth will set you free

By the grace of God (there was no other way)
I picked myself back up (I knew I had to stay)
I put one foot in front of the other and I
Looked in the mirror and decided to stay
Wasn’t gonna let love take me out

That way no
There ain’t no
Not in the name of love
In the name of love (in the name of love)
That way
There ain’t no
I’m not giving up

By the grace of God
I picked myself back up
I put one foot in front of the other and I
Looked in the mirror (looked in the mirror)
Looked in the mirror (looked in the mirror)

By the grace of God (there was no other way)
I picked myself back up (I knew I had to stay)
I put one foot in front of the other and I
Looked in the mirror and decided to stay
Wasn’t gonna let love take me out
That way

Written by Greg Wells, Katy Perry • Copyright © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, BMG Rights Management US, LLC

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Celebrities

Soweto Gospel Choir Beat Three African Nominees to Win Third Grammy

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The annual Grammy Award is a celebration of music achievements in over 80 categories. Of all the categories, the Best World Music Album is reserved for international performers exhibiting “non-European, indigenous traditions”. Four African Albums were nominated for this category in the 61st Grammy Award. This includes;

‘Black Times’ by Seun Kuti – You can get the album here

‘Fenfo’ by Fatoumata Diawara – you can get the album here

‘Deran’ by Bombino – you can get the album here

‘Freedom’ by the Soweto Gospel Choir – you can get it here

However, it was the Soweto Gospel Choir that took home the award for their album, Freedom.

The annual celebration for the coveted award took place on Sunday 10th February 2019. However, this is not the first time that the group will be taking home the award. In fact, it is their third win in five nominations. The album ‘Freedom’ is a rendition of popular South African liberation struggle songs. Mulalo and Mary Mulovhedzi, and album producer Diniloxolo Ndlakuse Shimmy Jiyane were on stage to receive the award on behalf of the group.

poses in the press room during the 61st Annual GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on February 10, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.

Interesting details about the album

The Choir recorded the album in June 2018 as a tribute to Nelson Mandela’s 100 Years celebration. Nelson Mandela died in 2013 at the age of 95. The album is a collection of famous South African struggle songs. A worthy inclusion in the album is a brilliant version of ‘Asimbonanga’ by Johnny Clegg. The album release happened in the United States in 2018. The group also completed a three-month tour in the United States. The group will perform songs from the album in Cape Town Jazz Festival coming up in March. Soweto Gospel Choir also plans Australasia album tour from July to September 2019.

History and previous awards

David Mulovhedsi co-founded the group with Beverly Bryer, a producer, and director 17 years ago. The group won the Grammy in ‘Best Traditional World Music Album’ category in 2007. In 2008 they also took home the award in the same category for their album ‘African Spirit’. The win at the just-concluded 61st Grammy Award makes it their third. The group has also won the Metro FM Music Award and four South African Music Awards. Soweto Gospel Choir’s collaboration with pop icon U2 also won the Emmy.

The president of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa took to Twitter to congratulate the group for their win. He wrote,

“Congratulations to the Soweto Gospel Choir for being awarded the Best World Music album for ‘Freedom’ at the #Grammys. This is the choir’s third Grammy award and we thank them for telling our story to the world and flying the flag high.”

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Celebrities

Davido Is Second Nigerian Artist To Sell Out The 20000 Seat London O2 Arena

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Musicians always strive to increase their fanbase. The multiple award-winning superstar David Adeleke, popularly known as Davido recently sold out the O2 Arena, London. Although the artist frequently performs in front of large audiences, selling out the O2 Arena is a big deal. Most importantly, it shows the appreciation of his music abroad.

On the night of January 27, 2019, he thrilled a crowd of about 20,000 fans. His energetic performance cuts across old and new hit songs. Celebrities at the event include Naomi Campbell, Tim Westwood, and the Editor of British Vogue magazine Edward Enninful. Idris Elba was on stage to introduce the superstar. In 2018 Wizkid’s AfroRepublik concert sold out the same venue. Davido made it clear that it was also his dream to achieve the same feat. Besides Davido and Wizkid, only a few artists in Africa can boast of the same achievement. Therefore, artists who do consider it a great milestone.

A recap of what happened at the event

First of all, international DJ Tim Westwood and Nigerian DJ Ecool entertained the crowd in preparation for the main event. Thereafter, rising artists like Dremo, Idowest, Mayorkun, Yonda, and Zlatan thrilled the fan. These artists are all signed to the DMW record label owned by Davido. Other artists on stage to support the superstar were Victor AD and Tomi Agape.

After Davido’s introduction by Idris Elba, he appeared on stage on a suspended platform. The superstar got loud cheers from his eagerly anticipating fans. All the artists who performed that night were exceptional. However, the overwhelming cheer made it clear who the audience wanted to see. He cranked up his performance with his smash hit ‘Aye’ before switching to other hit songs. Some of the songs he performed include ‘Assurance’, ‘Dami Duro’, ‘Fall’ and ‘If’. While performing ‘Assurance’, he brought his girlfriend to the stage. The lovebirds shared a passionate kiss to the admiration of fans.

A proud display of cultural heritage

Davido is one artist that is proud of his identity and we love it!

He appeared on stage rocking the hand-beaded bomber jacket created by the OKUNOREN brothers, Taiwo and Kehinde. The brothers started the brand in 2002 importing men’s wear.  However, many years later, they revolutionized the brand to focus more on local content. The dark jacket was creatively designed using colorful beads. Speaking about the jacket the brothers said,

This is a piece from the sacred yet to be released collection. The creation of the collection requires a deep understanding of the divinity of the Yoruba people.”

This is not the first time Davido is proudly displaying his Yoruba heritage. He frequently speaks about his local food in interviews. This may be because the Yorubas are naturally inclined to their culture. The Yorubas are one of the three dominant ethnic groups in Nigeria. They dominate the South-western part of the country.

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Arts & Culture

Janet Jackson gives off a Wakanda vibe in her new song with Daddy Yankee

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Its touchdown people! She did it again! one of the most amazing artist of all times, yours truly Janet Jackson has done another masterpiece alongside Daddy Yankee.  This time she brings the Wakanda vibe to life in a vibrant colorful display of artistry and entertainment.

The addictive melody and colorful afrocentric pieces had me in my closet pulling out my ankara dress and move to the beat in pure celebration of the lighthearted joy that this song brings. The melody will have you dancing no matter who or where you are. All you have to do is listen with your heart and feel the positive energy flowing from the sound.The images and actions speak for themselves,they tell a beautiful story.Yes we all are made for now! Almost everyone in the video is dressed in African fabric,with different colors and patterns.

Watch the Video Here 

From shorts, to gowns, to jackets and shirts – quite the combination too. She went all out with the scarfs and exotic necklaces, all designed to suit her visually captivating style.

If you think that is awesome check out the accessories in the video. What! The different necklaces used  says beauty, royalty, strength and confidence. Daddy Yankee rolled with the vibe too.

Did you see the car yet? if you didn’t notice, it has an African design to it. The graffiti designs on the wall, the contagious dance moves from the entire crew … Everything about this song says gives a Wakanda flavor. The only missing piece was the Wakanda greeting,  if you know what i mean.

'If you're livin' for the moment Don't stop, and celebrate the feelin' Go up, if you're livin' for the moment Don't stop, 'cause there ain't no ceilings Go up' - Made for now by Janet Jackson Click To Tweet

The song talks of a people, a culture, a love so strong nothing else matters. And unity is strength which means it is time to join together and seize the moment. No waiting for tomorrow because we are all made for now!!! 

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