The Soweto Gospel Choir has made South Africa and Africa proud by winning a Grammy award for the Best World Music Album, for their album ‘Freedom’ at the 61st Grammy Awards, in Los Angeles.
The Choir has previously won two Grammys, in 2008 and 2007, both in The Best Traditional World Music Album category. This was the group’s fifth nomination in this category.
The choir has received numerous congratulatory messages, including one from the president of South Africa. President Cyril Ramaphosa wrote on Twitter: “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”.
— Soweto Gospel Choir (@Sowetogospel) February 11, 2019
The Soweto Gospel Choir was formed in November, 2002 and in December, 2002 their first album “Voices of Heaven” was recorded and went on to reach the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s World Music Chart within 3 weeks of its release in the US.
In February 2007, the Choir received its greatest accolade, a Grammy Award for their second CD “Blessed”, in the category “Best Traditional World Music”. They were also nominated for the 26th International Reggae and World Music Awards, held at the Apollo Theatre, Harlem, on 5 May, in the category “Contribution to World Music”, alongside Jimmy Cliff, Salif Keita, Youssou N’Dour and Ziggy Marley.
The Soweto Gospel Choir has won several other awards in the past which include, two gospel awards (US): Best International Artist, Helpmann Award (Australia): Best Music Concert, three SAMAs (South Africa): Best Live DVD, Best Duo/Group, Best International Achievement among others. The Choir also won an EMMY for their collaboration with global pop icons U2 as part of ESPN’s 2010 FIFA World Cup coverage.