When the Grammy Awards air Sunday night, there will be one nominee likely to be missing.
21 Savage, whose real name is Sha Yaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, was taken into custody Sunday in a “targeted operation” in metro Atlanta, The AJC’s J.D. Capelouto reported.
The rapper, who has claimed to be from Atlanta and has long been considered a local act, has been placed in “removal proceedings before the federal immigration courts,” according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman Bryan Cox.
21 Savage is nominated for two Grammys, including the coveted record of the year.
In that category, he nominated with Post Malone for “Rockstar.” “Rockstar” is also nominated for best rap/sung performance, for a solo or collaborative performance containing both elements of R&B melodies and rap.
The rapper has long been considered an Atlanta native, USA Today reported. “He collaborated with Atlanta-based artists Gucci Mane and Zaytoven for the song "East Atlanta Day," in which he rapped that Glenwood Road was the place where he ‘got his first stripe’ at age 13.” His Wikipedia entry even has his birthplace as Atlanta.
In his 2017 debut album, “Issa Album,” the performer sings in “Bank Account” about how he’s “straight up out the 6,” referring to Zone 6 in East Atlanta.
Fans responded with awe after hearing that the longtime ambassador for Atlanta is not in fact a native of the DeKalb area.
Cox, however, said Abraham-Joseph is an “unlawfully present United Kingdom national” who came to the U.S. on a visa in July 2005. His visa expired a year later, Cox said.
The rapper latest album, “I Am > I Was,” was released Dec. 21 and features vocals by J. Cole, Childish Gambino, Schoolboy Q, Post Malone, Offset, Lil Baby, Gunna, and Travis Scott, among others.
The 61st Grammy Awards are 8 p.m. EST, Sunday, Feb. 10, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Alicia Keys is hosting this year’s show, which will air on CBS.
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