Now in its 15th year, the annual Headies Award show took place outside of Nigeria for the first time. Setting its print in the pop culture industry, the event had its international debut at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre in North West Atlanta on September 4th. The Headies is a leading Pan African award show celebrating the creme de la creme in Afrobeats, African music, and culture.
Hosted by comedian Anthony Anderson and the glamorous Nigerian actress Osas Ighodaro, this year’s event attracted a large number of international stars alongside African celebrities and household names who attended the event in person from their respective African countries. Nigerian artists who attended the 2022 Headies included Olamide, BNXN, Ladipoe, and Teni, among others. American stars such as Angela Simmons, Lecrae, and Tobe Nwigwe dazzled as they walked the red carpet.
Because Atlanta is home to prominent hip-hop, R&B artists, and record labels, the award organizers said the city is crucial for hosting the awards. The executive producer of the Headies Music Awards, Ayo Animashaun said Atlanta symbolizes the growing relationship between the music industries in the United States and Nigeria and the increasing popularity of Nigerian music in the United States.
“The Headies recognizes outstanding achievements in the Nigerian music industry. Our goal is to continue supporting talent development and nurture innovation in the music industry.”Ayo Animashaum
Grammy award-winning singer, Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun who’s better known as Wizkid, reportedly topped the Headies nomination list with 10 nominations. He and Tems were the top winners of the night. Wizkid bagged nominations in quite a vast number of categories such as the Male Artist Of The Year, African Artist Of The Year, Song Of The Year, Best Music Video, and Best Collaboration categories. He also appeared in other categories such as Best Recording, Best R&B Single, Best Afrobeat Album, Album Of The Year, and Viewers Choice.
IT’S WIZKID’S SHOW
Wizkid and Tems collaborated on the international smash hit song “Essence,” in 2020. It soon became a top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 in October 2021 (with an assist by Justin Bieber). “Essence” won Song of the year, Best R&B single, and Best Collaboration. In addition to their two joint awards, Wizkid won Album Of The Year for Made in Lagos (Deluxe Edition). Tems won Best Female artist and Best R&B album for “If Orange Was a Place”. Another much-expected win was that of Burna Boy who won Best African Artist and Best Male Artist. Focalist took the Best South African Artist title following a much successful Amapiano career.
Other winners include Chris Brown who’s been on tour for the past month; he won the Best International Artist. Davido won the Digital Artist, as well as the Headies 2022 Humanitarian Award. Fireboy DML won the Best Afrobeat Pop Single for his hit song Peru. Nigerian singer, Olamide won the Best Rap Album category for his album Carpe Diem. It is his eleventh studio album, and his first body of work under the American label and distribution company, Empire Distribution. Adekunle Gold won the Song Writer Of The Year accolade.
Nigerian Singer, Daniel Benson popularly called Buju or BNXN, emerged as the winner of the Headies’ Next Rated Award. As the prize, he won the 2022 Bentley Bentayga reportedly worth about $692,254.07 USD.
Photos By: Jerome Dorn (InDaHouseMedia)
ABOUT THE HEADIES
Established in 2006 by the Hip Hop World Magazine of Nigeria, The Headies recognizes outstanding achievements in the Nigerian music industry. The event features performances by established and up-and-coming artists. As of 2018, The Headies is composed of 25 categories and open voting decides the majority of the awards’ categories. However, the Best Record of the Year, Best Rap Album, Best Vocal Performance (Male), Best Vocal Performance (Female), Lyricist on the Roll, and Best Performer categories are not open to public voting. This year’s awards ceremony introduced three new categories: International Artist Of The Year, Best Inspirational single, and Digital Artist Of The Year.
There wasn’t a lot of global publicity around The Headies 2022. This is quite shocking as the event is the most prominent in Afrobeat – a genre that has taken over the world. However, with the International debut having taken place in Atlanta, it can only get better from here. Atlanta is known to provide more visibility to brands. With more Nigerian artists and Afrobeat makers doing more collaborations internationally, 2023 looks promising for The Headies in terms of visibility.
Founder Ayo Animashaum created the image of the Headies and it was drawn by Matthias Aragbada. It represents the image and the shout of a young, vibrant individual. The image of one’s talent can challenge that of renowned local and international artists combined. Yet, who has almost lost confidence in his abilities in the face of discouraging circumstances presented by the Nigerian environment. The plaque was redone in the UK in 2008 and plated with 21-carat gold. The new plaque is a mixture of resin, copper, steel, marble, and gold.
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