BET announced its 2022 nominees on June 1st. In a nominee announcement statement, The Black Entertainment Television network states “this year’s nominees reflect an abundance of creative expression and Black excellence across music, television, film, and sports”. The 22nd BET Awards will take place on June 26th, airing live on BET at 8 p.m. EST from the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles. Award-winning actor, writer, director, producer, and philanthropist Taraji P. Henson is to return as host for this year’s awards.
The “Best International Act” category at the BET Awards was established to proudly honor the creative work of a diverse selection of musicians from across the globe. The nominees for the category include a wide range of singers, MCs, and rhythmic poets. Each truly deserve a turn in the worldwide spotlight but may not be a household name in North America just yet. So, we are here to introduce you to the African nominees.
TEMS – NIGERIA (BEST NEW ARTIST, BEST COLLAB, BEST INTERNATIONAL ACT)
Tems has had a successful entry into the mainstream music scene and it’s no surprise that she’s been nominated at the BETs. After all, she did a feature on “Essence”, one of the biggest songs of 2021. The singer-songwriter released her first breakout record, “Mr. Rebel” in 2018 which afforded her 2 nominations at The Headies, an award show in Nigeria. Tems has now been nominated for the BET awards in 3 categories, Best Collaboration with Wizkid & Justin Bieber in the “Essence” remix, Best New Artist, and Best International Act. Tems is the first African to receive 3 nominations in the same year.
MAJOR LEAGUE DJs – SOUTH AFRICA (BEST INTERNATIONAL ACT)
The Major League DJs have mastered the art of music, especially changing tracks. The duo who started off as Hip Hop DJs are now a masterpiece in the Amapiano Genre. And they have undoubtedly taken the world by storm. The twins recently signed a global deal with the American record label Atlantic Records in March 2022; this comes after they put in a lot of work with a traceable track record in the industry. With much emphasis and highlight on their influence in the Amapiano genre, Major League has carved the path for most Amapiano artists with their music movement the “Balcony Mix Africa” which has introduced many artists to the scene. While this is their first BET nomination, it might be the first of many.
WIZKID – NIGERIA (BEST MALE R&B/POP ARTIST, BEST COLLABORATION)
Wizkid is by far the most successful artist in Africa in terms of accolades. When the Artist Museum released the Top Ten list of the Most Awarded Male Artists of the 2020s in the world, Wizkid came up took 10th place with 55 awards in total. This made him the only African artist on the top ten list. After his album release Made In Lagos, the Nigerian native had multiple nominations including a Grammy which he lost to Angelique Kidjo from the Benin Republic. Despite the loss, Made In Lagos was still very successful. His collaboration with Tems on “Essence”, became a global hit. He later remixed the song with Tems and Justin Bieber. Wizkid is nominated for the Best Male R&B/Pop Artist and Best Collaboration for his global hit remix of “Essence”.
FIREBOY DML – NIGERIA (BEST INTERNATIONAL ACT)
FireBoy DML has been nominated for his first BET Award following a major success in his debut career. The Nigerian R&B star released his debut album Laughter, Tears, and Goosebumps in 2019. It hit 6 million views on Spotify just 3 days after its release. Fireboy DML describes his sound as “Afro-Life” and said he writes songs that audiences can relate to. In February 2022 his song “Peru Remix” featuring Ed Sheeran debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart. The Nigerian artist has gained major media coverage after his song “Scatter” was also included in the FIFA21 game soundtrack. “Champion” was also used by the German professional sports club, FC Bayern Munich for their UEFA Super Cup celebrations. FireBoy DML has been nominated for a BET 2022 Award in the Best International Act category. This is a major success for any new artist.
FALLY IPUPA – DRC (BEST INTERNATIONAL ACT)
Fally Ipupa is a Congolese singer-songwriter, dancer, philanthropist, guitarist, and producer. The 44-year-old was a member of a band called Quartier Latin International from 1999 up to 2006. His solo debut album released in 2006. He won his first solo award in 2007 at the Kora Awards for Best Artist or Group from Central Africa. Fally has multiple nominations and awards including a Grammy nomination in 2009, the MTV Africa Award for best video, and artist of the year. Fally has been nominated 3 times before for the BET Best International Act, and he has won the award twice. This is Fally’s 4th ‘Best International Act’ nomination. Ipupa is no stranger to the BET stage and his track record in the music industry is one for the books.
It’s exciting to see African talent rising globally. Artists like Fally have played a major role in opening doors for younger artists like Tems and Major League DJs. These are artists who have embroidered their names onto globally recognized platforms. It’s no doubt that African music will continue to live on.
BET Awards 2022 nominations are selected by BET’s Voting Academy. The judges are comprised of an esteemed group of entertainment professionals in the fields of music & television. As well as film, digital marketing, sports journalism, public relations, influencers, and creative arts.