The 2023 Headies Snub: Wizkid, Blaise Beats, M.I Abaga & More


This article considers some notable omissions from The 16th Headies nomination lists, diving deep into the possible reasons for the omissions and the likely category(ies) these artistes could have been nominated for.

L-R: Wizkid, Zinoleesky, Reward Beatz, M.I Abaga, Blaise Beats, and Chris Brown

The 2023 Headies nominations, the 16th installment of the Ayo Animashaun-founded award show is set to hold soon, hence, the announcement of categories, old and new alike, nominees and prospective winners are what the entertainment media, music in particular, look forward to discussing every year.

This year’s announcement brought smiles to the faces of many artists but as the olden saying goes, “You cannot please everybody,” some artists, videographers, music personalities, and artist sects (or stans) feel slighted for having their names or that of their favourite artists missing from The 2023 Headies nomination lists. 

This article considers some notable omissions from The 16th Headies nomination lists, diving deep into the possible reasons for the omissions and the likely category(ies) these artistes could have been nominated for. 

• Wizkid 

Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun, known worldwide as Wizkid is perhaps the most-shocking snub from this year’s Headies nomination lists. Wizkid currently holds the record as the most-awarded Headies act; therefore, it brought confusion to the media’s consciousness to find out their beloved superstar did not get noticed by The Headies. 

Last year, Wizkid put out an album (‘More Love, Less Ego’) that was promoted by the viral ‘Bad To Me’ single. So to an average music audience, Wizkid deserved to have been recognised in no fewer than five categories. 

BEST VOCAL PERFORMANCE (MALE) [‘Frames (Who’s Gonna Know)’]; AFRICAN ARTISTE OF THE YEAR; AFROBEATS SINGLE OF THE YEAR [‘Bad To Me’]; HEADIES’ VIEWERS’ CHOICE [‘Bad To Me’]; BEST MALE ARTISTE are some of the categories Wizkid could have been vying for had he been nominated. 

The only logical explanation for Wizkid’s snub at the 2023 Headies nomination list would be that Wizkid and his StarBoy management failed to submit his works before the deadline for the collation of materials to be considered for nomination. 

• Zinoleesky 

In 2022, Zinoleesky had his best career mainstream year. The ever-growing star released anthems on anthems while giving sublime feature verses on other artistes’ songs yet Zinoleesky received zero nomination for the 16th Edition of The Headies. 

Songs such as ‘Rocking’ and ‘Loving You’ could have been recognised for the BEST STREET-HOP ARTISTE and BEST RECORDING OF THE YEAR respectively. While any Zino-featured tracks like ‘Kilometer (Remix)’ and ‘Party No Dey Stop’ could easily have been in the BEST COLLABORATION category. 

• M.I Abaga 

Jude “M.I” Abaga‘s evolution and progress in the Nigerian music scene is awe-inspiring! ‘The Guy,’ M.I’s 2022 album was one of the best-rounded albums across genres; from production to tracklist, to choice of promotional singles, to the in-depth lyrical content – M.I Abaga proved why he is THE GUY. 

To the dismay of the Nigerian and African Hip-Hop community, it was a disappointment to receive the news of M.I’s complete snub from the 2023 Headies nomination list. 

‘Daddy’ and ‘The Guy’ were expected to be included in the LYRICIST ON THE ROLL and BEST RAP SINGLE lists respectively just as fans thought the BEST RAP ALBUM category would be graced by the recognition of ‘The Guy.’

As to why M.I failed to make this year’s list, we can only speculate, stating the same reasons as Wizkid. Otherwise, no logic will be explainable for the rap veteran’s snub. 

• Blaise Beats & Reward Beatz 

When you hear these two producer tags: “Obah!” and “Ba-bangaa” you immediately realise you are in for a treat. The music space of 2022 was decorated by Blaise Beats and newbie Reward Beatz. 

Between each other, they shared hits like ‘Buga (Lo Lo Lo)’ (both); ‘Xtra Cool’ (RB); ‘Call Me Everyday’ (BB); ‘Cough (Odo)’ (BB) but none received consideration for PRODUCER OF THE YEAR nod. 

• Chris Brown 

For Chris Brown unwavering steadfast support of Afrobeats and continued collaboration with homegrown acts like Wizkid (‘Call Me Everyday’), Lojay (‘Monalisa’ remix), Davido (‘Nobody Has To Know’), Rema (‘Time N Affection’), Fireboy DML (‘Diana’) in 2022, no other international artists deserves a nod for INTERNATIONAL ARTIST OF THE YEAR more than Breezy.  

All these omissions completely put a new perspective to the outcome of The Headies 16th Edition and we cannot wait to see the unraveling of events. 

For the full nomination list of this year’s Headies, click here


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