The 16th Edition of The Headies Awards was held outside Nigeria for the second time in a row. Just like the last time, Atlanta remains the chosen location for the top music artistes, entertainment personalities, and media heads to converge to observe Nigeria’s foremost music award show.
Top artistes like Rema, Asake, Wande Coal, M.I Abaga, and Wale graced the occasion with their radiant personalities. Nollywood superstar Osas Ighodaro and US actor and host Terrence Jenkins were appointed hosts of the event.
The biggest winners of the night are Rema (3), ODUMODUBLVCK (2), Burna Boy (2), Asake (2), and Victony (2). Asake inscribed his name in history books as the only artiste to clinch both the NEXT RATED and ALBUM OF THE YEAR plaques in the same night. He also became one of three male artistes to win ALBUM OF THE YEAR with a debut album (Mr Money With The Vibe).
The women winners of the night are Ayra Starr, Waje, and Libianca. Diddy, Yossou N’Dour, and the late Sound Sultan each received an honorary award.
What’s an award show without artistic performances? Zero. That is why The Headies had ODUMODUBLVK as a show opener. Wande Coal, Spyro, Blaqbonez, Kcee, and Black Sherif also performed their hits to the joy of the crowd.
Full List of Winners:
- BEST RAP SINGLE – DECLAN RICE
- ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
- BEST MALE ARTISTE
- DIGITAL ARTISTE OF THE YEAR
- AFRICAN ARTISTE OF THE YEAR – MR MONEY WITH VIBE
- NEXT RATED
- ALBUM OF THE YEAR
- HEADIES ‘VIEWERS’ CHOICE
- BEST RECORDING OF THE YEAR – SOWETO (with Tempoe)
- BEST AFROBEATS SINGLE OF THE YEAR – LAST LAST
- BEST R&B SINGLE – FOR MY HAND (with Ed Sheeran
- SONG OF THE YEAR – LAST LAST
- BEST ALTERNATIVE SONG:
TINKO TINKO – Obongjayar
- BEST VOCAL PERFORMANCE (MALE):
KPE PASO – Wande Coal
- BEST VOCAL PERFORMANCE (FEMALE):
IN BETWEEN – Waje
- BEST FEMALE ARTISTE:
- BEST R&B ALBUM:
THE BROTHER’S KEEPER – Chike
- BEST MUSIC VIDEO:
CALM DOWN – Director K
- BEST RAP ALBUM
YOUNG PREACHER – Blaqbonez
- LYRICIST ON THE ROLL:
FLY TALK – Payper Corleone
- BEST COLLABORATION:
WHO’S YOUR GUY – Spyro ft. TiwaSavage
- BEST INSPIRATIONAL SINGLE:
EZE EBUBE – Neon Adejo
- BEST WEST AFRICAN ARTISTE OF THE YEAR:
Black Sherif (Ghana)
- BEST NORTH AFRICAN ARTISTE OF THE YEAR:
Grande Toto (Morocco)
- BEST EAST AFRICAN ARTISTE OF THE YEAR:
Diamond Platnumz (Tanzania)
- BEST CENTRAL ARTISTE OF THE YEAR:
- INTERNATIONAL ARTISTE OF THE YEAR:
Selena Gomez (USA)
- SPECIAL RECOGNITION:
- HALL OF FAME:
- INTERNATIONAL ARTISTE RECOGNITION:
Sean “P-Diddy” Combs
Image credit: @The_Headies (X)
1. Nigerian Award Shown in USA:
Like its previous edition, The Headies took place in Atlanta (USA) and was co-anchored by a male American actor. Terrence J. took Anthony Anderson’s spot as Osas replaced Nancy Isime as the female host.
This repetition of events brought a lot of confusion to the Nigerian populace as they had to stay up late at night to watch a Nigerian premier show LIVE from another continent. It was nothing to write home about.
The Headies making such moves shows there is a void in the Nigerian entertainment event-hosting sector. And if such a void is not sealed now, it will only grow wider, springing disrespect for the Nigerian entertainment industry in the long run. Why? If we fail to guard the home court, playing away will only be more difficult. You never hear or see the Grammy or MOBO Awards being held outside their respective county of origin, do you? The same orientation and approach should apply to The Headies.
2. Off Chemistry:
Staying up late at night is enough sacrifice for one to show his/her love for an award show. Such one will only expect he/she is rewarded with quality entertainment and high video resolution. However, to the dismay of this one, neither is the case as the organizers keep rolling over their awful poor quality year-over-year.
Now, for the most part, Nigerians seem to have adapted to those recurrent flaws on the part of The Headies. But a constant complaint that filled social media all night is the off chemistry between the hosts. Osas and Terrence lacked the on-screen gel to host such an important event. Simply put, they failed to complement each other, and it showed. Bad reviews, critics, and trolls have come out to point out their defective performances.
Could this be due to poor planning? Poor organisation by The Headies? Or lack of rehearsals between Osas Ighodaro and Terrence Jenkins? Or some other unknown factors? Only the parties involved can provide adequate answers to these questions.
3. Underwhelming Performances:
Yes, The Headies got top and fast-rising acts to show their crafts through stage performances but all these artistes did (for the most part) was hold a microphone and shout words into it.
Some performers like Spyro and ODUMODUBLVCK need not have backup dancers on stage. Even those who may have required such dancers did not flow so well with them. The dancers positioned themselves in the rare and allowed the artistes to overshadow their efforts. At some point when the artistes tried involving them, they either faltered in their roles or appeared uncoordinated.
As for the artistes, most of them appeared unmotivated maybe because of the stage-audience ratio. This might have slowed down the encouraging reception or ‘vibe’ they usually got.
Only Kcee and the drummer (as seen in the embedded video) appeared to have their performances well crafted.
4. Rema’s Speech:
Rema excellently exercised his freedom of speech after receiving the award for BEST AFRICAN ARTISTE. He advocated for the protection of Nigeria’s entertainment institutions–media houses, award shows, event centres, fans, and the like.
Why? Rema says: “Our institutions are failing.” Hence, the urgency of the speech and Rema’s attendance.
Rema’s acceptance bolsters the first point, shedding light on why we need to gatekeep and protect our premier shows and accomplishments.
5. No Female Show:
Aside from the four categories won by the female artistes, none of them had any other form of involvement in The Headies 16th Edition event.
They failed to show up. As a result, these female artistes could not entertain the audience through special performances. This also means none of the four women winners were available to collect their plaques in person.
Even more confusing is the fact that the LIVE show came to an unusual end. Only the male winners’ announcements aired on TV. Viewers had to switch to social media updates from The Headies for notifications on the categories won by the female stars.
It only goes to show The Headies’ disarray. Work must be done to avoid this from reoccurring.