The 2023 Trace Awards, held in Kigali, Rwanda, saw Nigerian music sensations Davido and Rema clinching the top awards.
This new awards franchise, initiated by Trace, a global TV and multimedia platform, aims to honour African and Afro-influenced musicians.
Rema’s chart-topping hit “Calm Down” bagged the song of the year award.
Its remix, featuring international pop star Selena Gomez, climbed to No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100. Beyond this, Rema shared the best global African artist award with Nomcebo.
Davido’s Double Win
Davido wasn’t far behind, securing two awards for himself. He was crowned the best male artist and also won the best collaboration award for his song “Unavailable,” which he performed with South African artist Musa Keys.
Other Notable Winners
Burna Boy, another Nigerian artist, walked away with the album of the year award for his work, ‘Love Damini’.
The awards night was graced by performances from around 50 African and Afro-inspired artists, including big names like Yemi Alade, Mr Eazi, and Diamond Platnumz.
The Rise of African Music
Olivier Laouchez, the co-founder of Trace, highlighted the significance of the event, stating, “Tonight has been a triumphant demonstration of the power and creativity of African and African-origin artists.” He emphasized the global impact of African contemporary music.
Recent times have seen other major award shows introducing categories to recognize the influence and reach of African music.
Notably, Wizkid and Rema’s collaboration with Selena Gomez have both received inaugural awards at the American Music Awards and MTV Video Awards, respectively.
The Trace Awards also presented special honours. Nigeria’s 2Face received a lifetime achievement award, while Mr Eazi was acknowledged for his philanthropic efforts with the Change Maker award. The best Global African artist award was presented to both Rema and Nomcebo.
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