Nigeria: 2023 Billboard Awards – Burna Boy, Rema Win Inaugural Afrobeat Categories

The duo of Burna Boy and Rema have won the inaugural Afrobeat categories at the 2023 Billboard Music Awards held on Sunday, November 19, 2023.

Burna Boy won the Top Afrobeats Artiste, while Rema’s ‘Calm Down’ remix featuring Selena Gomez snagged the gong for the ‘Top Afrobeats Song’.

The ‘African Giant’ crooner beat stiff competitions from Wizkid, Rema, Tems, and Cameroonian star, Libianca, on his way to making history as the first-ever winner of the newly-created ‘Top Afrobeats Artiste’ category.

The awards recognise remarkable achievements in music, considering factors such as album and digital song sales, streaming numbers, radio airplay, touring success and social engagement.

“Big up, Billboard Music Awards,” Burna Boy said in his acceptance speech that, “Big up to everyone involved. This is dedicated to Africa and every artist coming out of Africa now, you get me. This is for you and yeah, man, the future’s bright. You guys are gonna see the vision. This is just the tip of the iceberg but you’re gonna see the whole vision soon.”

For the Nigerian popstars, the Billboard accolades followed successful headline shows as part of their respective world tours. On November 14, Rema became the latest Afrobeats star to sell out the 20,000-capacity O2 Arena in London, UK, while, Burna Boy stopped by the Toyota Center in Houston, US, as part of a 16-city marathon in support of his new album ‘I Told Them’.

Meanwhile, US act Morgan Wallen emerged as the night’s leading recipient with 11 victories, while Taylor Swift claimed the most accolades among female artists, securing 10 prizes, including the prestigious ‘Top Artist’ Award.

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