In a groundbreaking moment at the 2023 MTV Europe Music Awards, Nigerian sensation Divine Ikubor, widely recognized as Rema, etched his name in music history by clinching the maiden “Best Afrobeats” award. This accolade signifies a significant milestone in the artist’s career, as organizers introduced this new category to honor the ever-evolving Afrobeats genre.
The category boasted an illustrious lineup of nominees, including French superstar Aya Nakamura and renowned Nigerian talents such as Asake, Ayra Starr, Burna Boy, Davido, and Rema. The competition was fierce, but it was Rema who stood tall, earning the prestigious “Best Afrobeats” award.
Notably, the award ceremony faced an unexpected cancellation due to the Israel-Hamas conflict. Nonetheless, the excitement and anticipation remained palpable as fans eagerly awaited the official announcement of winners on Sunday, November 6, 2023.
In addition to Rema’s remarkable win, Tanzanian sensation Diamond Platnumz emerged as the “Best African Act,” further highlighting the global reach of African music.
Regrettably, Rema and Selena Gomez’s collaborative masterpiece, ‘Calm Down,’ faced formidable opposition and lost the “Best Collaboration” category, with the honor going to Jung Kook and Latto for their enthralling track ‘Seven.’
Meanwhile, Burna Boy, the Grammy-winning Nigerian icon, encountered a night of disappointment, missing out on not one but three awards: “Best Afrobeats,” “Best African Act,” and “Best Live Performer.” This setback adds to his recent string of losses, following seven nominations without a win at the 2023 BET Hip-Hop Awards.
In a league of her own, American pop sensation Taylor Swift commanded the evening, clinching a triumphant trifecta with awards for “Best Video,” “Best Artist,” and “Best Live.”
The 2023 MTV Europe Music Awards provided a blend of thrilling surprises and unforeseen disappointments, making it an unforgettable night for artists and fans alike.