The Headies; The Global Awards for Afrobeats Music Hits The World Stage.
During a private media and VIP brunch in Hollywood, Ayo Animashaun, founder and executive producer of The Headie Awards – the global music awards show celebrating excellence in African music – officially kicked off the #RoadMapToTheHeadies. This year, The Headies will be broadcast from the United States for the first time in its 15-year history. Nikita Adams, head of television for Folding Chair Productions
Since 2006, The Headies have recognized outstanding achievements in Nigerian music. As the music industry across the continent continued to grow, giving rise to mega stars like Wizkid (Nigeria), TooFan (Togo), Fally Ipupa (Democratic Republic of Congo), Sarkodie (Ghana) and past award recipient Yemi Alade (Nigeria), The Headies also became a bold celebration of the various genres and sounds evolving from more traditional African music. Over the course of the awards’ wildly successful run, The Headies have become the most coveted prize for African artists and music industry stakeholders.
Other past winners at The Headies have included pioneering Afrobeats artists like D’Banj, 2Baba (formerly known as Tuface), and M.I.; as well as contemporary artists of the genre, including Davido, Tems and Tiwa Savage. The Headies trophy itself encapsulates the bold exuberance of the African youths who have pushed the music industry forward over the course of the past few years. Conceptualized by Animashaun and designed by artist Wale Adewoye, the plaque is made of precious elements, including copper, steel, marble and gold. It depicts the image and shout of a young, vibrant individual whose talent can challenge that of renowned local and international artists, but who finds himself nearly discouraged by his circumstances. Today, it stands as a testament to the many African artistes who have circumvented those challenges to become global superstars in their own right, while standing as a beacon of possibility for up-and-coming talent across the continent.
With African artistes and Afrobeats music creating a massive audience and finding tremendous success on US airwaves over the past few years, hosting The Headies in Atlanta this year can not be better timed. The list of nominees, which was announced on May 22, features several acts who have helped introduce Afrobeats and Afropop music to American audiences. Wizkid’s inescapable Tems-assisted hit “Essence” is nominated in four categories, with both artists also nominated individually in a number of categories. Ahead of the show, fans in Africa are invited to vote for their favorite artists across 22 Headie Awards categories, including Next Rated, for which the prize includes a Bentley Bentayga! Voting instructions can be found here.
Patoranking, who co-starred alongside Beyonce on her 2020 Lion King: The Gift single “Already” has also earned several nominations, including “Best Reggae & Dancehall Album.” American artists Brandy, D Smoke and Lucky Daye have each earned nominations for their guest appearances alongside Nigerian stars Tiwa Savage, Fireboy Dml and Adekunle Gold, respectively. Newly minted reality TV stars Diamond Platinumz and 2Baba (Netflix’s Young, Famous & African) are also among the 2022 nominees. During the presentation, The Headies will also acknowledge globally renowned legend Angelique Kidjoe as the 2022 Hall of Fame Honoree.
This year The Headies have also expanded to include an “International Artiste of the Year” category – one of three new awards being added to the program. The inaugural international nominees are Beyonce, Chris Brown, Drake, Ed Sheeran, Justin Bieber, and Nas. Additionally, this year will see prizes handed out for “Best Inspirational Single” and “Digital Artiste of the Year,” which will recognize the artist with the most outstanding achievement and impact digitally in the year under review. Nominees include Burna Boy, Davido, and CKay, whose single “Love Nwantiti” was a social media favorite in the year under review. The new additions bring the total number of awards to be presented to 37, 15 of which are selected by jury, along with the Hall of Fame Honoree. The full list of 2020 Headie Awards nominees can be found here.
While The Headies Awards will be produced in the U.S. this year, this bold showcase of talent will air in 89 countries around the world, including 44 countries across the continent of Africa on satellite and terrestrial and across several digital platforms around the world.
The 2022 Headies will be held at the Cobb Galleria Center in Atlanta on September 4, 2022.