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MTV VMAs 2023: Rema becomes first African act to win ‘Best Afrobeats’ award

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Nigerian afrobeats artist Rema has become the first African musician to win the ‘Best Afrobeats’ category at the MTV VMAs.

The singer won the award for his collaborative effort with Selena Gomez on the remix of “Calm Down”.

His song was nominated alongside Burna Boy’s ‘It’s Plenty,’ Davido feat Musa Key’s ‘Unavailable,’ Ayra Starr’s ‘Rush,’ Libianca’s ‘People,’ Wizkid feat Ayrra Starr’s ‘2 Sugar,’ and Fireboy DML’s ‘Bandana.

The category was added to the award scheme this year after the Grammys and the American Music Awards announced similar categories in recognition of the genre that originated from Ghana.

“I am so happy… shoutout to the people who opened the doors for me. Big shoutout to Fela who started Afrobeats in the first place. 2Baba, Don Jazzy, D’Banj, D Prince, Runtown, Timaya, Wizkid, Burna Boy, Davido.”

“And I want to give a huge shoutout to the new generation of Afrobeats. We are here to take it to the rest of the world,” Rema said during his acceptance speech.


Multiple award-winning entertainment journalist and founding editor at – I have spent over a decade covering entertainment, gossips and lifestyle around the world. Follow me on my official Twitter, Facebook and Instagram pages: @davidmawuli