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Nigerian Superstars Steal the Spotlight as Davido and Rema Top Winners List at Inaugural Trace Awards

Nigerian Superstars Steal the Spotlight as Davido and Rema Top Winners List at Inaugural Trace Awards

Rema and Davido, top winners at the Inaugural Trace Awards - Afrocritik

Legendary singer, Tuface, received a Lifetime Achievement award.

By Helena Olori

Nigerian music genre, Afrobeats, continues its ascension, taking centre stage at the inaugural Trace Awards in Kigali, Rwanda, with Afrobeats powerhouse,  Davido, sensation singer Rema, and Grammy award-winner, Burna Boy, topping the winners’ list.

The star-studded event, organised to celebrate Trace’s 20th anniversary as a global TV and multimedia platform, saw more than 150 nominees across 25 categories of diverse music genres.

Davido clinched two prestigious awards  – Best Male Artiste and Best Collaboration – for his hit track “Unavailable”, featuring South African recorded producer,  Musa Keys.

Davido wins two awards at the inaugural Trace Awards - Afrocritik

Davido and Musa Keys win Best Collaboration for Unavailable at Trace Awards - Afrocritik
Davido and Musa Keys win Best Collaboration for their hit track, “Unavailable”

Rema’s billboard charting track, “Calm Down”, was dubbed the “Song of the Year”, while the Afrobeats sensation – tying with South African singer, Nomcebo – was named the Best Global African Artiste.

Rema's Cal Down wins Song of the Year at Trace Awards - Afrocritik

Rema's Cal Down wins Song of the Year at Trace Awards - Afrocritik

(Read also: Rema’s “Calm Down” with Selena Gomez Wins Inaugural Best Afrobeat Award at the 2023 MTV VMAs)

Taking home the accolade for Album of the Year is Burna Boy’s 2022 Grammys-nominated album, Love, Damini. The African giant beat fellow Nigerian stars, Wizkid, Davido, Kizz Daniel, Asake, and French singer, Aya Nakamura to the title.

Burna Boy wins Album of the Year for Love, Damini at the Trace Awards - Afrocritik

Meanwhile, “Baddie” by Yemi Alade was awarded Best Music Video. The fast-rising singer, Asake, is acclaimed as the Best Artiste Africa – Anglophone.

Outside the competitive categories, a Lifetime Achievement award was bestowed on the legendary Tuface, with Mr Eazi receiving a Change Maker award.

2Face's Lifetime Achievement Awards at the Trace Awards - Afrocritik

Mr Eazi for Change Maker - Trace Awards - Afrocritik

(Read also: Wizkid Makes History as First African Singer to Receive the Brit Billion Award)

Hosted by the ace Nigerian singer, D’banj and Angolan supermodel, Maria Borges, the maiden edition of the awards, held at the BK Arena on Saturday, 21 October, featured electrifying performances from Davido, Yemi Alade, Black Sherif, Kizz Daniel, Rema, Didi B, Viviane Chidid,  and others.

The Trace Awards is a new award franchise created to celebrate the excellence and diversity of Afro-centric music in genres such as Afrobeat, Dancehall, Hip Hop, Afro-pop, Mbalax, and Amapiano.

Inaugural Trace Awards - Afrocritik

See the complete list of nominees and winners below:

Album of the Year

DNK – Aya Nakamura (France)

Maverick – Kizz Daniel (Nigeria)

More Love, Less Ego – Wizkid (Nigeria)

Timeless – Davido (Nigeria)

Work of Art – Asake (Nigeria)

WINNER: Love, Damini – Burna Boy (Nigeria)

Song of the Year

“BKBN” – Soraia Ramos (Cape Verde)

“People” – Libianca (Cameroon)

“Suavemente” – Soolking (France)

“Encre” – Emma’a (Gabon)

“Sugarcane” – Camidoh (Ghana)

“Last Last” – Burna Boy (Nigeria)

“Rush” – Ayra Starr (Nigeria)

“Peru” – Fireboy DML (Nigeria) with Ed Sheeran (UK)

“Sete” – K.O (South Africa)

“Cough” – Kizz Daniel (Nigeria)

“Mortel 06” – Innoss’B (DRC)

WINNER: “Calm Down” – Rema (Nigeria)

Best Music Video

“2 Sugar” – Wizkid (Nigeria) feat. Ayra Starr (Nigeria)

“Kpaflotage” – Suspect 95 (Ivory Coast)

“Loaded” – Tiwa Savage(Nigeria) & Asake (Nigeria)

“Ronda” – Blxckie (South Africa)

“Tombolo” – Kalash (Martinique)

“Yatapita” – Diamond Platnumz (Tanzania)

WINNER: Baddie – Yemi Alade (Nigeria)

Best Male

Asake (Nigeria)

Burna Boy (Nigeria)

Diamond Platnumz (Tanzania)

Didi B (Ivory Coast)

K.O (South Africa)

Rema (Nigeria)

WINNER: Davido (Nigeria)

Best Female

Ayra Starr (Nigeria)

Josey (Ivory Coast)

Nadia Mukami (Kenya)

Soraia Ramos (Cape Verde)

Tiwa Savage (Nigeria)

WINNER: Viviane Chidid (Senegal)

Best Collaboration

“Many Ways” – BNXN (Nigeria) with Wizkid (Nigeria)

“Mine” – Show Dem Camp (Nigeria) with Oxlade (Nigeria)

“Peru” – Fireboy DML (Nigeria) with Ed Sheeran (UK)

“Second Sermon” – Black Sherif (Ghana) with Burna Boy (Nigeria)

“Sete” – K.O (South Africa) with Young Stunna (South Africa), Blxckie (South Africa)

“Stamina” – Tiwa Savage with Ayra Starr (Nigeria) & Young Jonn (Nigeria)

“Trumpet” – Olamide (Nigeria) with Ckay (Nigeria)

WINNER: “Unavailable” – Davido (Nigeria) with Musa Keys (South Africa)

Best Newcomer

Azawi (Uganda)

Krys M (Cameroon)

Libianca (Cameroon)

Nissi (Nigeria)

Odumodublvck (Nigeria)

Pabi Cooper (South Africa)

WINNER: Roseline Layo (Ivory Coast)

Best Producer

DJ Maphorisa (South Africa)

Juls (Ghana)

Kabza de Small (South Africa)

Kel-P (Nigeria)

WINNER: Tam Sir (Ivory Coast)

Best Gospel Artiste

Benjamin Dube (South Africa)

Janet Otieno (Kenya)

Levixone (Uganda)

Moses Bliss (Nigeria)

WINNER: KS Bloom (Ivory Coast)

Best DJ

Danni Gato (Cape Verde)

DJ BDK (Ivory Coast)

DJ Illans (France)

DJ Spinall (Nigeria)

Uncle Waffles (Swaziland)

WINNER: Michael Brun (Haiti)

Best Live

Burna Boy (Nigeria)

Musa Keys (South Africa)

The Compozers (Ghana)

Wizkid (Nigeria)

Yemi Alade (Nigeria)

WINNER: Fally Ipupa (DRC)

Best Dancer

Tayc (France)

Uganda Ghetto Kids (Uganda)

Yemi Alade (Nigeria)

Zuchu (Tanzania)

WINNER: Robot Boii (South Africa)

Best Artiste Africa – Anglophone

Ayra Starr (Nigeria)

Black Sherif (Ghana)

Davido (Nigeria)

Diamond Platnumz (Tanzania)

Fireboy DML (Nigeria)

WINNER: Asake (Nigeria)

Best Artiste Africa – Francophone

Emma’a (Gabon)

Fally Ipupa (DRC)

KO-C (Cameroon)

Locko (Cameroon)

Serge Beynaud (Ivory Coast)

Viviane Chidid (Senegal)

WINNER: Didi B (Ivory Coast)

See Also
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Best Artiste Africa – Lusophone

Gerilson Insrael (Angola)

Perola (Angola)

Plutonio (Mozambique)

Soraia Ramos (Cape Verde)

WINNER: Lisandro Cuxi (Cape Verde)

Best Artiste – North Africa

Amira Zouhair (Morocco)

Artmasta (Tunisia)

El Grande Toto (Morocco)

Kader Japonais (Algeria)

Raja Meziane (Algeria)

WINNER: Dystinct (Morocco)

Best Artiste – East Africa

Bruce Melodie (Rwanda)

Zuchu (Tanzania)

Khaligraph (Kenya)

Nadia Mukani (Kenya)

Azawi (Uganda)

WINNER: Diamond Platnumz (Tanzania)

Best Artiste – Rwanda

Ariel Wayz (Rwanda)

Bwiza (Rwanda)

Chriss Eazy (Rwanda)

Kenny Sol (Rwanda)

WINNER: Bruce Melodie (Rwanda)

Best Artiste – France & Belgium

Aya Nakamura (France)

Booba (France)

Nihno (France)

Ronisia (France)

Soolking (France)

WINNER: Tayc (France)

Best Artiste – UK

Headie One (UK)

Ms Banks (UK)

Raye (UK)

Stormzy (UK)

WINNER: Central Cee (UK)

Best Artiste – The Caribbean

Admiral T (Guadeloupe)

Bamby (French Guiana)

Kalash (Martinique)

Maureen (Martinique)

Popcaan (Jamaica)

Princess Lover (Martinique)

Shenseea (Jamaica)

WINNER: Rutshelle Guillaume (Haiti)


Best Artiste – Indian Ocean

Donovan BTS (Mauritius)

GaEi (Madagascar)

Mik’l (Reunion)

Sega el (Reunion)

Terrell Elymoor (Mayotte)

WINNER: Goulam (Comoros)


Best Artiste – Brazil

Djonga (Brazil)

Iza (Brazil)

Leo Santana (Brazil)

Luedji Luna (Brazil)

WINNER: Ludmilla (Brazil)

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