Some of the biggest names in Afrobeats descended on metropolitan Atlanta, Georgia, over the weekend for The Headies.
Now in its 15th year, Sunday’s event was the first time ever that the annual show took place outside of Nigeria. The Headies is the leading Pan African awards show that celebrates the very best in Afrobeats, African music, and culture.
Hosted by comedian Anthony Anderson and glamorous Nigerian actress Osas Ighodaro this year’s event attracted a slew of stars Stateside along with big-name Africans that flew in directly from the motherland. Nigerian artists who attended included Olamide, BNXN, Ladipoe, and Teni, among others. Closer to home stars such as Angela Simmons, Lecrae, and Tobe Nwigwe walked the red carpet.
Grammy award-winning singers Wizkid and Tems were the top winners at the awards show that was held at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.
Wizkid and Tems collaborated on the international smash “Essence,” which became a top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 in October 2021 (with an assist by Justin Bieber). “Essence” won song of the year and best R&B single. In addition to their two joint awards, Wizkid won album of the year for Made in Lagos (Deluxe Edition), while Tems won best female artiste and best R&B album for If Orange Was a Place.
Established in 2006 by the Hip Hop World Magazine of Nigeria recognize outstanding achievements in the Nigerian music industry. The event features performances by established and up-and-coming artists.
As of 2018, The Headies is composed of 25 categories. Open voting decides the majority of the awards’ categories. However, the Best Recording of the Year, Best Rap Album, Best Vocal Performance (Male), Best Vocal Performance (Female), Lyricist on the Roll, and Best Performer categories are not open to public voting.
This year’s awards ceremony introduced three new categories: international artiste of the year, best inspirational single, and digital artiste of the year.
The image of The Headies was created by Ayo Animashaum, the founder of the awards, and was drawn by Matthias Aragbada. The first Headie plaque was done by Jide Adewoye. It represents the “image and the shout of a young, vibrant individual whose talent can challenge that of renowned local and international artistes combined, but who has almost lost confidence in his abilities in the face of discouraging circumstances presented by the peculiar Nigerian environment.” In 2008, the plaque was redone in the United Kingdom. It was plated with 21-carat gold. The new plaque is a mixture of resin, copper, steel, marble, and gold.