The inaugural Afrobeat categories at the 2023 Billboard Music Awards witnessed a dual victory for Burna Boy and Rema on Sunday, November 19, 2023.
Burna Boy clinched the title of Top Afrobeats Artiste, while Rema secured the Top Afrobeats Song award for his ‘Calm Down’ remix featuring Selena Gomez.
In a competitive field that included Wizkid, Tems, Rema, and Cameroonian star Libianca, the ‘African Giant’ emerged triumphant, marking history as the pioneer winner of the newly introduced Top Afrobeats Artiste category.
These awards acknowledge outstanding musical accomplishments, taking into account album and digital song sales, streaming figures, radio play, tour success, and social engagement.
During his acceptance speech, Burna Boy expressed gratitude, stating, “Big up, Billboard Music Awards… This is dedicated to Africa and every artist coming out of Africa now. This is for you, and yeah, man, the future’s bright. You guys are gonna see the vision. This is just the tip of the iceberg, but you’re gonna see the whole vision soon.”
Following their Billboard accolades, both Nigerian artists celebrated successful headline performances as part of their global tours. Rema achieved a milestone by selling out the 20,000-capacity O2 Arena in London, UK, on November 14. Simultaneously, Burna Boy made a stop at the Toyota Center in Houston, US, as part of his 16-city tour in support of his latest album ‘I Told Them.’
Amidst the awards, US artist Morgan Wallen dominated the evening with 11 victories, while Taylor Swift emerged as the female artist with the most accolades, securing 10 prizes, including the prestigious ‘Top Artist’ Award.