Why Wizkid is Africa’s Biggest Artist of the Year 2021

What a year for Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun, professionally known as Wizkid – Apple announced the winners of the third annual Apple Music Awards, recognizing the best artists of 2021 and their influence on global culture.

In a statement, Apple Music Awards honored achievements in music across five distinct categories — Artist of the Year, Songwriter of the Year, Breakthrough Artist of the Year, Top Song of the Year, and Top Album of the Year — and winners are chosen through a process that reflects both Apple Music’s editorial perspective and what customers around the world are listening to the most.

Apple Music Awards will introduced a new category of awards for Regional Artist of the Year, recognizing artists from five countries and regions: Africa, France, Germany, Japan, and Russia.

Wizkid made the roll call as one of the top artists – This year alone, the 31-year-old musician has collaborated with the likes of Drake, Justin Bieber and South Africa’s very own Kabza De Small.

The Regional Artist of the Year awards recognize artists who made the greatest impact culturally and on the charts in their respective countries and regions. “The past 12 months have proved to be a remarkable year for music, and we’re thrilled to honor the artists who are shaping culture and connecting with fans around the world on Apple Music,” said Oliver Schusser, Apple’s vice president of Apple Music and Beats. “This year we’re also recognizing more regional artists, showing the world the impact of extraordinary talented musicians who are making waves globally.”

Wizkid’s hit single Essence featuring songstress Tems, has achieved 125 million plays on Apple Music. 

“Thank you to Apple Music for this award. It’s a blessing to get to do what I do and I’m proud to be representing for Africa,” he said.

Wizkid sold out his O2 Arena show in 12 minutes. Two more dates were added at the 20,000-capacity venue, both of which proceeded to sell out as well: the second in just two minutes – fans stormed the entrance gates for the first of the shows to watch him perform.

It is not just Apple Music, Spotify, the audio streaming and media services provider, has named Wizkid as the most-streamed artiste in Nigeria on the platform for 2021.

This is coming barely a few hours after Apple Music named the Grammy-winning singer as its ‘African Artiste of the Year’.

A list revealed by Spotify showed on Wednesday showed top artistes and songs that got more engagements on the platform for the outgoing year.

The list also examined five different categories which include most-streamed artistes, most-streamed female artiste and most-streamed tracks in Nigeria for 2021.

Other categories are most-streamed albums and most-streamed playlists in Nigeria for the year reviewed.

Tems emerged as the most-streamed female artiste in Nigeria on the list following an impressive year while ‘Feeling’, a hit song by Ladipoe, was named the most-streamed track. The deluxe version of Wizkid’s ‘Made in Lagos’ album was named Nigeria’s most-streamed album on the platform.

In November, Grammy Academy announced the 2022 Grammy Awards nominations list in a Livestream from the GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles, which featured Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr. and Board of Trustees Chair Tammy Hurt, as well as some special guests.

Wizkid was nominated for the Best Global Music Performance alongside other African superstars, including Femi Kuti, Burna Boy, Terms and Angelique Kidjo.

The Nigerian Afrobeat Star’s album Made In Lagos was nominated for Best Global Music Album at the 64th Grammy Award show. He faces competition from Femi Kuti and Made Kuti’s Legacy +, Angelique Kidjo’s Mother Nature and Rocky Dawumi’s Voice of Bunbon Volume I.

Wizkid and Burna Boy won their first-ever Grammy at the 2021 Awards. Wizkid won the Grammy award for his collaboration with Singer Beyonce and her daughter Blue Ivy for the track Brown Skin Girl in the Best Music Video category.

Wizkid’s 2022 Grammy Awards nomination is one of the singer’s notable feats of the year. Early this month, he won the Best African Act award at the 2021 MTV Europe Music Awards (MTV EMA). 

He also recorded the global success of his Made in Lagos albumincluding the smash hit ‘Essence’ featuring Terms.

The singer was also shortlisted for the Best African Music Act and Best International Act at the UK’s 2021 Music of Black Origin (MOBO) Awards. 

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