VMA’s Inaugural ‘Best Afrobeats’ Award Won By African Artist Rema
Nigerian artist Rema made history this week as the first recipient of the “Best Afrobeats” Award at the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards and the first African artist to reach over a billion streams on Spotify.
At the VMAs Rema’s “Calm Down” with Selena Gomez won the inaugural Best Afrobeats song, a sign of music genre’s continued presence across America’s mainstream music scene.
Ahead of his big win, Rema shared how “blessed” he was to be present for the VMAs as a nominee.
“It’s a big honor. Big shout out to the VMAs,” he told The Hollywood Reporter.
— The Hollywood Reporter (@THR) September 13, 2023
He credited Gomez for the “huge” opportunity to collaborate on his song which was already well-received. But it reached a wider audiences when the pop star/Only Murders in the Building actress hopped on his track.
“It’s been a big one for the culture and I’m really glad about the doors that that afrobeats song has broken,” Rema said.
“Calm Down” peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in June and has spent over 50 weeks at No. 1 on Billboard’s U.S. Afrobeats songs chart in total.
Rema’s win at the VMAs came just days after Spotify announced “Calm Down” as the first song from an African artist to join Spotify’s Billions Club—that is reaching over a billion streams.
“It’s a blessing. It’s not just a big win for me, my team, and family; it’s also a big one for the culture,” he said.
“I feel really happy, and I’m really proud of the fans as well for going back to the song and putting people onto the song. Shout-out to the DJs and everyone who made this possible.”
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