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HEADIES 2020: Who Won What?

February 22, 2021 | Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes
Written by Tolu Okunade

Accept it or not, the Headies Awards is Nigeria’s biggest entertainment award ceremony. To put in a better perspective for Novices to Nigeria and the boisterous and extremely talented music industry, I’d define what the Headies Awards is about. The Headies (originally called the Hip Hop World Awards) is a music award show established in 2006 by the Hip Hop World Magazine of Nigeria to recognize outstanding achievements in the Nigerian music industry. 

Winning the Headies is a major highlight in the careers of Nigerian Artists, at some point in their career. For budding superstars, it is believed that clinching the Revelation of the Year Award, Next Rated or Rookie of the Year might be the public recognition and endorsement of their talent that the world needs to see on a bigger stage. It explains why this particular award ceremony is keenly contested.

The 2020 Headies Awards held yesterday, 21st February 2021. It was the 14th Edition. The year-in-review was between July 2019 and September 2020. Like the other editions, the categories were keenly contested. But last night’s awards were a little different. The Corona Virus Pandemic and the Lockdown that followed gave everyone ample time. This did not exempt artists. Since the world was shut down, they didn’t have to travel for shows or tours. They were all home, so it gave them ample time to record more music. Nearly every artist across different genres had a body of work released. 2020 also saw the rise of new artists like Omah Lay, Bella Shmurda, Chike, Zinoleesky and others. So it was extremely difficult to arrive at the winners. Well, here is a list of the winners, category by category:

BEST RECORDING OF THE YEAR

A non-voting category for the best recording (that meets the judges’ requirements of excellence; songwriting, production, rendition) by an artist or group in the year under review.

  • OZYMANDIAS – BRYMO (WINNER)SMILE – WIZKID FEAT. HER
  • WONDERFUL – BURNA BOY
  • DREAMER – FIREBOY DML
  • GHOST TOWN – WURLD

BEST POP SINGLE

A voting category for the best pop single in the year under review (by single individual or group).

  • BILLIONAIRE – TENI
  • NOBODY – DJ NEPTUNE FEAT. JOEBOY & MR. EAZI (WINNER).
  • LADY – REMA
  • FEM – DAVIDO
  • JORO – WIZKID
  • SKELETUN – TEKNO

SONG OF THE YEAR

A voting category for the most popular song in the year under review.

  • FEM – DAVIDO
  • NOBODY – DJ NEPTUNE FEAT. JOEBOY & MR. EAZI (WINNER)
  • JORO – WIZKID
  • MAFO – NAIRA MARLEY
  • DUDUKE – SIMI

PRODUCER OF THE YEAR

An individual who was responsible for producing the most acclaimed song or album in the year under review.

  • PHEELZ – ‘BILLIONAIRE’ BY TENI (WINNER)
  • SPAX – ‘AWAY’ BY OXLADE
  • KEL P – ‘PULL UP’ BY BURNA BOY
  • SARZ – ‘MAD’ BY SARZ & WURLD

BEST RAP ALBUM

A non-voting category for the best album by a rap artist or group in a year under review.

  • GOD’S ENGINEERING – AQ (WINNER)
  • ILLY CHAPO X – ILLBLISS
  • YPSZN2 – PSYCHO YP
  • CULT! – PAYBAC IBORO
  • THE ERIGMA II – ERIGGA

BEST R&B ALBUM

A category for the best R&B album in the year under review (by single individual or group).

  • LAUGHTER, TEARS AND GOOSEBUMPS – FIREBOY DML (WINNER)
  • I LIKE GIRLS WITH TROBUL – SARZ & WURLD
  • KING – PRAIZ
  • BOO OF THE BOOLESS – CHIKE
  • CELIA – TIWA SAVAGE

BEST ALTERNATIVE ALBUM

A category for the best Alternative album in the year under review (by single individual or group).

  • YELLOW – BRYMO
  • LUCID – ASA
  • THE LIGHT – BEZ
  • PIONEERS – DRB LASGIDI
  • ROOTS – THE CAVEMEN (WINNER)

BEST POP ALBUM

A category for the best pop album in the year under review (by single individual or group).

  • APOLLO – FIREBOY DML (WINNER)
  • AFRICAN GIANT – BURNA BOY
  • A GOOD TIME – DAVIDO
  • WOMAN OF STEEL – YEMI ALADE
  • AFRO POP VOL. 1 – ADEKUNLE GOLD

BEST MUSIC VIDEO

A voting category for the best conceptualist, best directed and most exciting video in the year under review. This award goes to the video director.

  • ELI – FIREBOY DML BY CLARENCE PETERS
  • 1 MILLI – DAVIDO BY DIRECTOR K (WINNER)
  • SMILE – WIZKID BY MEJI ALABI
  • BILLIONAIRE – TENI BY TG OMORI
  • SHEKERE – YEMI ALADE BY OVIE ETSEYATSE

BEST R&B SINGLE

A category for the best R&B single in the year under review (by a single individual or group).

  • UNDER THE SKY – PRAIZ
  • DUDUKE – SIMI
  • MAD – SARZ & WURLD
  • BAD INFLUENCE – OMAH LAY
  • TATTOO – FIREBOY DML (WINNER)
  • DANGEROUS LOVE – TIWA SAVAGE

BEST COLLABORATION

A voting category for the best R&B, pop or hip-hop collaborative track (including cameos).

  • KNOW YOU – LADIPOE FEAT. SIMI (WINNER)
  • NOBODY – DJ NEPTUNE FEAT. JOEBOY & MR. EAZI
  • SWEET IN THE MIDDLE – DAVIDO FEAT. NAIRA MARLEY, ZLATAN & WURLD
  • DON’T CALL ME BACK – JOEBOY FEAT. MAYORKUN
  • TOTORI – ID CABASA FEAT. WIZKID & OLAMIDE
  • GET THE INFO – PHYNO FEAT. PHENOM & FALZ

BEST RAP SINGLE

A voting category for a single (released on-air) recording of a rap song.

  • OGB4IG – REMINISCE
  • SHUT UP – BLAQBONEZ
  • COUNTRY – ILLBLISS
  • GET THE INFO – PHYNO, FALZ & PHENOM
  • BOP DADDY – FALZ FEAT. MS. BANKS (WINNER)

BEST VOCAL PERFORMANCE(MALE)

A non-voting category for the single male artiste with the most outstanding vocal performance on a single song or album.

  • WURLD – GHOST TOWN
  • CHIKE – FORGIVE
  • PRAIZ – UNDER THE SKY (WINNNER)
  • COHBAMS – PLENTI
  • NONSO AMADI – WHAT MAKES YOU SURE
  • JOHNNY DRILLE – COUNT ON YOU

BEST VOCAL PERFORMANCE (FEMALE)

A non-voting category for the single female artiste with the most outstanding vocal performances on a single song or album.

  • SIMI – NO LONGER BENEFICIAL
  • LINDSEY ABUDEI – ONE ON THE OUTSIDE
  • NINIOLA – ADDICTED (WINNER)
  • J-DESS – CHI EFO
  • YEMI ALADE – LAI LAI
  • IMANSE – AJALA

NEXT RATED

This category is a voting category for the most promising act in the year under review.

  • TEMS
  • OMAH LAY (WINNER)
  • OXLADE
  • BELLA SHMURDA

  HEADIES REVELATION

A voting category for the best new artiste with a debut album adjudged to be outstanding in terms of artistic quality and impact within the year under review.

  • VICTOR AD
  • FIREBOY DML (WINNER)
  • JOEBOY
  • TENI
  • REMA
  • CHIKE

LYRICIST ON THE ROLL

A non-voting category for the rap artiste with the best lyrical depth and performance on a single song or album.

  • AQ – EUNICE
  • BLAQBONEZ – DEFINE RAP 2
  • MI ABAGA – TRINITY
  • ILLBLISS – COUNTRY (WINNER)
  • PHENOM – GET THE INFO
  • PHYNO – SPEAK LIFE

BEST STREET-HOP ARTISTE

A voting category for the artiste whose songs are inspired by the streets. Such song should captain lingua, which may also be originated by the artiste and popular on the street.

  • NAIRA MARLEY & YOUNG JOHN – MAFO
  • MAYORKUN – GENG (WINNER)
  • REMINISCE FEAT. OLAMIDE & NAIRA MARLEY – INSTAGRAM
  • RUDEBOY – AUDIO MONEY
  • IVD & ZLATAN – BOLANLE
  • OLAMIDE – PAWON

BEST ‘ALTERNATIVE’ SONG

A voting category for the artiste whose songs reflect any form or style of music which falls outside the mainstream of recent or past popular musical trends.

  • CORNER – LADY DONLY FEAT. VANJESS & THE CAVEMEN
  • I WONDER – MOELOGO (WINNER)
  • BITTER – DEENA ADE
  • ANITA – THE CAVEMEN
  • MONEY DEVOTION – GBASKY
  • GOD SAVE THE QUEEN – OLU

ALBUM OF THE YEAR

A voting category for the best album (solo or group) in year under review, that meets judges’ requirements of excellence (songwriting, production, rendition and impact).

  • AFRICAN GIANT – BURNA BOY
  • APOLLO – FIREBOY DML (WINNER)
  • AFRO POP VOL. 1 – ADEKUNLE GOLD
  • YELLOW – BRYMO
  • BOO OF THE BOOLESS – CHIKE

ARTISTE OF THE YEAR

Most critically and commercially adjudged artiste in the year under review. The overall most successful artiste in the year under review.

  • BURNA BOY
  • DAVIDO
  • WIZKID (WINNER)
  • MAYORKUN
  • TIWA SAVAGE

AFRICAN ARTISTE RECOGNITION

A non-Nigerian award category for an individual African artiste or group with the most outstanding achievement, impact and infiltration into the Nigerian music scene in the year under review.

  • MASTER KG (WINNER)
  • KUAMI EUGENE
  • SAUTI SOL
  • SHATTA WALE
  • STONEBWOY

HEADIES’ VIEWER’S CHOICE

A voting category to award the fan’s favourite artiste with the most digital tractions (downloads, views, streams) in the year under review.

  • DAVIDO
  • OMAH LAY
  • BURNA BOY
  • FALZ
  • FIREBOY DML
  • MAYORKUN
  • DJ NEPTUNE
  • WIZKID (WINNER)

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR:

A voting category for the rookie of the year who has had a successful year musically, with the absence of an album in the year under review.

  • OLAKIRA
  • ALPHA P
  • JAMOPYPER
  • ZINOLEESKY
  • BAD BOY TIMZ (WINNER)

SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR:

A non-voting category for the writer of a song (that meets the judges’ requirements of excellence, composition, arrangement, rendition) in the year under review.

  • SIMISOLA BOLATITO OGUNLEYE (SIMI – DUDUKE) (WINNER)
  • ADEDAMOLA ADEFOLAHAN (FIREBOY DML – DREAMER)
  • DAMINI OGULU (BURNA BOY – WAY TOO BIG)
  • STANLEY OMAH DIDIA (OMAH LAY – BAD INFLUENCE)
  • SADIQ ONIFADE (WURLD – GHOST TOWN
  • ADEKUNLE KOSOKO (1 MILLION – DAVIDO)

SPECIAL RECOGNITION:

Special recognition to an individual(s) for excellence and outstanding impact on the entertainment industry.

EEDRIS ABDULKAREEM

TIMAYA

HALL OF FAME:

Special recognition to an individual for excellence and outstanding impact on the entertainment industry.

KING SUNNY ADE

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