In a historic moment for the Afrobeats music genre, Rema’s collaboration with US superstar Selena Gomez, titled ‘Calm Down,’ was honored with the Best Afrobeats Award at the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs). The award ceremony took place at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, on Wednesday morning, and it was a moment of triumph for both artists and the Afrobeats community.
The track ‘Calm Down’ triumphed over stiff competition, including submissions from other renowned Nigerian acts such as Wizkid, Davido, Burna Boy, CKay, and Ayra Starr, as well as Cameroonian singer Libianca.
Rema, who hails from Nigeria, took the stage to accept the award and delivered a heartfelt acceptance speech. He acknowledged the global recognition that Afrobeats is receiving and paid tribute to legendary Nigerian musician Fela Kuti. Rema also recognized the new generation of Afrobeats artists who are pushing the genre to new heights. He concluded by expressing his gratitude to Selena Gomez for collaborating on the track and to the Nigerian music community for their unwavering support.
Selena Gomez, visibly thrilled by the win, expressed her gratitude to Rema for the opportunity to collaborate and extended her thanks to the Nigerian audience for their support.
The Best Afrobeats Award comes on the heels of another significant achievement for ‘Calm Down.’ Just days prior, Spotify announced that the track had become the first African artist-led song to surpass one billion streams on the platform. The song’s popularity transcends borders, with its highest streams recorded in the United States, India, Mexico, Brazil, and the United Kingdom.
The 2023 MTV VMAs also saw US singer Taylor Swift emerge as the night’s biggest winner, scooping up nine trophies, including the coveted Artist of the Year award. Additionally, veteran hip-hop artist and producer Diddy was honored with the Global Icon Award for his outstanding contributions to the music industry.
The 2023 MTV VMAs showcased a diverse array of musical talents across various categories. Some of the other notable winners included Olivia Rodrigo for Song of the Year, David Guetta & Bebe Rexha for Best Collaboration, and Doja Cat for Video of the Year.
With Rema and Selena Gomez’s ‘Calm Down’ winning the Best Afrobeats Award, it is evident that Afrobeats is making a significant impact on the global music scene, and this achievement further solidifies its place in the international music landscape. The collaboration between Rema and Selena Gomez has not only broken streaming records but has also earned critical acclaim, highlighting the power of music to transcend cultural boundaries and unite audiences worldwide.