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Burna Boy and Rema Shine Bright in Debut Afrobeats Categories at 2023 Billboard Music Awards


Burna Boy and Rema achieved success in the first-ever Afrobeats categories at the 2023 Billboard Music Awards on Sunday, November 19. This awards ceremony marked a significant moment as Burna Boy earned the Top Afrobeats Artist title, while Rema’s ‘Calm Down’ remix featuring Selena Gomez won the esteemed Top Afrobeats Song award.

In the face of intense competition from industry giants like Wizkid, Rema, Tems, and Cameroonian sensation Libianca, Burna Boy made history as the inaugural recipient of the newly established Top Afrobeats Artiste category. His profound influence on the genre and widespread acclaim firmly established him as a trailblazer in the Afrobeats movement.

Rema, the vibrant and emerging Afrobeats artist, secured a win in the inaugural Top Afrobeats Song category with his chart-topping ‘Calm Down’ remix featuring international pop sensation Selena Gomez. The track emerged victorious among strong contenders, including Ayra Starr’s ‘Rush’, Oxlade’s ‘Ku Lo Sa’, Libianca’s ‘People’, and Victony’s ‘Soweto’ featuring Rema and Don Toliver. This triumph serves as another testament to Rema’s musical talent and his knack for captivating a worldwide audience.


The introduction of Afrobeats categories in the Billboard Music Awards underscores the genre’s unmistakable impact and worldwide appeal. The acknowledgment of talents such as Burna Boy and Rema affirms Afrobeats’ capacity to transcend geographical boundaries and resonate with audiences across the globe.

The 2023 Billboard Music Awards stand out as a pivotal moment in the advancement of Afrobeats, marked by the leadership of Burna Boy and Rema. As the genre continues to charm audiences on a global scale, these victories symbolise a promising future for Afrobeats on the international platform, with Nigerian artists taking a leading role in the movement.

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