The 2022 BET Awards was another prove that Nigerian afrobeats has gone mainstream. Some of the brightest stars in the genre made histories at culture’s biggest night at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, on Sunday, June 26, 2022.
Afrobeats maestro, Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun, known professionally as Wizkid’s Essence which featured Nigerian songstress, Tems, and Canadian popstar, Justin Bieber, won “Best Collaboration”.
“Essence” which was adjudged “Song of the summer” by many music buffs last year, defeated “Every Chance I Get” by DJ Khaled featuring Lil Baby and Lil Durk, “Family Ties” by Baby Keem and Kendrick Lamar, “Kiss Me More” by Doja Cat featuring SZA, “Way 2 Sexy” by Drake featuring Future and Young Thug, and “Whole Lotta Money (Remix)” by Bia featuring Nicki Minaj, to clinched the award.
Wizkid’s “Essence” is the first African song to be nominated and win in a main category at the BET.
However, the Starboy who was also nominated in the Male R&B/Pop Artist category, lost the award to Canadian singer, The Weeknd.
Nigeria’s brightest star of the night, Temilade Openiyi, popularly known as Tems, also won the Best International Act award, making history in the process as the first African artist to win two BET awards in one night.
She defeated Nigerian-British grime rapper, Dave, South African musical group, Major League DJz, French singer, Tayc, legendary Congolese singer, Fally Ipupa, French rapper, Dinos, Brazilian singer, Ludmilla, and fellow Nigerian, Fireboy, to become the Best global star at culture’s biggest night.
Also on the list of history makers for the night, is afrobeats’ golden boy, Fireboy, who became the first Nigerian artiste to perform on the BET mainstage.
It is important to note that Nigerian Grammy-award-winning singer, Burna Boy performed at the BET Hip Hop Awards, and not BET awards mainstage.