VMAs 2023: Rema Remembers Fela, Others as He Wins Afrobeats Award

Rema and Selena Gomez at the 2023 VMAs

VMAs 2023: Rema Remembers Fela, Others as He Wins Afrobeats Award

Afrobeats singer, Rema has acknowledged the impact of the Afrobeat pioneer, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti on the growth of Afrobeats in global music. He made this known while receiving the plaque for the Best Afrobeats Award which he won alongside singer, Selena Gomez at the 2023 MTV Video Music Award (VMAs).

“First of all, I want to give big thanks to God,’’ he began. “I want to give big thanks to my fans. I want to give big thanks to my team. Shout out to Selena. I want to say I love you from the bottom of my heart. This means so much …seeing Afrobeats grow this big and being here on this stage representing Afrobeats tonight. I feel so happy. One thing I will not fail to do tonight is to shout out to people who open the doors for me.

“Big shout out to Fela, who started Afrobeat in the first place. Tubaba, Don Jazzy, D’banj, D’ Prince, Runtown, Timaya, 2face, Wizkid, Burna Boy, Davido and I want to give a big shout out to the new generation of Afrobeats. We are yet to take it to the rest of the world.’’

In her acceptance speech, Selena Gomez commended Rema for making room for a rewarding collaboration.

“Thank you so much for believing in me. Thank you for choosing me to be part of such an incredible song that is able to break records,’’ she said.

Rema knocked out Afrobeats giants such as Burna Boy, Wizkid, Davido, Ayra Starr, Fireboy DML and Asake to clinch the award which is the first of its kind at the VMAs. Wizkid was the first to win a VMA award for his smash hit, ‘Essence’ in 2021.

The award is indeed an icing on the cake for Rema who recently joined the billion stream club on Spotify, becoming the first African song to achieve such a feat on the streaming platform.

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