Top 9 Ghanaian musicians who received prestigious international recognition
The ceremony held at the Cobb Energy Centre in Atlanta, GA, U.S.A saw the rapper beat off stiff competition from other top international rappers like Falz (Nigeria), Kalash (France), Nasty C (South Africa) and Tory Lanez (Canada) to claim the prestigious trophy.
This is not his first BET trophy: he won his first award at the 2012 BET Awards ceremony.
However, he isn’t the first contemporary Ghanaian to receive prestigious international recognition for his compositions. There are numerous.
From top awards to ‘ruthless’ songwriting competitions, below is a list of top nine Ghanaian musicians who have received prestigious international recognition.
Legendary musician, Kojo Antwi
In 2010, the highlife music maestro became the first-ever Ghanaian to be nominated for BET Awards’ newly created category, “Best International Act”. He competed against Chipmunk (UK), Dizzee Rascal (UK), Estelle (UK), late Hip Hop Pantsula (HHP) (South Africa), K’NAAN (Somalia), M.I. (Nigeria), P-Square (Nigeria), Corinne Bailey Rae (UK) and Sade (UK). Sadly, he lost the award to UK-based Ghanaian-Nigerian rapper Dizzee Rascal.
Rapper, D Black
The Black Avenue Muzik CEO, in 2011, become the first Ghanaian rapper to ever be recognised by BET Awards. He earned his first nomination in the “Best International Act: Africa” category alongside 2Face Idibia (Nigeria), D’Banj (Nigeria), Fally Ipupa (Dr Congo), Angélique Kidjo (Benin) and Teargas (South Africa) but lost to 2Baba and D’banj. Aside from BET Awards, he has won one out of five nominations at Channel O Music Video Awards.
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The SarkCess Music label boss became the first local Ghanaian rapper to win a BET award in 2012. He tied the “Best International Act: Africa” award with Wizkid from Nigeria. With the latest award (Best International Flow), he has won two out of four BET Awards nods. He has also been nominated for MOBO Awards and won The Headies, MTV Africa Music Awards and SoundCity Music Video Awards.
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In 2015, he became the first local Ghanaian male singer and afro-dancehall musician to win a BET award. He won the “Best International Act: Africa” that year and earned another nod in 2017 but lost it. He has also won other two prestigious awards; Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards and International Reggae and World Music Awards.
The reggae/dancehall legend was recognised by Music of Black Origin (MOBO) Awards in 2006. He beat Lebo Mathosa, P Square, Jose Chameleone and Tony Tetuila to claim the “Best African Act” accolade. He has also won some prestigious international awards including Channel O Music Video Awards, MTV Africa Music Awards and The Headies.
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The ‘god MC’ made Ghana proud at the 2015 International Songwriting Competition (ISC) – one of the most appealing and prestigious songwriting competitions in the world. With 18,000 entries submitted from 118 countries, the rapper placed third in the “R&B/ Hip-hop” category for his song, “Some Way Bi”. He also participated in the Minnesota Emerging Composer Award in 2010 and won the “Midem Best Artist” at the International Midem Awards 2017 in France.
He has the most International Reggae and World Music Awards nominations in Ghana. He has won two out of four nominations. He has also been nominated for Channel O Music Video Awards and MOBO Awards.
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The Tema-based hip-hop star became the youngest Ghanaian artiste to ever be nominated for BET Awards in 2018. He was nominated in the “Viewer’s Choice “Best New International Act” category alongside Mc Soffia (Brazil), Nailah Blackman (Trinidad den Tobago), Niniola (Nigeria), Not3s (Uk), Prince Waly (France), Sik-K (South Korea) and Sjava (South Africa) but lost to Sjava.
The former Lynx Entertainment label signee became the first Ghanaian female artiste to ever earn a BET Awards nomination. She was nominated for the “Best International Act: Africa” category alongside Wizkid (Nigeria), Yemi Alade (Nigeria), Diamond Platnumz (Tanzania), Serge Beynaud (Côte d’Ivoire), AKA (South Africa), Black Coffee (South Africa) and Cassper Nyovest (South Africa) but lost to Davido. She has also earned nominations for MTV Africa Music Awards and KORA Music Awards.
Several Ghanaians in the diaspora have also received international recognition for their works. The likes of Stormzy (UK), Fuse ODG (UK) and Rocky Dawuni (US) have put Ghana on the map and deserve props.