TRACE Awards 2023 Winners

Afrobeat Icons Shine Bright in Kigali

The global music scene was set ablaze as the inaugural TRACE Awards 2023 took center stage on October 21, 2023, at the BK Arena in Kigali, Rwanda. Organized by TRACE, a renowned music powerhouse, the event was a celebration of African and Afro-inspired musicians’ creativity, influence, and talent.

With over 150 musicians vying for the coveted awards, the evening was a melodic extravaganza that showcased the rich diversity of Afro-centric music. From Afrobeat to Dancehall, Hip Hop to Afro-pop, and Mbalax to Amapiano, the event was a testament to the vast musical landscape of the continent.

Nigerian music legend D’Banj and Angolan supermodel Maria Borges hosted the star-studded ceremony. The night was further electrified with performances by top artists such as Davido, Yemi Alade, Black Sherif, and Kizz Daniel.

Among the evening’s highlights were the awards presented to the crème de la crème of the music industry. Rema, the young Nigerian sensation, made waves by winning the Best Global African Artist and the prestigious Song of the Year award for his hit “Calm Down.” His achievements were particularly notable given the stiff competition from other industry giants like Burna Boy, Davido, and Wizkid.

Burna Boy’s “Love Damini” clinched the Album of the Year title, while Davido received accolades for the Best Collaboration of the Year for his track “Unavailable” featuring Musa Keys. Yemi Alade’s “Baddie” was recognized as the Best Music Video, and the Lifetime Achievement Award was bestowed upon Nigerian music icon 2Baba.

Other notable winners included Asake, who was crowned Best Artist Anglophone Africa, and Mr Eazi, who was honored with the Changemaker Trace Award for his significant contributions to the music industry.

The event also saw a blend of international winners, with artists like Tayc from France, Dystinct from Morocco, and Central Cee from the UK receiving awards in their respective categories.

Full list of winners

Category Nominees/Artists Winner
Best Collaboration “Mine” – Show Dem Camp (Nigeria) with Oxlade (Nigeria) “Unavailable” – Davido (Nigeria) with Musa Keys (South Africa)
“Peru” – Fireboy DML (Nigeria) with Ed Sheeran (UK)
“Second Sermon” – Black Sherif (Ghana) with Burna Boy (Nigeria)
“Sete” – K.O (South Africa) with Young Stunna (South Africa), Blxckie (South Africa)
“Stamina” – Tiwa Savage with Ayra Star(Nigeria) & Young Jonn (Nigeria)
“Trumpet” – Olamide (Nigeria) with Ckay (Nigeria)
Best DJ Danni Gato (Cape Verde) Michael Brun (Haiti)
DJ BDK (Ivory Coast)
DJ Illans (France)
DJ Spinall (Nigeria)
Uncle Waffles (Swaziland)
Best Producer DJ Maphorisa (South Africa) Tam Sir (Ivory Coast)
Juls (Ghana)
Kabza de Small (South Africa)
Kel-P (Nigeria)
Benjamin Dube (South Africa)
Best Gospel Artist Janet Otieno (Kenya) KS Bloom (Ivory Coast)
Levixone (Uganda)
Moses Bliss (Nigeria)
Best Live Burna Boy (Nigeria) Fally Ipupa (DRC)
Fally Ipupa (DRC)
Musa Keys (South Africa)
The Compozers (Nigeria)
Wizkid (Nigeria)
Yemi Alade (Nigeria)
Best Dancer Robot Boii (South Africa) Robot Boii (South Africa)
Tayc (France)
Uganda Ghetto Kids (Uganda)
Yemi Alade (Nigeria)
Zuchu (Tanzania)
Best Artist Africa – Anglophone Ayra Starr (Nigeria) Asake (Nigeria)
Black Sherif (Ghana)
Davido (Nigeria)
Diamond Platnumz (Tanzania)
Fireboy DML (Nigeria)
Best Artist – UK Headie One (UK) Central Cee
Ms Banks (UK)
Stormzy (UK)
Raye (UK)
Best Artist Carribean Admiral T (Guadeloupe) Rutshelle Guillaume (Haiti)
Bamby (French Guiana)
Kalash (Martinique)
Maureen (Martinique)
Popcaan (Jamaica)
Princess Lover (Martinique)
Shenseea (Jamaica)
Best Artist – Indian Ocean Donovan BTS (Mauritius) Goulam (Comoros)
GaEi (Madagascar)
Mikl (Reunion)
Sega el (Reunion)
Terell Elymoor (Mayotte)
Best Artist – Brazil Djonga (Brazil) Ludmilla (Brazil)
Iza (Brazil)
Leo Santana (Brazil)
Ludmilla (Brazil)
Luedji Luna (Brazil)
Best Artist North Africa Amira Zouhair (Morocco) Dystinct (Morocco)
Artmasta (Tunisia)
El Grande Toto (Morocco)
Kader Japonais (Algeria)
Raja Meziane (Algeria)
“DNK”- Aya Nakamura (France)
Best Artist -France & Belgium Aya Nakamura (France) Tayc (France)
Booba (France)
Nihno (France)
Ronisia (France)
Soolking (France)
Best Music Video “2 Sugar” Wizkid (Nigeria) feat. Ayra Starr (Nigeria) “Baddie” Yemi Alade (Nigeria)
“Kpaflotage” – Suspect 95 (Ivory Coast)
“Loaded” – Tiwa Savage (Nigeria) & Asake (Nigeria)
“Ronda” Blxckie (South Africa)
“Tombolo” – Kalash (Martinique)
“Yatapita” – Diamond Platnumz (Tanzania)
Best Global Africa Artist Rema
Best Gospel Artist Benjamin Dube (South Africa) KS Bloom (Ivory Coast)
Janet Otieno (Kenya)
Levixone (Uganda)
Moses Bliss (Nigeria)

The TRACE Awards 2023 was not just an award ceremony but a celebration of the vibrant and diverse African music scene. It was a night where the continent’s musical talents were recognized and celebrated on a global platform, further solidifying Africa’s position as a major player in the international music arena.

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