As we gradually approach the biggest event on the Ghanaian Entertainment Calendar, ghlinks.com.gh will take you down memory lane and brings you up to speed on winners of the Ghana Music Awards the prestigious music awards organised by Charterhouse.
The ‘Artiste of the Year’ is the topmost award at the Ghana Music Awards. It is awarded to the artiste(s) adjudged by the Academy, Board and the general public as having the highest audience appeal and popularity.
One rule in this category is, an artiste must have released a hit single/album during the year under review to qualify for a nomination.
Since the beginning of the award ceremony in 2000, it is also Sarkodie and VVIP (then VIP) who have won it on two (2) occasions. However, none has won it in succession.
Some of the winners in this prestigious category include Daddy Lumba, Okyeame Kwame, Shatta Wale, Samini, Lord Kenya and others.
Check the full list of the Ghana Music Awards ‘Artiste of the Year’ winners since its inception below:
1. DADDY LUMBA: In the year 2000, Charles Kwadwo Fosu popularly known as Daddy Lumba was the first musician to win the Artiste of the year award. This now multiple award-winning Ghanaian musician has built for himself an extremely successful career spanning an average of three decades. He is said to be the greatest Ghanaian singer of all time, by many.
2. KOJO ANTWI: Also affectionately known as Mr. Music man, the Ghanaian born Afro pop, highlife and reggae artist will always be known as a legend in Ghanaian music history. With hits like “medofo pa”, “mr. music man”, it was only fit that he walked away with the Artiste of the year award in 2001. Subsequently, he has been nominated for Best International Act by BET.
3. LORD KENYA: Born Abraham Philip Akpor Kojo, this hiplife artiste dominated the music scene when he released his debut album “Sika Card”. The said domination came with the prestige of being the third artiste to take home the Artiste of the Year award. These days, Lord Kenya has taken up the Bible full time and is a known Evangelist.
4. KONTIHENE: Known as Emmanuel Nana Appiah Boateng outside of show biz, Kontihene throroughly entertained the Ghanaian public when he dropped hits like “Aketesia”, “Madamfo Pa Beko”, “Asesa”, among other hits. His works were rewarded especially when he won artiste of the year in 2003.
5. V.I.P: In 2004, Promzy (Emmanuel Ababio), Lazzy (Abdul Hamid Ibrahim) and Prodigal (Joseph Nana Ofori) won the Artiste of the year award. That win was the first of its kind, as they were the first group to have won the award.
6. OBOUR: After making waves with some of his songs like “Konkonti Baa”, “aseda”, “atumpan”, among other hits in the early 2000s, Obour won the hearts of many, and won the Artiste of the year Award in 2005. These days, he goes by his real name, Bice Osei Kuffour and is currently the president of the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA).
7. SAMUEL OFORI AMPONSAH: Also known as Mr. All 4 Real, the “Odwo”, “Otoolege” and “Emmanuella” hits maker walked away with seven awards in 2006 including the Artiste of the year award that year. The song bird briefly became a pastor and has since not been active in the music scene.
8. SAMINI: Born Emmanuel Andrews Samini, this Ghanaian musician’s genre of music is a fine melodious mixture of highlife, dancehall, reggae and hip-hop. He has had a successful career and is still relevant now. His reign in the 2000s won’t be forgotten anytime soon.
9. KWAW KESE: Nicknamed “abodam” after his 2007 “Abodam” album, Emmanuel Botchwey a.k.a Kwaw Kese won the Artiste of the year award in 2008 at the annual VGMA.
10. OKYEAME KWAME: The self-acclaimed “rap doctor” won Artiste of the year in 2009. Born Kwame Nsiah-Apau, the rap doctor has a career spanning an average of twenty-two years; this Ghanaian musician is simultaneously successful at song writing and his entrepreneurial ventures.
11. SARKODIE: Known outside showbiz as Michael Owusu Addo a.k.a Obidi pon bidi, the Ghanaian hip-hop recording artist and entrepreneur won the Artiste of the year award in 2010. He has subsequently earned nominations in the Africa category at the BET awards. He won Best International Act at the 2012 BET Awards and was nominated in the same category at the 2014 BET Awards.
12. V.I.P: In 2011, Promzy (Emmanuel Ababio), Lazzy (Abdul Hamid Ibrahim) and Prodigal (Joseph Nana Ofori) won their second Artiste of the year award. Their win in 2011 was the first of its kind, as they are the only group to have won the award for Artiste of the year twice. In recent times, they’ve gone through a name change i.e. from V.I.P to V.V.I.P which now excludes Promzy and includes a new member, Reggie Rockstone (Reginald Ossei) a.k.a hiplife grandpapa.
13. SARKODIE: Known outside of showbiz as Michael Owusu Addo a.k.a Obidi pon bidi, the Ghanaian hip-hop recording artist and entrepreneur won the Artiste of the year award again in 2012. He has subsequently earned nominations in the Africa category at the BET awards. He won Best International Act at the 2012 BET Awards, and was nominated in the same category at the 2014 BET Awards.
14. R2BEES: (Paedae) Faisal Hakeem and (Mugeez) Rashid Mugeez make up the group. The duo became the second group to win this award. They won the VGMA Artiste of the year award in 2013 and earned a BET award nomination the same year.
15. SHATTA WALE: The controversial self-acclaimed musician known in his personal life as Charles Nii Armah Mensah Jr. made waves with his hit, “dancehall king”. He has since dubbed himself as the “dancehall king”. The hit won him his Artiste of the year award in 2014.
16. STONEBWOY: Born Livingstone Etse Satekla, this afropop, dancehall and reggae artiste and C.E.O of Burniton Music Group won the VGMA Artiste of the year in 2015 and won the BET award for Best International Act the same year.
17. E.L: The multi-talented Artiste and “Koko” hit maker was born Elom Adablah. This singer, rapper and producer won the VGMA Artiste of the year in 2016, making him the seventeenth artiste to have won the award.
18. JOE METTLE: Joseph Oscar Mettle, popularly known as Joe Mettle is the first gospel artist to have ever won the VGMA Artiste of the year award since the inception of the music awards scheme. This historic win happened in 2017.
19. EBONY REIGNS: The late Priscilla Opoku-Kwarteng affectionately known as “Ebony” was a Ghanaian Dancehall/Afrobeats artiste. With hits like “Kupe”, “Poison”, “Sponsor”, “Maame Hw3”, among other hits to her credit, the late artiste stole the hearts of Ghanaian amidst controversies that surrounded her.
Despite her demise, the Academy and the public deemed her most deserving and awarded her the VGMA Artiste of the year.
With so much talent at the forefront of the Ghana Music scene, there is no shortage of nominees for this prestigious category. Best of luck to all nominees and may the most deserving win. Which musician are do you think will win the Artiste of the year award?