By Seli Baisie
Nigerian sensation, Divine Ikubor, widely known as Rema, clinched the inaugural “Best Afrobeats Song” accolade at the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards held at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, USA.
“Calm Down”, Rema’s collaborative hit song with American superstar, Selena Gomez was adjudged the first-ever winner of the newly created “Best Afrobeats Song”, triumphing over tough competition from fellow Nigerian artistes such as Wizkid with “2 Sugar,” Burna Boy’s “It’s Plenty,” Fireboy and Asake’s “Bandana,” Davido’s “Unavailable,” Ayra Starr’s “Rush,” and Cameroonian singer Libianca’s “People.”
A noteworthy moment of the evening was when Rema, joined on stage by Selena Gomez, graciously accepted his award.
The 21-year-old artiste took the opportunity to express his gratitude to his fans, team, and Selena Gomez.
He also seized the moment to pay homage to the pioneers and legends of the Afrobeats genre.
With deep emotion, Rema stated, “I wanna give big thanks to my fans. I wanna give big thanks to my team. Big shoutout to Selena [Gomez]. I wanna say I love you from the bottom of my heart. This [award] means so much; witnessing the growth of Afrobeats and representing Afrobeats on this stage tonight fills me with happiness. But I must not forget to acknowledge the trailblazers who paved the way for artists like me.”
He continued, “Big shoutout to Fela, who ignited the Afrobeats movement, as well as 2Baba, Don Jazzy, D’banj, D’Prince, Runtown, Timaya, Wizkid, Burna Boy, and Davido for opening the doors for us, the new generation of Afrobeats.” Rema’s heartfelt appreciation left an indelible mark on the evening’s festivities.