Recognising the growing international appeal of African contemporary artists, eight African artists have been honoured in the BET Awards. Leading the charge for South African music are hip hop giants AKA and Cassper Nyovest and dance/house legend Black Coffee, while Nigeria is represented by Wizkid (winner of the award in 2012) and Afro-pop diva, Yemi Alade. East African sensation Diamond Platnumz (Tanzania), Ghana’s dancehall/R&B queen Mzvee and Cote D’Ivoire’s Coupé Decalé star Serge Beynaud round out the nominees for Africa.
AKA: South Africa
Black Coffee: South Africa
Cassper Nyovest: South Africa
Diamond Platnumz: Tanzania
Serge Beynaud: Cote D’Ivoire
Yemi Alade: Nigeria
In other categories, Drake leads the list of entertainers nominated at this year’s awards with an impressive nine nominations including “Best Male Hip Hop Artist”, “Video of Year”, and “Best Collaboration” for his hit “Where Ya At” with fellow hip hop artist Future. Beyoncé and Rihanna follow with five nods each with Beyoncé scoring nominations in “Best Female R&B/Pop Artist”, “Video of the Year”, and “Best Collaboration” for “Feeling Myself” with Nicki Minaj. Rihanna is in the running for awards including “Best Female R&B/Pop Artist”, “Video of the Year” and “Best Collaboration” for “Work” featuring Drake. Other nominees include newcomer Bryson Tiller who is up for four awards including “Best Male R&B/Pop Artist”, while Chris Brown is also nominated in four categories including “Best Male R&B/Pop Artist” and “Video Director of the Year”. Future could also walk away with four awards, including one for “Best Male Hip Hop Artist”.
Created in 2001, the BET Awards recognizes artists, entertainers, athletes and philanthropists across 20+ categories (nominees in further categories including “Best New Act: Viewer’s Choice”, and “Global Good” to be revealed at a later date). This year’s broadcast celebrates 16 years of spectacular BET Awards performances, must-see moments, outstanding talent, and exquisite music, which has set the standard for music awards with highlights such as Alicia Keys performing during the Prince “Lifetime Achievement Award” tribute (2010) and Michael Jackson taking the stage with James Brown (2003), to Beyoncé performing a lap dance for Terrence Howard (2005) and the reuniting of The Fugees (2005).