…as Diana Hamilton crowned Artiste of the Year
For the first time in the history of the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards (VGMA), it was arguably a total female dominance right from the nominations to the main awards and the ultimate award on the night to crown it all.
The awards ceremony, which took place over the weekend in a two-day event at the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC) Grand Arena, witnessed female artists winning a chunk of the awards, not only in their regular categories but in categories that they have never or hardly won in the about 22 years existence of the awards scheme.
The dominance wave started with Adina Thembi emerging as the artists with the highest nominations for the 2021 edition when it was announced by organizers, Charter House earlier in the year. She also made history as the first lady to receive 11 nominations in the VGMAs.
Again, at the nominations level, for the first time in the history of the awards, two females made it into the ultimate category, the Artiste of the Year category: Adina and Diana Hamilton. Now, it’s obvious to you that it started as a good year for the females in the music industry, right?
Though there were 86 male nominees and 24 female nominees without counting group nominees, it was still a good ratio for the ladies considering the dominance by men the industry has experienced over the years.
Moving away from the nominations stage, lets zoom into the main awards. On day one of the ceremony, 13 awards were given out and out of the that, the ladies grabbed four, not forgetting that about two awards in there were special awards; Lifetime Achievement Award and Traditional Artiste of the Year, whilst one other was also an external award, thus Best African Artiste. Two of those four awards were keenly contested with male nominees outnumbering the female: Best Video of the Year and Record of the Year.
Day two was a whole different atmosphere, the euphoria was phenomenal, and the ladies brought on a different level of energy, grabbing awards in almost every category they find themselves. Not only did they come to win awards but those who were on the bill to perform on the night delivered with class. The whole dome seems to be under a spell of craziness in absolute excitement whenever a female artiste steps up on stage.
Diana Hamilton gave an excellent spirit filled delivery in the opening performance of the day in collaboration with Joe Mettle, one of the finest in the gospel fraternity.
Eno Barony was on a different level altogether with her outstanding rap performance and chorography, giving the audience a bit of sexuality with her bootylicious plus size dancers. Her intro, delivery and usage of stage were all outstanding.
Adina never disappointed either, giving a blend of solo in memory of her late father before moving on to move the house to a party mood.
Out of the 29 categories, the ladies managed to grab 11, including the ultimate prize, Artiste of the Year. Though it was the second time a female artiste was winning it, with Ebony being the first in 2018, Diana Hamilton is the first female gospel artist to win the Artist of the Year and the second gospel artiste after Joe Mettle did same in 2017.
Diana Hamilton and Adina were not the only ladies doing a first, Eno Barony also did a first, becoming the only female rapper to win the rap award. It has always been a male exclusive category.
Winning female artistes of the VGMA22 were: Abiana-Female Vocalist of The Year; MzVee- Best Video of the Year; Yaayaa -Music for Good; Eno Barony- Best Rap Performance; Adina- Record of the Year, Album of the Year, Reggae/Dancehall Song of the Year; Diana Hamilton- Gospel Song of the Year, Vodafone Most Popular Song of the Year, Gospel Artiste of the Year, and Artiste of the Year.
To many stakeholders and music lovers, the feminism wave in the music industry started strong in early 2017 entering into 2018 and a little after but the death of Ebony derailed the progress. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown period and post lockdown, the ladies in the music industry seem to have done their homework and are coming up strongly with breakthrough songs all over, therefore winning several awards at the VGMA is an endorsement of their works and a morale to see them take over the music industry with storm.
Full List of winners
Traditional Artiste of the Year (Non-voting Category) – ManhyiaTete Nwom Kuro
Instrumentalist of the Year – Nana Yaw Sarfo
Male Vocalist of the Year – MOGmusic
Female Vocalist of the Year – Abiana
Songwriter of the Year – Kofi Kinaata
Record of the Year – Daddy’s Little Girl – Adina
Best Video of the Year – Baddest Boss – MzVee
Group of the Year – Keche
Sound Engineer of the Year – Richie Mensah
Producer of the Year – Richie Mensah
Best International Collaboration of the Year – Baajo by Kwesi Arthur ft Joeboy
African Artist of the Year – Master KG
Lifetime Achievement Award – Bob Pinono
Highlife Song of the Year – Enjoyment by KiDi
Hiplife Song of the Year – No Dulling by Keche
Gospel Song of the Year – Adom by Diana Hamilton
Reggae/Dancehall Song of the Year – Why by Adina
Afrobeats/Afropop Song of the Year – Say Cheese by KiDi
Afrobeats/Afropop Artist of the Year – KiDi
Hip hop Song of the Year – Sore by Yaw Tog
Gospel Artist of the Year – Diana Hamilton
Reggae/Dancehall Artist of the Year – Epixode
Highlife Artist of the Year – Kuami Eugene
Hiplife/Hiphop Artist of the Year – Medikal
Best Rap Performance of the Year – God Is A Woman by Eno Barony
Best Collaboration of the Year – Happy Day by Sarkodie ft Kuami Eugene
Best New Artist of the Year – Mr Drew
Most Popular Song of the Year – Adom by Diana Hamilton
Album of the Year – Araba by Adina
EP of the Year – Blue EP by KiDi
Artist of the Year – Diana Hamilton
Unsung Artiste of the Year – Nanky
Music for Good – YaaYaa
Vodafone Green Award – Kofi Kinaata