2022 Headies Awards Nominations: Full List – Billboard

The 15th annual Headies Awards are coming to America from Nigeria for the first time. The star-studded event will take place live from Atlanta’s Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center on Sept. 4.

With categories including rookie of the year, best West African artiste and best R&B single, the Headies will honor some of the most notable acts in the globally rising Afrobeats genre. Wizkid is the most nominated artist for the big night, with 10 nods; followed by Ayra Starr (a first-time nominee) and Tems, each with eight nominations. Adekunle Gold and Davido are tied as the third most-nominated artists, with seven nods each.


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“After 14 years, I’m thrilled the show is expanding beyond Nigeria,” Headies Awards co-executive producer Ava L. Hall tells Billboard. “The Afrobeats movement is truly global and this show is celebrating Pan-African music excellence and the collaborative connection it has made with the U.S. music industry. Art has always been an entry point to culture and connection. This genre certainly helps to solidify that even more. I’m honored that the founder, Ayo Animashaun, reached out to me help bring the 15th Annual Headies to fruition.”

Billboard recently partnered with Afro Nation, a music festival and global Afrobeats brand, to launch the first-ever U.S. chart for Afrobeats music. The Billboard U.S. Afrobeats Songs chart went live on March 29, and has since spotlighted hit artists including CKay, Tems, WizKid, Omah Lay, Burna Boy and Fireboy DML.

This year’s awards ceremony introduces three new categories: international artiste of the year, best inspirational single and digital artiste of the year.

See the complete list of nominees below:

Rookie of the Year


Best Recording of the Year

“Celebrate Me” – Patoranking
“Essence” – Wizkid Feat. Tems
“Joy” – Falana
“Loving Is Harder” – Johnny Drille
“Meji Meji” – Brymo
“Somebody’s Son” – Tiwa Savage Feat. Brandy

Producer of the Year

Beats By Jayy – “Golden” (A-Q)
Blaise Beatz – “Sinner” (Adekunle Gold Feat. Lucky Daye)
Niphkeys – “Feel Good” (Mohbad)
P Priime – “Ozumba Mbadiwe” (Reekado Banks)
Pheelz – “High” (Adekunle Gold Feat. Davido)
Sarz – “Monalisa” (Lojay & Sarz)

Songwriter of the Year

Adekunle Gold – “Sinner”
Ajebo Hustlers – “Loyalty”
Brymo – “Meji Meji”
Falana – “Joy”
Fireboy Dml – “Peru”
Omah Lay – “Understand”

Best R&B Single

“Baby Riddim” – Fave
“Beggie Beggie” – Ayra Starr  Feat. Ckay
“Essence” – Wizkid Feat. Tems
“Running (To You)” – Chike  Feat. Simi
“Promise” – Niniola
“Sinner” – Adekunle Gold Feat. Luck Daye

Best Rap Single

“Breathe” – A-Q Feat Chike
“Crown Of Clay” – Vector & Mi Abaga Feat. Pheelz
“Early Momo” – Vector Feat. Goodgirl La
“Feeling” – Ladipoe  Feat. Bnxn
“Tycoon” – Show Dem Camp Feat. Reminisce & Mojo
“Loading” – Olamide  Feat Bad Boy Timz

Best ‘Alternative’ Song

“Doings” – Flavour
“Free Your Mind” – Made Kuti
“Gonto” – Ibejii
“Hustle” – Basketmouth, The Cavemen, Bez, Dice Ailes
“Meji Meji” – Brymo
“Selense” – The Cavemen

Best Vocal Performance ( Female )

Ayra Starr – “Toxic”
Liya – “Alari”
Niniola – “6th Heaven”
Simi – “Running (To You)”
Tems – “Essence”
Waje – “Last Time”

Best Vocal Performance (Male)

Brymo – “Meji Meji”
Johnny Drille – “Loving Is Harder”
Oxlade – “Ojuju”
Ric Hassani – “When I’m Gone”
Tay Iwar – “Peaking”

Lyricist on the Roll

A-Q – “The Last Cypher”
Blaqbonez – “The Last Cypher”
Jesse Jagz – “Vipers”
Ladipoe – “Providence”
Payper Corleone – “In Don We Trust”
Vector – “Crown Of Clay”

Best Music Video

“Champion” – (Fireboy Dml Feat. D Smoke) Directed By Tg Omori
“Ginger” – (Wizkid Feat. Burna Boy) Directed By Meji Alabi
“Roju” – (Chike) Directed By Pink
“Rain” – (Yemi Alade Feat. Mzansi Youth Choir) Directed By Ovie Etseyatse
“Bling” – (Blaqbonez Feat. Amaarae & Bnxn) Directed By Tg Omori
“Running” – (Ladipoe Feat. Fireboy Dml) Directed By Director K

Best Collaboration

“Beggie Beggie” – Ayra Starr Feat. Ckay
“Bling” – Blaqbonez Feat. Amaarae & Bnxn
“Early Momo” – Vector Feat. Goodgirl La
“Essence” – Wizkid Feat. Tems
“Feeling” – Ladipoe  Feat. Bnxn
“Running (To You)” – Chike Feat. Simi

Best Street-Hop Artiste

Bella Shmurda – “Cash App” Feat. Zlatan & Lincoln
Rexxie & Mohbad – “Kpk”
Mohbad – “Feel Good”
Naira Marley – “Koleyewon”
Nektunez & Goya Menor – “Ameno Amapiano (Remix)”
Poco Lee, Portable & Olamide – “Zazoo Zehh”

Best Afrobeats Single of the Year

“Bloody Samaritan” – Ayra Starr
“Bounce” – Ruger
“High” – Adekunle Gold Feat. Davido
“Monalisa” – Lojay & Sarz
“Ozumba Mbadiwe” – Reekado Banks
“Peru” – Fireboy Dml

Headies’ Viewer’s Choice

Ayra Starr – “Bloody Samaritan”
Fireboy – “Peru”
Joeboy – “Sip”
Lojay & Sarz – “Monalisa”
Nektunez & Goya Menor – “Ameno Amapiano (Remix)”
Olamide Feat. Omah Lay – “Infinity”
Rema – Soundgasm
Wizkid Feat. Tems – “Essence”

Best West African Artiste of the Year

Amaarae (Ghana)
Angelique Kidjo (Benin)
Aya Nakamura (Mali)
Gyakie (Ghana)
Kidi (Ghana)
Nelson Freitas (Cape Verde)

Best East African Artiste of the Year

Diamond Platinumz (Tanzania)
Eddy Kenzo (Uganda)
Harmonize (Tanzania)
Meddy (Rwanda)
Nikita Kering (Kenya)
Zuchu (Tanzania)

Best North African Artiste of the Year

Emel Mathlouthi (Tunisia)
Elgrandetoto (Morocco)
Latifa (Tunisia)
Manal (Morocco)
Muhamad Ramadan (Egypt)
Soolking (Algeria)

Best Southern African Artiste of the Year

Black Coffee (South Africa)
Dj Tarico (Mozambique)
Elaine (South Africa)
Focalistic (South Africa)
Jah Prayzah (Zimbabwe)
Sha Sha (Zimbabwe)

Best Central African Artiste of the Year

Calema (Sao Tome & Principe)
Blanche Bailly (Cameroon)
Dadju (Dr Congo)
Fally Ipupa (Dr Congo)
Innoss’b (Dr Congo)
Soraia Ramos (Cape Verde)

Best Afrobeats Album

19 And Dangerous – Ayra Starr
A Better Time – Davido
Barnabas – Kizz Daniel
Made In Lagos (Deluxe Edition) – Wizkid
Kpos Lifestyle – Ajebo Hustlers
Wondaland – Teni

Best Reggae & Dancehall Album

Gratitude – Timaya
Love Is War – Prettyboy D-O
Rainbow Riddim – Shank
Three – Patoranking
Yaadman Kingsize – Yung L

Best R&B Album

Before We Fall Asleep – Johnny Drille
If Orange Was a Place – Tems
Love Deep High Life – Omawumi
Rising – Falana
The Prince I Became – Ric Hassani
Water And Garri – Tiwa Savage

Best Alternative Album

9: Esan – Brymo
Intermission – Ibejii
Legacy + – Femi Kuti & Made Kuti
Love and Highlife – The Cavemen
P.S. Thank You for Waiting – Wavy The Creator
Yabasi – Basketmouth

Best Rap Album

Carpe Diem – Olamide
Clone Wars Vol. 5 – The Algorhythm – Show Dem Camp
Golden – A-Q
Mafia Culture, Vol. 2.0 – Idowest
Providence – Ladipoe
Sex Over Love – Blaqbonez

Album of the Year

9: Esan – Brymo
19 & Dangerous – Ayra Starr
Carpe Diem – Olamide
Legacy + – Femi Kuti & Made Kuti
Made In Lagos (Deluxe Edition) – Wizkid
Yabasi – Basketmouth

Song of the Year

“Celebrate Me” – Patoranking
“Doings” – Flavour Feat. Phyno
“Essence” – Wizkid Feat. Tems
“High” – Adekunle Gold Feat. Davido
“Monalisa” – Lojay & Sarz
“Peru” – Fireboy Dml

Best Female Artiste

Tiwa Savage

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