Burna Boy performs on stage at Rogers Arena on November 07, 2023 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Burna Boy performs on stage at Rogers Arena on November 07, 2023 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Photo by Andrew Chin/Getty Images.

Burna Boy and Rema Make History at 2023 Billboard Music Awards

Nigerian music pioneers Burna Boy and Rema clinch historic wins in the global spotlight with premier prizes in Afrobeats categories at the prestigious 2023 Billboard Music Awards.

In a groundbreaking moment at the 2023 Billboard Music Awards, Nigerian music icons Burna Boy and Rema etched their names in history as the inaugural recipients of the prestigious Afrobeats awards. The awards ceremony, held last Sunday, marked a significant milestone for the global recognition of Afrobeats as a genre.

Burna Boy seized the title of Top Afrobeats Artist, building on his remarkable year that included a Grammy win. Meanwhile, Rema made history by becoming the first recipient of the newly introduced award for Top Afrobeats Song. His collaboration with American pop sensation Selena Gomez on the chart-topping hit "Calm Down" earned them the Best Afrobeats Song of the Year accolade.

Expressing his gratitude in an acceptance speech, Rema emphasized that the honor for "Calm Down" was a celebration of unity and the global dominance of Afrobeats. He extended his appreciation to Selena Gomez, Mavin Records, Jonzing World, and the dedicated fans who supported their journey. Gomez, in turn, acknowledged Rema's role in the collaboration and thanked the audience for their support.

The impact of "Calm Down" extended beyond its Afrobeats category, with nominations in various other prestigious categories, including top radio song, top Billboard Global 200 song, top Billboard Global (Excl. U.S.) song, and top collaboration. The track, reaching a No. 3 high on the Billboard Hot 100, marked Rema's first entry into the Hot 100 and Selena Gomez's ninth top 10 hit on the chart.

Rema & Selena Gomez Accepts Top Afrobeats Song for “Calm Down” | Billboard Music Awards

Burna Boy, adding another accolade to his list of achievements, secured the title of Best Afrobeats Act at the Billboard Music Awards. In a recorded video message, he dedicated the award to Africa and emerging artists from the continent, expressing optimism about the bright future ahead. Reflecting on the win, Burna Boy asserted that this recognition is just the beginning, hinting at a larger vision yet to unfold.

Burna Boy Accepts Top Afrobeats Artist Award | Billboard Music Awards

The triumphs of Burna Boy and Rema underscore the global impact of Afrobeats, a genre that seamlessly blends African roots with diverse musical elements. Their wins serve as a testament to the genre's borderless influence, leaving an indelible mark on the international music scene.