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A look at ten memorable moments in the history of the Headies Awards


In the spirit of Afrobeats throwback, we will be revisiting 10 unforgettable moments in the history of the Headies Award.

In 2005, D’banj was one of the hottest artists in Nigeria with his smash hit single ‘Why Me’ sweeping across the country. The superstar had a bold and infectious personality with which he dazzled his plethora of female fans while also distinguishing himself as a class act with a little touch of Nigerian madness.

At the 2005 Headies awards, D’banj performed his hit single ‘Why Me’ with only a towel around his waist like a man kicked out of a hotel room mid-tryst. His choice of costume puzzled the audience just as his performance dazzled them.

10 years later, when comedian Bovi stepped onto the Headies stage with a towel, viewers old enough to get the joke needed no explanation.

The Next Rated category is by far the most keenly contested prize at the Headies because of its significance. In 2013, Burna Boy, Sean Tizzle, Phyno, Dammy Krane, and Seyi Shay contested the award for the next big thing in the Nigerian music industry.

Sean Tizzle tipped fans’ favorite Burna Boy to the award and the loss didn’t quite go well with Burna Boy who stormed out of Oriental hotel as Sean Tizzle was announced as the winner.

This moment will forever remain fresh in the memory of most viewers who tuned in to watch the 2016 Headies Awards.

Nigerian megastar Wizkid made a surprise appearance at the 2016 Headies mid-way into the award. As Wizkid made his way to the front row, he paused to greet some colleagues.

He stopped to hug Eva before pulling off one of the biggest snubs in Nigerian Television by walking past Caeser’s whose outstretched hand was extended to him.

The spectacle created a stir online as Caeser’s hanging hand became a meme. Wizkid would later apologize to Caeser and describe the snub as unintentional. However, this excuse didn’t fly with the majority.

At the 2010 Headies Awards, Mohits act Wande Coal exceeded the expectations is Next Rated win the previous year created by carting away 5 awards.

Wande Coal’s ‘Mushin to Mohits’ album was nominated for 7 awards out of which only two slipped through his grasp. On a historic night, Wande took home the award for Album of the Year, Artist of the Year, R&B Album of the Year, and Hip Hop Revelation of the Year.

At the 2020 Headies, Jamopyper was nominated for the Rookie of the Year alongside Bad Boy Timz, Alpha P, Olakira, and Zinoleesky.

Before performing his hit single ‘If No Be You’, a star-struck Jamopyper first acknowledged the presence of Wizkid who was in the audience before he proceeded to deliver a weird performance aimed at impressing the biggest artist on the continent.

It was adorable to see Jamopyper turn into a schoolboy at the sight of Wizkid. Likewise, his meandering falsetto aimed at impressing Wizkid was slightly embarrassing and awkward even for viewers.

Fireboy made history at the 2020 Headies Award when he matched Wande Coal’s 2010 haul of 5 awards.

After losing out on the Headies Next Rated Award a year earlier, Fireboy made an emphatic statement at the 2020 Headies with a record 9 nominations winning 5 awards.

This feat is sensational and incredibly difficult to pull off which makes it one of the unforgettable moments in Headies history. And it’s made even more unforgettable because Fireboy was inexplicably omitted for the Artist of the Year nominees.

In 2020, Nigerian comedian Bovi wore a shirt that has a large image of the Nigerian flag covered in blood which was in honor of the October 2020 END SARS protest that swept across the country.

The picture generated conversations online with the majority of the youths applauding his courage and grace. Some government proponents were displeased by Bovi’s bold statement and claimed he committed an offense by defacing the naira.

The 2015 Next Rated Award was hotly contested between Korede Bello, Kizz Daniel, Cynthia Morgan, Reekado Banks, and Lil Kesh. Bovi thought it was a good time to recreate Steve Harvey‘s gaffe at the 2015 Miss World pageant by deliberating Miss Pronouncing Reekado’s name when he announced him as the winner.

The joke only ends up adding to the tense atmosphere but we can’t blame a comedian for doing his job.

In 2019, Wizkid’s sold-out show in O2 clashed with the Headies Awards and the show won the night with a majority of the big names opting for Wizkid’s O2 show.

That night was a painful one for the Headies which was trying to rebrand its image after years of disrespect from fans and artists. The concert torpedoed the Headies Show with Naira Marley‘s leg-work becoming the most talked about topic that night.

The Headies will go above and beyond in avoiding a repeat the following year by securing Wizkid’s very special appearance at the 2020 Headies Awards.

This is by far the most unforgettable event in Headies History as it didn’t only break Nigeria’s internet, it dealt the Headies Awards a nasty blow they are yet to fully recover from.

When Mavin’s Reekado Banks pipped fellow favorite YBNL‘s Lil Kesh to the Next Rated prize, YBNL boss Olamide Baddo wasn’t pleased with the results and he pulled off a Kanye moment.

Don Jazzy also fired back in a heated moment that involved two of Afrobeats’ most influential and sophisticated individuals. The only war of words divided fans and set social media on fire.

Surely, when the question of the most unforgettable moments in Headies history is asked, the infamous 2015 Olamide Vs Don Jazzy squabble will come to mind.

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