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The 2022 Headies Awards Honors 6 Powerful Artists that changed Afrobeats and Mainstream Music Forever

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Beyonce, Chris Brown, Drake, Ed Sheeran, Justin Bieber and Nas named as nominees for the 15th Annual Headies Awards International Artiste of the Year category

Although many countries in Africa are still emerging, the continent as a whole is filled with gold, the music, the intelligence, or talent – its people have always possessed a certain type of uniqueness. It’s no surprise that Afrobeats would go on to become a global phenomenon, embraced by people of every nation, race, and tongue.

I once asked an African artist to describe the motivation behind Afrobeats. And although he was only one of hundreds of Afrobeats artists he explained to me, from his point of view, why Afrobeats matters and why it resonates with so many people. “A lot of the music is about partying,” he said. It’s about having a good time and being the voice of hope.”

There’s a lot of hardness and suffering in Africa, so the music is centered around happiness, giving hope to people, and making people feel good,” he added. His name is Pretty Boy Do and this year, for the 15th Annual Headies Awards, he’s nominated for Best Reggae & Dancehall Album.

While Afrobeats artists have always been the pride of the culture, the time was approaching for its artists to transport their music from their own back yards and share their awesomeness on a global stage.

It was the need to export our culture, haven’t we had enough of them bringing everything they have here. We’re the ones that need to just do more in terms of like showing the world who we are. And every opportunity should be absolutely welcome. When the world superstars do concerts, and they do their world tour – how many world tours do you see or have you seen and you see Nigerian culture that goes up. Not saying Nigeria is the parent country- but you know what? There are so many reasons why they are not coming here and um we need to tell ourselves the truth, says Headies Awards founder Ayo Animashaun.

We are the ones that need to showcase what we have on a global scale. We want the world to see, and they won’t see in our backyard. They will see other awards performed in Nigeria we have decided to expand our scope,” he added.

This year the Headies Awards is celebrating the journey of its decades long plight for global recognition and appreciation of Afrobeats music and they’re celebrating it in America.

When it was time to expand their reach across the oceans, the rivers, and the seas they knew that they would have to collaborate and fuse their unique sounds with other genres. The result was Afro-fusion and many African artists have fused Afrobeats with A-List, US-based artists.  The fusions ranged from Hip Hop to R&B and just about every genre on the charts. They were certain to leave no territory untouched and no stones unturned.

The aftermath was an International phenomenon  that captured the attention of the greatest entertainers of our time. From Beyonce’s 2019 The Lion King: The Gift that featured African artists Eazi, Burna Boy, Wizkid,  Moonchild Sanelly, Yemi Alade, Tiwa Savage, Tekno, Shatta Wale, and Busiswa to Ed Sheehan’s “Peru” collaborations with Fireboy DML and “For My Hand” with Burnaboy A-List, US-based performers played a key role in helping to bridge the gap.

Black entertainers throughout the diaspora proved that could work together and create some of the most amazing sounds in modern music. This year, Beyonce, Chris Brown, Drake, Ed Sheeran, Justin Beiber, and Nas are named as nominees for the 15th Annual 2022 Headies Awards.



This Year’s International nominees and their biggest Afrobeats collaborations are: 




“The Lion King: The Gift Soundtrack”

Featured African artists: Eazi, Burna Boy, Wizkid, Moonchild Sanelly, Yemi Alade, Tiwa Savage, Tekno, Shatta Wale, and Busiswa.


Chris Brown 


“Blow My Mind”

Davido feat. Chris Brown




“One Dance” 

Drake feat. Wizkid


“Come Close”

Wizkid Feat. Drake



Drake feat. Tems



Wizkid feat. Drake


Ed Sheeran 



Fireboy DML & Ed Sheeran


“For My Hand”

Burna Boy feat. Ed Sheeran


Justin Beiber 



Wizkid feat. Justin Beiber




“Birthday Cake”

Davido feat. Nas


Music journalist based in ATL but from VA. Connect: @tracymitchellva

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