It is that time of the year again. It is time for the annual BET Awards. African artists' presence at the BETs has become a regular occurrence since 2010. Since then, more of the continent's best talents have received acclaim from one of the most popular American award ceremonies.
In 2010, BET introduced the category for Best International Act, including black artists from the African continent and the United Kingdom. Among the nominees were Nigerian duo P-Square, UK songstresses Estelle, Corinne Bailey Ray, Sade, South African rapper HHP, and the award's winner Dizzee Rascal from the UK. In a joint win in 2011 were Nigerian artists 2Face Idibia and D'Banj, followed by another joint win in 2012 that went to Nigeria's Star Boy Wizkid and Ghanaian rapper Sarkodie.
This year Wizkid increased his tally with another two nominations helping him maintain his position as the African artist with the most nominations. Should he win another award, he will remain the African artist with the most wins. Fresh off of his Grammy win for his collaboration with Beyonce and a sold-out show at the London 02 Arena, Wizkid is nominated for the first time in the Best Male R&B/Pop Artist category and rakes in another nomination for his global smash hit and its remix "Essence" featuring music's newest wonder, Tems, and Justin Bieber, in the Best Collaboration category.
Temilade Openiyi, better known as Tems, has had quite the rise in the music industry with her collaboration with Wizkid. The song has enjoyed major success, including a double-platinum certification in the United States and cracking the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Furthermore, the Nigerian artiste has become the first African to get three BET nominations in one year. She is nominated for Best Collaboration, Best International Act, and Best New Artist.
More nominees for Best International Act include Nigerian Afrobeats star Fireboy DML whose smash hit "Peru" attracted a remix from Ed Sheeran. The collaboration catapulted the song to number 1 on the Billboard Afrobeats Songs chart. Congolese singer-songwriter Fally Ipupa earns his fourth nomination, while South African Amapiano DJ duo Major League snatch their first.
"We are exhilarated to recognise this year's nominees, international and most importantly our African nominees who always bring dynamic, entertaining and celebrated content to our attention through their incredible creativity and talent." said Senior Vice-President and General Manager for Paramount Africa and Peer Lead, BET International, Monde Twala.
This year's BET Awards will be hosted by Academy Award-nominated, Golden Globe-winning actress Taraji P. Henson at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on 26 June.