History was made at the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards (VGMAs) when Joe Mettle was named winner of the Artiste of the Year award at the 2017 ceremony, which took place on Saturday 8 April.
The occasion marked the first time the VGMAs have named a gospel singer as the winner of its most prestigious award since the first Ghana Music Awards ceremony in 2000.
Before Joe Mettle's win, gospel group Daughters of Glorious Jesus had taken the Artiste of the Year Award in 2004, but at the time the Song of the Year category was rated above Artiste of the Year at the VGMAs. The implication is that although Joe Mettle is the second gospel artist in VGMA history to win the Artiste of the Year Award, he is the first to take the annual event's highest honour.
Joe Mettle’s other awards came in the Best Male Vocalist and Best Gospel Song categories, the latter of which he won for 'Onwanwani'. His success is perhaps not too surprising for the artist and his team after an intensive campaign in the weeks leading to Saturday's event. Before the event he told Citi FM that he and his supporters had "done our best".
"It’s left with the academy and board to decide but I am 100% hopeful of winning,” he said. After the awards, he thanked his fans through social media. "This is for God Almighty, this is for Gospel Music," he wrote. "This is for Christianity and for every Gospel Musician; for the pacesetters who have worked hard in the past and my brothers and sisters in Gospel music fraternity. This is for you! Thank you so much for the support."
Other successful artists on the night included Female Vocalist of the Year Adina, the group VVIP, which took two awards, and rapper M.anifest who was named Best Rapper of the Year along with his song ‘God MC’ winning Hip Hop Song of the Year. Last year’s big winner EL won the Afropop Song of the Year Award. Sarkodie, a VGMA favourite, won the Hip Hop Artiste of the Year Award.
The only category open to non-Ghanaians, African Artiste of the Year, was won by Nigerian artist Runtown. His song ‘Mad Over You’, a continent-wide hit, was expected by some to bring him the honour, although a number of social media users expressed dissatisfaction, having considered Mr Eazi good for the award as well.
Full list of winners below:
Kofi Kinaata - Confession
Nacee - Ye WO nyame
Stonebwoy - People Dey
M.manifest - God MC
Flowking Stone - Go Low
E.L - Kabuame
Kofi Kinaata’s - Confession
VVIP ft Patoranking - Alhaji
Okyeame Kwame ft Mzvee - Small Small
Nacee - Counsellor
Dobble - Christy