Stonebwoy edges out Sarkodie at Ghana Music Awards

The 16th edition of the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards was held on Saturday 11 April at the Accra International Conference Centre in Ghana's capital.

Stonebwoy accepts one of his three awards. Photo: Facebook
Stonebwoy accepts one of his three awards. Photo: Facebook

The grand event was hosted by media personalities Joselyn Dumas and Nathaniel Attoh and featured live performances by Stonebwoy, Edem, Wiyaala, Mz Vee, Daddy Lumba, Sonny Badu and from Nigeria Patoranking and Yemi Alade. The biggest and most significant annual entertainment event in Ghana, the Ghana Music Awards is organized by the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA) and the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Arts and produced by event management firm Charterhouse in collaboration with telecommunications network Vodafone.

This big news this year was dancehall star Stonebwoy edging out Sarkodie in the coveted Artiste of the Year category. Stonebwoy’s victory came as a shock to some in this prized category, which is voted for by the public (40%), the GMA academy (30%) and the board (30%). Stonebwoy also picked up trophies for Reggae/Dancehall Song of the Year (‘Baafira’ ft. Sarkodie) and Reggae/Dancehall Artiste of the Year

Sarkodie, meanwhile, had seemed the favourite when the nominations were announced at the La Palm Royal Beach Hotel in Accra on Friday 27 February. He had been nominated in 10 categories, more than any other artist, but ended up only taking home three awards: Vodafone Song of the Year and Best Collaboration with Castro for ‘Adonai’, and Hiplife/Hip-hop Artiste of the Year. Ever the gentleman, Sarkodie quickly took to Facebook and Twitter to congratulate Stonebwoy, saying his achievement was “well deserved”.

The other leading nominee on the night, Edem, also picked up three awards: Best Album of the Year for Books n Rhymes, Afro-pop Song of the Year for ‘Koene’ and Best Music Video for ‘The One’, directed by Gio Of Famous Films.

A few days before the event, the GMA Industry Awards were held at the Alisa Hotel on Easter Monday 6 April. The occasion was strictly by invitation and guests were thrilled with breathtaking performances from Emelia Arthur, Efya, Ras Kuuku and Raquel. Winners of the industry awards were:

  • Gospel Album of the Year: Evangelist Diana Asamoah
  • Record of the Year:  Nkwa Abodo - Koda
  • Most Outstanding Songwriter of the Year: Wiyaala – ‘Africa’
  • Producer of the Year: DJ Breezy – ‘Seiho’ by Castro ft. D-Black
  • Sound Engineer of the Year: George Forest
  • Best Traditional Artist of the Year: King Ayisoba
  • World Bank Awards for Music for Development: Nii Okai – Save A Heart Foundation
  • Instrumentalist of the Year: Frank Kissi
  • MUSIGA Merit Award: J.V. Owusu
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Nana Ampadu

The winners at the main VGMA night on 11 April were:

  • Gospel Song of the Year: ‘Alpha & Omega’ - Selina Boateng
  • Highlife Song of the Year: ‘Yentie Obiaa’ - Daddy Lumba
  • Reggae/Dancehall Song of the Year: ‘Baafira’ - Stonebwoy ft. Sarkodie
  • Afro-Pop Song of the Year: ‘Koene’ - Edem ft. Ice Queen & Lil Shaker
  • Hip-hop Song of the Year: ‘Realer No’ - Pappy Kojo ft. Joey B
  • Hiplife Song of the Year: ‘Seihor’ - D Black ft. Castro
  • Gospel Artiste of the Year: No Tribe
  • Highlife Artiste of the Year: Daddy Lumba
  • Hiplife/Hip Pop Artiste of the Year: Sarkodie
  • Reggae/Dancehall Artiste of the Year: Stonebwoy
  • African Artiste of the Year: Patoranking (Nigeria)
  • Best Female Vocal Artiste: Wiyaala
  • Best Male Vocal Artiste: Joe Mettle
  • Best Rapper of the Year: EL
  • Best Collaboration: ‘Adonai’ - Sarkodie ft Castro 
  • Best Group of the Year: VVIP
  • Best Music Video: ‘The One’ by Edem, directed by Gio Of Famous Films
  • Best Album of the Year: Edem (Books n Rhymes)
  • Vodafone Song of the Year: ‘Adonai’ - Sarkodie ft Castro
  • Best New Artiste of the Year: MzVee
  • Artiste of the Year: Stonebwoy

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