Afrobeats star, Rema stole the spotlight by winning the Best Afrobeats award for his global hit song, “Calm Down” at the 2023 MTV Video Music Awards held at Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, on September 12.
This victory was particularly noteworthy as Rema faced competition from Afrobeats heavyweights such as Davido, Burna Boy, and Wizkid.
Selena Gomez, who lent her star power to the “Calm Down” remix, also had reason to celebrate at the VMAs.
Her collaboration with Rema earned her a second VMAs trophy, and her first win was in 2013 for her debut solo single “Come & Get It.”
Upon receiving his first-ever VMA award, Rema took the stage with gratitude and humility.
In his acceptance speech, he took a moment to acknowledge the pioneers of the Afrobeats genre who paved the way for artists like him to shine.
He said, “Big shout out to Fela, who started Afrobeats in the first place, 2Baba, Don Jazzy, D’banj, D Prince, Runtown, Timaya, Wizkid, Burna Boy, Davido.”
He also gave a shout to the new generation of Afrobeats artists and promised to take the genre to the rest of the world.
Taylor Swift’s Moment
Taylor Swift had a record-breaking night at the 2023 VMAs.
The multi-talented artist, known for her songwriting ability and captivating music videos, dominated the awards ceremony, winning an impressive nine out of the eleven categories they nominated her in.
Swift’s video “Anti-Hero” clinched the Video of the Year award, while she also won Artist of the Year and Song of the Year for the same hit track.
With these wins, Swift tied the record for the most wins in a single VMAs night and became one of the most decorated artists in the history of the awards.
Swift’s career VMAs tally now stands at an impressive 23 awards, second only to Beyoncé’s 30 VMAs.
Beyoncé achieved this milestone by counting her wins with Destiny’s Child and as part of The Carters.
Full List of Winners
Video of the Year: Taylor Swift — “Anti-Hero”
Artist of the Year: Taylor Swift
Best New Artist: Ice Spice
Song of the Year: Taylor Swift — “Anti-Hero”
Best Collaboration: Karol G, Shakira — “TQG”
Push Performance of the Year (April 2023): Tomorrow X Together — “Sugar Rush Ride”
Best Pop: Taylor Swift — “Anti-Hero”
Best Hip-Hop: Nicki Minaj — “Super Freaky Girl”
Best R&B: SZA — “Shirt”
Best Alternative: Lana Del Rey featuring Jon Batiste — “Candy Necklace”
Best Rock: Måneskin — “The Loneliset”
Best Latin: Anitta — “Funk Rave”
Best K-Pop: Stray Kids — “S-Class”
Best Afrobeats: Rema & Selena Gomez — “Calm Down”
Best Direction: Taylor Swift — “Anti-Hero” (Directed by Taylor Swift)
Video for Good: Dove Cameron — “Breakfast”
Best Cinematography: Taylor Swift — “Anti-Hero” (Cinematography by Rina Yang)
Best Visual Effects: Taylor Swift — “Anti-Hero” (Visual Effects by Parliament)
Best Choreography: Blackpink — “Pink Venom” (Kiel Tutin, Sienna Lalau)
Show of the Summer: Taylor Swift
Best Art Direction: Doja Cat — “Attention” (Art Direction by Spencer Graves)
Best Editing: Olivia Rodrigo — “Vampire” (Edited by Sofia Kerpan and David Checel)
Group of the Year: BLACKPINK
Song of the Summer: Jung Kook featuring Latto — “Seven”
Album of the Year: Taylor Swift — “Midnights”