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Awards and Ceremoinies

MTV EMA 2021: Wizkid wins “Best Africa Act”

Serial hitmaker Wizkid has been announced winner of the Best Africa Act award at the 2021 MTV EMAs. The “Essence” hitmaker who was nominated alongside fellow Africans, Tems, Diamond Platnumz, Amaarae, and Focalistic, took home the prestigious award at a star-studded event held in Hungary on Nov. 14 at the Papp László Budapest Sportaréna.

With his 2021 MTV EMA win, Wikid joins an exclusive list of Nigerian superstar artistes who have won the much-coveted international honour. Past Nigerian winners of the MTV EMA Best Africa Act award include: Burna Boy, 2Baba Idibia, D’Banj, Tiwa Savage and Davido.

“African music continues to make significant contributions to global entertainment and culture. We are proud of and congratulate Wizkid from Nigeria for winning the Best Africa Act at the 2021 MTV EMA which showcases and celebrates the best talent from the world,” a statement from the organizers read

On the big night, BTS and Ed Sheeran each won multiple awards at the 2021 MTV EMAs.

BTS won best pop, best K-Pop, best group and biggest fans. Sheeran took best artist and best song for his smash “Bad Habits.” Sheeran opened the show with his latest single, “Overpass Graffiti.” Later in the show, the British superstar performed his hit “Shivers.”

Lil Nas X won best video for “Montero (Call Me By Your Name).” The pop star accepted his video via a funny and imaginative film clip in which he played an order-filler at a fast-food restaurant, wearing a “Montero” name tag. A customer in the drive-through handed him the award through his car window.

Justin Bieber, who led the field with eight nominations, didn’t win in any categories. Nor did The Kid LAROI, who had five nominations.

Saweetie, who hosted the show, won best new (beating Olivia Rodrigo, who at least managed to win best push). This is the sixth consecutive year that a female solo artist has won best new. Saweetie follows Zara Larsson, Dua Lipa, Cardi B, Eilish and Doja Cat. Saweetie also performed a medley of her hits “Best Friend,” “Tap In” and “OUT OUT.”

Three other artists both won awards and performed on the show. Colombian heartthrob Maluma won best Latin and also performed his new single “Mama Tetema,” joined by Tanzanian singer Rayvanny. The Italian rock band Måneskin, whose “Beggin’” is in the top 15 on the Billboard Hot 100, won best rock and also performed “Mammamia.” YUNGBLUD won best alternative and closed the show with a pyrotechnics-filled performance of his latest single “fleabag.”

Awards were also presented to artists representing various countries. Taylor Swift won as best American act. She accepted in a video clip she filmed in New York on Friday.

Kim Petras made EMAs history as the first trans artist to perform at the show. Petras sang a medley of two new unreleased songs, “Coconuts” and “Hit It From the Back.”

Imagine Dragons performed their new single “Enemy,” alongside Grammy-nominated rapper and artist J.I.D. British rising star Griff made her EMA debut performing “One Night.” Norwegian indie pop musician girl in red made her EMA debut performing her hit single “Serotonin.” WorldStage headliners OneRepublic performed “Run” at Heroes Square in Budapest complete with a fireworks finale.

The show also featured appearances by Rita Ora, model Winnie Harlow, Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic, WWE star Drew McIntyre, Olly Alexander (Years & Years), DJ and producer Joel Corry, and Brazilian singer Manu Gavassi.

For the first time, the MTV EMA Generation Change Award winners were recognized during the EMAs main show. This year’s honorees are five young people who are fighting anti-LGBTQ+ policies. Actress and talk show host Drew Barrymore honored the recipients in a taped piece where she spoke about equality. The MTV EMA Generation Change Award is a part of an expanded partnership between MTV Entertainment (MTVE), a division of ViacomCBS, and All Out, a leading global LGBTQ+ advocacy group, and part of ViacomCBS’ Content for Change initiative.

The event aired on MTV in 180 countries.

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