Since it held its first award ceremony in 2006, The Headies has crowned 13 ‘Next Rated’ artists, including some of the biggest stars in Africa right now. Most of the winners of the ‘Next Rated’ award have gone on to have long, successful careers. This is a timeline of all the ‘Next Rated’ winners and how far their career has gone since they were first crowned the ‘Next Rated’ artist of their time.
2006 – Asa: The Headies award, referred to as the ‘Hip Hop World Awards’ in its first year, saw Asa win the first-ever Headies ‘Next Rated’ title. The next year, she released ‘Asa’, which was arguably one of the biggest albums of 2007. The album had songs like ‘Jailer’, ‘Biban Ke’, ‘Eye Adaba’, ‘360’, and ‘Fire on the Mountain’ in it. She then released her sophomore album, ‘Beautiful Imperfection’ in 2010 and her third album, ‘Bed of Stones’ in 2014. She recently released her fourth studio album, ‘Lucid’ in October 2019.
2007 – Overdose: OG rapper, Overdose won the ‘Next Rated’ award at the Hip Hop World Awards in 2007. He is one of the few recipients of this award who never really peaked in their career. Since his sophomore album, Hustle or Die (HOD), Overdose has not released new music. However, in 2016, he appeared on an episode of ‘Hennessy Cypher’ along with Terry Tha Rapman, Kel, Godwon and Mr Mark N.
2008 – Wande Coal: Wande won the Hip Hop World ‘Next Rated’ award in 2008. He followed this up by releasing one of the biggest Nigerian albums of that decade, ‘Mushin to Mo’Hits’. The highly acclaimed album contained some of Wande Coal’s biggest hits like, ‘You Bad’, ‘Bumper to Bumper’, Se Ope (which made it to Nigerian churches) and Ololufe, to mention a few. In 2015, he released his sophomore album, ‘Wanted’ and had one of the biggest songs of 2018, ‘So Mi So’.
2009 – Omawumi: The ‘Next Rated’ award in 2010 was snagged by Omawumi. She beat out Kel, YQ, MP and D’Jinee to win the award. Over the course of 10 years, Omawumi has released 4 albums: ‘Wonder Woman’ (2009), ‘Lasso of Truth’ (2015), ‘Timeless’ (2017), and a new one this year titled ‘In Her feelings’.
2010 – Skuki: The pop-duo, Skuki snagged the coveted title in 2010, winning in their category against General Pype, Mo’Cheddah, Jesse Jagz and D’Prince. Skuki has had an on-again/off-again career, disappearing for long periods, coming back, dropping a few hits and then disappearing again. Still, they’ve released several club bangers, including 2019’s ‘Pass the Agbara remix’.
2011 – Wizkid: Starboy won the ‘Next Rated’ award in 2011. It was the same year the award was officially changed from Hip-Hop World awards to the Headies. He has won numerous awards and nominated for more than 100 awards, including one Grammy nomination. He has released 3 albums with another one, ‘Made in Lagos’ in the works. He is arguably one of the top 3 biggest Nigerian artists right now.
2012 – Davido: From winning the ‘Next Rated’ award in 2012, Davido has gone on to become a trailblazer. He has dropped hit songs every year since then. He has also won about 30 awards, including the MTV EMA ‘Best Africa Act’ and has been nominated for over 90 awards. He started his own record label, Davido Music Worldwide (DMW). Through the label, he has launched the career of artists like Mayorkun, Perruzi and Dremo. He is one of the biggest acts to come out of the country right now, with hit singles and collaborations with international artists like Chris Brown and Meek Mill.
2013 – Sean Tizzle: The Next Rated award in 2013 had a list of formidable artistes who are now at the top of their games. Sean Tizzle took home the award by beating Burna Boy, Phyno, Seyi Shay and Dammy Krane. It was the year that he released his hit song, ‘Shole’, so it wasn’t a big surprise when he received the award. Since then, Sean Tizzle released his 2014 massive album, ‘Journey’, and an EP in 2017. He is still making music in 2019, including two singles this year, ‘Gyal Dem’ and ‘Lotto’.
2014 – Patoranking: Reggae-dancehall artist, Patoranking released ‘Girlie o’ in 2014. It was also the year he won the ‘Next Rated’ award at the Headies. Since that time, he has released 2 albums, including one this year, ‘Wilmer’, named after his new daughter. Patoranking has won several awards, including the ‘Best Song of the Year’ at the 2016 MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMA) and was a judge on ‘The Voice Nigeria’ in 2016 and 2017.
2015 – Reekado Banks: He won the award in 2015, in what was possibly the most competitive ‘Next Rated’ edition ever. He beat out Lil Kesh, Kiss Daniel, Cynthia Morgan and Korede Bello who all had a stellar year in 2015. His win resulted in the famous Don Jazzy/Olamide spat. Olamide had expected Lil Kesh to take home the ‘Next Rated’ award, but it never went his way. Reekado Banks released an album in 2016 titled ‘Spotlight’, and is set to release a new one, ‘Daddy to Many’ this year.
2016 – Mr Eazi: Mr Eazi ended an amazing year in 2016 by winning the ‘Next Rated’ award in a category that had nominees like YCee, Tekno, Humblesmith and Aramide. Since then, Mr Eazi has become a force to be reckoned with. He has appeared on international stages like ‘Coachella’ and the ‘Late Late Show With James Corden’. In 2019, he started Empawa Foundation which eventually morphed into Empawa Africa, which has helped to grow the career of fast-rising star, Joeboy.
12. 2017 – Nobody: The Headies did not hold in 2017. This has been linked to the fire outbreak they experienced in November that year. There is reason to believe that this may have affected the preparations for the Headies. The CEO of Hip TV, conveners of the Headies Awards, Ayo Animashaun, posted about the accident, stating that they had lost some valuable equipment. The event was later scheduled for May 2018.
2018 – Mayorkun: When the Headies returned in 2018, Mayorkun won the ‘Next Rated’ award. He went on to release his first studio album, ‘Mayor of Lagos’ by November of the same year. In 2019, Mayorkun released one of the biggest tunes of the year, ‘True’, featuring Kizz Daniel. He also won the ‘Best Pop/RnB’ and ‘Hip Hop World Revelation’ awards at the Headies in 2019.
2019 – Rema: This year, Mavin Records breakout star, Rema joined this exclusive list of ‘Next Rated winners’. Rema rose to stardom this year and already has 3 EPs. One of his singles, ‘Iron Man’ appeared on Barack Obama’s 2019 summer playlist. Although still at the early stages of his career, Rema is set to become a mega superstar.
Over the past 13 years, the Headies ‘Next Rated’ award has correctly predicted some of the artists that will stand the test of time. Majority of the artists who have won the award have had amazing and successful careers and are still going strong.
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