The Headies, which are considered to be Nigeria’s most prestigious music awards, have for a long time served as a stage that acknowledges and celebrates extraordinary talent within the music business. One of the most desired prizes it bestows is called the “Next Rated” award, and it is given to up-and-coming artists who have demonstrated a great deal of potential as well as inventiveness in their work.
Since it was first introduced, the Headies Next Rated category has been a stepping stone for a great number of up-and-coming performers, catapulting them into the spotlight and establishing them as important figures in the world of music. This article will take you on a journey through time to meet and celebrate the extraordinary talents that have won the coveted Headies Next Rated award, making an everlasting stamp on the landscape of Nigerian music. Along the way, we will meet some of the artists who have been nominated for the award.
It was originally given to Asa in the year 2006. Asa was the first person to take home the prize for “Next Rated,” which was once known as “the Hip-Hop Award,” back in 2006, when the ceremony was first held. At that time, the prize for the winner was N100,000. Winners of subsequent years, received a brand new automobile as their prize, in addition to receiving the award trophy. UNTIL 2022, The Headies announced that the winner of the Next Rated category will henceforth receive a brand new 2022 Bentley Bentayga, valued at more than N300 million. This is in place of the SUVs that were previously awarded.
2006 WINNER – ASA
Asa was indicated before, Asa was the recipient of the very first prize during a period when both of her great songs, “Fire on the Mountain” and “Eye Adaba,” were and continue to be very impressive.
2007 WINNER – OVERDOSE
During this specific year, nominees such as Naeto C, Lawal Olumo, Kage, C-Mion, Gino, and Blaise were all competing in the same category for the ‘Next Rated,’ but overdose ended up taking the trophy home.
2008 WINNER – WANDE COAL
It seems inconceivable to anyone with a functioning brain that anyone other than Wande Coal will take home the Headie award and a car in 2008. GT the Guitarman, M.I. Abaga, Banky W, and Cyrus da Virus were the other nominees in this category.
2009 WINNER – OMAWUMI
Omawumi, a renowned vocalist from Nigeria, was crowned the winner of the prize in 2009, besting competitors such as Kel, YQ, MP, and Djinee.
2010 WINNER – SKUKI
Skuki, a hip-hop duo, was able to win the award thanks to the success of his songs “Banger” and “Stamina,” even in the face of fierce competition from other artists. General Pype, Mo’Cheddah, Jesse Jagz, and D’Prince were the candidates up for nomination at the time. The fact that his fuel ran out only two years later is a resounding testament to the fact that they were ultimately victorious.
2011 WINNER – WIZKID
The phenomenal performance that Wizkid delivered on MI’s smash song “Fast Money Fast Cars” catapulted him to the forefront of the music scene in Nigeria at the moment. After appearing on Banky W’s sophomore album, he went on to release a string of successful singles, including “Holla at Your Boy,” “Tease Me,” and “Don’t Dull.” This marked the culmination of his career. Ice Prince, Olamide, and Tiwa Savage were also nominated for the award that year.
2012 WINNER – DAVIDO
Davido won his first Headie for his breakthrough track “Back When,” which was followed by the single “Dami Duro.” At that time, Eva Alordah, Praiz, and Chuddy K. were considered to be the nominees.
2013 WINNER – SEAN TIZZLE
His massive song ‘Shole’ got him the ‘Next Rated’ award, beating out nominees like Burna Boy, Dammy Krane, and Seyi Shay. Phyno was also among the candidates.
2014 WINNER – PATORANKING
Patoranking has secured a spot on the list of winners of the Headies’ ‘Next Rated’ category thanks to his successful singles ‘Alubarika’ and ‘Girl O’ the Remix, both of which were assisted by Tiwa Savage. Other nominees were Runtown, Yemi Alade, Skales, and Orezi.
2015 WINNER – REEKADO BANKS
This year was notable because of the drama that occurred between Olamide and Don Jazzy. Olamide asserted that his artist, Lil Kesh, was more deserving of the prize than the latter’s artist, Reekado Banks. Don Jazzy maintained that Reekado Banks should have won the award. Lil Kesh, Kiss Daniel, Korede Bello, and Cynthia Morgan were each nominated for the award.
2016 WINNER – MR. EAZI
In 2016, Mr. Eazi emerged victorious, besting competitors like Tekno, Ycee, Humblesmith, and Aramide, all of whom had been shortlisted for the prize.
2018 WINNER – MAYORKUN
The self-proclaimed Mayor of Lagos triumphed in the competition for the prize in 2018, besting competitors such as Maleek Berry, Johnny Drille, Dice Ailes, and Zoro.
2019 WINNER – REMA
In 2019, the award went to Rema, who triumphed over her competitors Fireboy DML, Joeboy, Zlatan, Lyta, and Victor AD, all of whom were nominated in the same category.
2021 WINNER – OMAH LAY
Omah Lay released his debut extended play (EP) titled “Get Layd,” which helped put him on the map in the Nigerian music scene. After that, he went on to release his sophomore extended play (EP) titled “What Have We Done,” which won him a place in the hearts of music fans in Nigeria. Tems, Oxlade, and Bella Shmurda, who were all nominated for the 2021 Headies ‘Next Rated’ award, engaged in a fierce competition for the honor.
2022 WINNER- BNXN
Ayra Starr, Lojay, Ruger, and Zinoleesky are among the artists nominated for the Headies 2022 Next Rated award, but BNXN, formerly known as BUJU, took home the award. In his speech, he recognized his mother, who had passed away, as well as his management team and his girlfriend, Peggy. He received a brand new 2022 Bentley Bentayga along with the Award plaque
2023 WINNER- ANTICIPATE
As we anxiously anticipate the next Headies ceremony, we anticipate another round of talented musicians contending for the Next Rated title, maintaining the legacy of recognizing Nigeria’s unique and ever-evolving music landscape. The Headies Next Rated award continues to be a sign of hope and inspiration for aspiring artists, telling them that their ambitions may become a reality through hard work, dedication, and unyielding enthusiasm for their craft.