The Headies 2019

Awards are like a pat of appreciation

from the jury and viewers. It is almost like them saying,

‘so, you have done well;

we expect you to carry on doing good work”- Parvathy

The wisdom from the above quote can be said to be what best describes some of the major inspirations behind establishing The Headies on March 10, 2006 at the MUSON Centre, Onikan, Lagos.


Ayo Animashaun, Media Entrepreneur and CEO Smooth Productions stands as the Executive Producer of The Headies, formerly known as Hip Hop Annual Entertainment Award. The event has constantly served as ‘a pat of appreciation’ on the back of deserving artistes and a platform to reward hardwork, excellence and outstanding achievements in the Nigerian music industry.

Directly or indirectly, awards remain one of those triggers that keep the fire burning in individuals. With this, The Headies became an event looked forward to by not just the fans, but even the artistes themselves.


Over the years, The Headies has been known for its gold plaque which depicts ‘the image and shout of a young, vibrant individual’. This in turn reflects the passion, joy and sense of fulfillment seen on the faces of winners in various categories each year.

With the aforementioned, coupled with the many top celebrities that grace the event in much glamour and sophistication, The Headies has been rated by many as ‘The Grammies’ of Nigeria, celebrating our very own.

Helen Paul

Therefore, 2019 was no exception to this annual celebration, as it led to the 13th Edition of the awards held at Eko Hotel, Lagos. With various celebreties across the entertainment industry like Helen Paul, showing excitement towards the event even before the d-day.

The Hosts

 This year’s Headies with the theme ‘The Power of a Dream’ was hosted by the Actress and Tv Host, Nancy Isime and Ace Rapper, Reminisce.

As usual, in between the award presentations, there were various performances from both old and new artistes in the Nigerian music industry, including Sunny Neji, Wurld, Ducan Mighty, Rema and many others. The ‘evergreen’ Style Plus particularly had a ‘blast’ of a performance, with almost the whole audience happily chanting the ‘old blues’ of the trio, even after several years of releasing a new song.

Captivated audience awaited announcement of the winners

Beyond, the longlists of awards for artistes, a Special Recognition Award was given to the CEO of One Africa Music Fest, Paul Okoye, popularly known as Paul O. This award was given to him based on his various impacts in supporting Afrobeats within and outside Nigeria.

Finally, Burna Boy, Teni and Falz emerged as the stars of the night, having bagged the biggest wins. With Burna and Teni winning four awards respectively and Falz winning three.

Mike & Teni

The event finally ended with a nice twist of  performance, as Teni performed her hit song ‘Case’ with the  BBNaija 2019 Pepper Dem King, Mike Edwards who added some humour, by phonetically singing the ‘case’ song purely released in Pidgin.

In all, one thing remains paramount, The Headies 2019 has become one of the most controversial events of the year. This is due to a lot of underlying issues.

One issue seen as a let down on a prestigious award such as The Headies, was making Regina Daniel’s mother one of the award presenters. This stired a ‘no no’ reaction within both the live audience and viewers at home.


Another major issue- Rema’s win over Zlatan as ‘Next Rated’ of the year. However, it is important to reflect back to the voting stage which is the real beginning of a winning process for any artiste.

A previous twitter post by Zlatan shows that shortly after he solicited for votes to win in his category of The Headies 2019, many die hard fans of the Big Brother Naija Pepper Dem Tacha, vowed to vote Rema as a pay back to Zlatan for making a mockery of Tasha after her disqualification from the BBNaija House.

Tasha’s fans in reply to Zlatan’s tweet

 No doubt Tasha’s fans are massive in number, therefore, one may need to really consider their impact against Zlatan, before screaming a foul play by the organizers of The Headies.

What can be said to be the most glaring of all the issues was the absenteeism of majority top musicians in the country. These big names add a lot of flavour to the night, with fans always eager to see their favorite singers. No doubt, one of the most emotional sections of the award night is that golden moment when each winner walks up stage with a unique aura to collect the golden plaque. However, the reverse was the case this year, as majority of the winners where represented by individuals whose acceptance speeches didn’t quite go well with the audience.

Mercy & Mike BBNaija 2019

At first, the many artistes absent were accused of the ‘pride syndrome’, but taking a more indepth look at the issue, revealed that there was a clash of timing with the schedules of majority artistes and the event itself. A few instances include:

  • The birth of Davido’s first son on the same night with The Headies 2019. Definitely, OBO wasn’t going to leave his sweetheart, Choima for anything at this period of time.
  • Also, the Starboy Fest was held in London, on the same day The Headies took place. Here, WizKid hosted a long list of Nigeria’s Superstars, including: Burna Boy, Tiwa Savage, Olamide, Maleek Berry, Reekado Banks, Naira Marley and many others.
  • The legendary Johnny Drille also mentioned on his Instagram, how although he wished he was at The Headies, he was away in Kenya at that period.

Organising an event as significant and glamorous as The Headies, in a rather unsupportive environment, with a dwindling economy is no easy task. However, The Headies 2019 reflets that various nuts here and there need to be fixed for a better and more effective Headies 2020.

The Headies 2019

Therefore, we look forward to this from all the major stakeholders of the awards, in the spirit of seeing the event we have grown to love, blossom beyond all odds.


Author: Afrobeats360

The world's #1 destination for news and entertainment about Afrobeats music & culture.

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