BET just announced the nominees for the eleventh annual BET Awards, which will be hosted this year by the talented comedian and actor, Kevin Hart.
The talent this year sported many artists of African decent in various categories, including Brit- Nigerian, Tinie Tempah under Best International UK act, and South Africa’s Teargas, and Ghana’s D-Black under Best African Act.
As BET announced the nominees for this year, the entertainment gurus at F2FA got our research on and compiled profiles of the nominees just for you!
If you don’t know about them, it’s time you get familiar:
Nominated For Best International Act from Africa are:
Dapo Daniel Oyebanjo popularly known as D'Banj, is a Nigerian singer-songwriter and harmonica player. Dubbed as the African Michael Jackson, he has won several music awards including the awards for Best African Act at the MTV Europe Music Awards 2007 and Artist of the Year at the MTV Africa Music Awards 2009. As a tribute to his mentor Fela, D'Banj brings Afrobeat to life and into the 21st century with breathless enthusiasm as well as a good dose of humor. His songs are based on his life, often hilarious but with a deeper meaning, which documents the struggle of a young African trying to achieve his dreams. He performs in Yoruba, English and Pidgin English. As the Vice President of the very successful record label, Mo’ Hits, longtime friend and CEO, Don Jazzy, solely produce all of his albums.
Since embarking on his musical career in 2005, D’Banj has released 5 albums all of which have gone certified platinum. D’Banj recently made musical history when he collaborated and shot a music video with Snoop Dogg on his multi-platinum hit, Mr. Endowed. Also a shrewd business man, D’Banj has successfully launched an impressive Koko brand which includes a foundation, bottled water, food products, a mobile phone, a lounge, a concert series and a reality show. Always on the pulse of all things international, they sky definitely seems to be the limit for this African superstar.
D-Black da Ghana Bwouy is known as one of Ghana's most hardworking and most marketed musicians of all time.
This Anglophone Hiphop artist has survived and been on top of his game in the music industry in Ghana flooded and dominated with / by local dialect artists. Rapping in the English language, D-Black has been nominated and won awards in every music award ceremony in Ghana and Africa since last year. From his two nominations and winning the Music Video of the year award at the 2010 Ghana Music Awards , two wins at the 2010 4Syte Music Video Awards and winning the coveted HipHop song of the year Award at the just recently ended 2011 Ghana Music Awards.
A triple nominee at the Channel O Music Video Awards in South Africa, to winning Music Video of the Year at the African Music Video Awards in the U.K and nominated in Lagos, Nigeria last year for Best Collaboration and Best Music Video at the Sound City Awards. All these and more make Ghana's D-Black da Ghana Bwouy a force to reckon with as this is his 21st award nomination since he hit the music scene in 2009.
Easily the most celebrated artiste of his generation, 2Face is credited with being one of the key figures in the rise to global prominence of what has been described as the sound of 21st century Africa. His distinctive blend of reggae, R&B and traditional African musical influences creates a vibe that is contemporary and universal while maintaining a clear African identity. Just as he has done with the seemingly effortless balance of huge commercial success, 2Face, the Nigerian born and bred artist has maintained his status as an authentic world class brand. After taking the nation by storm and creating the template for a new Naija pop sound under the group Plantashun Boiz, 2Face went solo in 2004 and recorded the phenomenally successful solo debut, Face 2 Face, which included the global anthem, African Queen. The internationally successful track went multi-platinum and graced its way on to the soundtrack of the movie Phat Girlz featuring Mo’Nique.
Also known as the most sought after collaborator and countless awards including the KORA and several MTV Africa Music Awards, 2Face has established himself as one of Africa’s most successful artists. Two brilliant offerings (“Grass 2 Grace”, 2006 and “The Unstoppable”, 2008 plus the revolutionary Unstoppable: Int'l Edition (2010) and almost two dozen hit collabos later, 2Face Idibia has proven his class, versatility and staying power beyond doubt and earned the status of a superstar and cultural icon. 2Baba as he is fondly called by his fans has performed in concerts in over 100 cities in more than 50 countries around the world including Australia, Switzerland, Russia, Barbados, Seychelles, Malaysia, Jamaica, Canada, Kenya and more. His recent appearance on BET International and the Mo’Nique Show seem to further solidify his notoriety in western culture.
4) Fally Ipupa
Fally Ipupa Nsimba known as “Dicap La Merveille”, meaning “DiCaprio the Mavelous” was born in Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of Congo.) He is a Congolese singer and dancer. Very early in his career, he discovered a gift for songs in need of a crystalline voice which he possesses, and from that moment decided to live only through and for music. Fally is the first Congolese artist of his generation to attempt the adventure of a bivalent musical career that mixes innovation and tradition. The Congolese public soon recognized his unique gift and became fond of him – nicknaming him 'DiCaprio' for his swag. Today, he is hailed as one of Africa’s greatest Music and Fashion Icons.
Fally’s sophomore solo album Arsenal Beautiful Melodies (A2BM,) rapidly climbed the charts with hits like Cadena, Nyokalesse, 5ieme Race, Traveling Love, Mon Amour, 1minute, and Chaise Electrique featuring Olivia, former member of rap group G-Unit. With this album, Fally conquered not only Africa, but made his mark as one of the first African artists of his generation to cross over and embrace the American culture. Fally Ipupa is a captivating performer; his concerts are energetic while his delivery is unsurpassable. Female fans love to watch as he drives his songs to new heights with his swiveling hips (part of the reason he made the top ten sexiest men list.) The mix of rumba, reggae, soul, and ndombolo has proven to be his magical elixir. He has performed to sold out audiences in Europe and Africa, and continues to gain recognition internationally for his music. Having won the KORA Award for Best African Artist in 2009, Ipupa can be considered to be unstoppable!
5) Angelique Kidjo
Angelique Kidjo is a Grammy Award winning Beninoise singer-songwriter and activist, noted for her diverse musical influences and creative music videos. Time Magazine has called her “Africa's premier diva”. The BBC has included Angelique in its list of the continent's 50 most iconic figures and The Guardian has listed her as one of their Top 100 Most Inspiring Women in the World. Kidjo digs into her roots with her new Razor & Tie release, OYO. Roots that reach far beyond her West African homeland of Benin, because the singer, dancer and songwriter Kidjo is a definitive 21st century world artist. Her art roves across boundaries, genres and ethnicities, finding the connections that link musical forms from every part of the world, while still bonding closely with her own traditions. In the years after Kidjo’s initial exposure to the American pop music that influenced her as a child her career escalated in a steadily rising arc.
Having sang and performed since she was a teenager, she has been an entertainer for over twenty years and released 11 studio albums. Kidjo has never lost her African musical connections, the linkages of which are present in several traditionally-oriented pieces. Kidjo’s original songs illuminate the emotional range of her creativity. She describes the spirited “Kelele” as a “High Life from Ghana,” and goes on to add that “Everywhere I go in the world I want people to remember that they are human beings and to remember that if we don't have fun, everything we do will have no taste.” No stranger to BET Networks, Angelique Kidjo recently performed on the 2011 BET Honors, and has appeared repeatedly on the BET International and Centric channels.
TEARGAS is made up of three like-minded young men namely; Ntokozo “K.O.” Mdluli from Piet Retief in Mpumalanga, two brothers Ezee “Ma-E” Hanabe and Bantu “Ntukza” Hanabe from Soweto. They all met at Vaal Tri-angle Technikon in Vanderbijlpark, Gauteng, where they became best friends due to common musical interests in hip-hop. Although the group officially came into being in 2004, prior to that the guys were mostly making moves in the underground hip hop circuit. Inspired by the country’s political past where police used TEARGAS to disperse protesting crowds in South Africa’s townships, the threesome opted to call themselves TEARGAS, where they see their music as a tool to disperse socio-economic ills like crime, HIV/Aids, poverty, etc. A huge fan favorite of South Africa, they have released a total of three studio albums.
TEARGAS got signed to Electromode Music in 2005, becoming the label’s first hip-hop act. This has helped to cement their position as a pillar of the local Hip Hop community while securing them a reputation as artists who, never failing to surprise, still manage to transcend the boundaries of genre. TEARGAS released their third effort, Dark or Blue which set a new standard for the trio and for local hip hop at large. The first single, Party 101, received an enthusiastic nod from industry peers. They also released two Go Away and Mhlobo Wami, the latter having dropped in 2010. TEARGAS was nominated 3 times at the biggest Award institution in the country, the South African Music Awards (SAMA) 2010. They are the first hip-hop outfit to be nominated for Album of the Year for Dark or Blue. The album went gold in 2010, and the demand for the group on the live circuit has grown exponentially.