Records and shockers at the 2011 Ghana Music Awards

The 12th edition of the Ghana Music Awards (GMA) happened over the weekend with the usual pomp and pageantry that has characterized the award ceremony over the years. But besides the fashion statements, music performances, glitz and glam, the ceremony also saw some huge shockers and records set on the night. The top nominated artists couldn’t have more than two awards each although Cecelia Marfo, Kwabena Kwabena and Trigmatic each had at least 7 nominations.

Many industry experts had predicted that perhaps this could be the year to see a gospel artist winning the ‘Artist of the Year’ nod for the first time but it wasn’t to be as veteran hiplife group, VIP snatched the award to become the first ever group/artist to win the prize for a second time. VIP, who chanted “The myth is broken” on stage, also took home the Hip Life/Hip Hop Artiste(s) of the Year award.

There was however a shocking accomplishment for gospel music, as Herty Borngreat unexpectedly won the ‘Discovery of the Year’ award, the second time ever for a gospel artist. Big winners on the night included Highlife sensation Kwabena Kwabena, who took home the Highlife Song of the Year and Highlife Artiste of the Year. Singer/rapper, Castro won ‘Best Collaboration’ and ‘Hiplife Song of the Year’ for his hit song, ‘African Girls’ featuring Sunderland and Ghana Black Stars footballer, Asamoah Gyan. Cecelia Marfo took home the ‘Gospel Song of the Year’ whilst her husband, Pastor Boamah took home the ‘Songwriter of the Year’ for the same song, ‘Afunumu Ba’.

There was a chorus of disagreement in the audience when veteran sound engineer, Zapp Mallet was announced as the Producer of the Year, with people struggling to at least remember one hit song he might have produced in the past year. A similar feeling was echoed when Sammi B received the Record of the Year award for ‘Tongue Tied’ and Herty Borngreat for Discovery of the Year. Both singers won from keenly contested categories in which they were not quite frontrunners.

Abraham Ohene Gyan, CEO of OM Studios, was also offered an amount of GHC 5000 by the World Bank to dedicate airtime on his entertainment channel, Fiesta on Skyy Digital TV, to promote music for development. Meanwhile this year’s World Bank Award for Music for Development went to Reggie Zippy for his song, ‘Victims’ which talks about the impact of broken homes on society. He won GHC 3,000, while the other nominees received GHC 300 each.

The ceremony was spiced with some exciting performances which started with Sheriffa Gunu, Bertha and Efya each performing an Osibisa classic before the world renowned afro-fusion band received a special Lifetime Achievement Award. According to group founder and one of the few surviving members of Osibisa, Teddy Osei who received the honour in a wheel chair, this was the third Lifetime Achievement Award the group was receiving from all over the world and he was particularly honoured to receive one from his home country, Ghana.

httpv:// There were also performances by Trigmatic, Okyeame Kwame, Cecilia Marfo, No Tribe, Becca, Stay J, Ziggy, 5five, Dr Cryme, VIP, Samini, Kwabena Kwabena, Bless, CK Mann and surprise performances from Reggie Rockstone and Sonni Balli. Nigerian rapper, Ice Prince performed on D-Black’s remix to his hit song, ‘Oleku’ as opposed to having a full length performance like many patrons expected. Fellow Nigerian superstar crooner, 2face Idibia also hit the stage and in a surprising twist, he didn’t win the African Artist of the Year award. This was the first time that a nominee in the African Artist of the Year category had performed at the GMA ceremony and not won the nod. The award went to K’Naan.

With all these artists on one platform, it was expected to be a thriller and it would have been just that if each artist was made to perform just one song or a 5 minute medley of songs at most. The long performances by some artists dragged the show into the early hours of the next morning and lost appeal amongst some patrons who walked out eventually.

Let’s meet again in 2012 to meet our new winners and perhaps witness an improved ceremony based on lessons learnt from the weekend’s ceremony.

Full List of 2011 Ghana Music Award winner:

Best Reggae Recording of the Year: Iwan
Gospel Song of the year: Cecelia Marfo
Highlife Song of the year: Kwabena Kwabena with ‘Dadeanoma’

Best Hiplife song of the year: Castro feat Asamoah Gyan with ‘African Girls’
Hip-hop song of the year: D’black with ‘Get on the dancefloor’
Afro pop song of the year: ‘Kiss your hand’ by R2bees.
MUSIGHA Merit Award: Emeritus Prof J.H Nketia
Traditional Artist of the year: Mustapha Addy
Instrumentalist of the year: Emmanuel Koomson
Best Collaboration: Castro Feat Asamoah Gyan with ‘African Girls’

Songwriter of the Year: Pastor Boamah
Best music for Development: Reggy Zippy
Gospel artiste of the year: No tribe
Highlife artiste of the year: Kwabena Kwabena.
Rapper of year: Trigmatic
Record of the Year: Sammy B
Male Vocal Performance: Knii Lantey
Female Vocal Performance: Efya
Most Popular Song: Aha ye De by Nana Boro
Album of the year: Samini with CEO
Discovery of the Year: Herty Borngreat
Producer of the Year: Zapp Mallet
Music Video of the Year: Phamous People for ‘My Lady’ by Jay Ghartey
Best African Artist: K’naan
Artiste of the year:
Hip Life/Hip Hop Artiste(s) of the Year: VIP



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