Stakeholders in the African music business came to honor Nigerian music at the 2023 Headies Award, which was held on September 3, 2023, at the Cobb Energy Centre in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
The Unexpected Win
Ayra Starr criticizes the Headies for not presenting the Best Female Artist award live. In a star-studded category that boasted of acclaimed artists such as Tems, Tiwa Savage, and Simi, rising star Ayra Starr emerged as the recipient of the Best Female title. This significant win for the young artist should have been a moment of pride and jubilation.
A Victory Overshadowed
However, the elation was marred by a glaring oversight at the Headies event. To the surprise of many, including Ayra Starr herself, the award for the Best Female was not presented live on stage. This left the winner and many attendees puzzled and disappointed, wondering why such a significant category was relegated to a secondary status.
Ayra Starr’s Outcry
Taking to her Twitter (X) account, Ayra Starr did not hold back her emotions. She expressed deep displeasure at the snub, highlighting the hard work and dedication of every female artist nominated in the category. Her tweet underscored the collective efforts of all the talented women in the industry, showcasing moments like Tiwa recording multiple chart-toppers in a single evening or Tems’s deep passion for music. Ayra Starr’s sentiment was clear: every female artist deserved recognition, and the casual manner of award distribution was simply unacceptable.
“Not Raised to Accept Less”
Ayra Starr’s concluding statement stood out emphatically, “I wasn’t brought up in Nigeria to accept less.” This line transcends beyond just the award situation, suggesting a broader narrative about the expectations and standards that individuals, especially women, should set for themselves.
Headies’ Pattern of Award Distribution:
The 2023 Headies did not present all of its awards live during the event. Remarkably, 14 major accolades, including the prestigious Record of the Year and the Best Female Artist, were awarded off-stage. This pattern further amplified the concerns and criticisms of many attendees and viewers.
A Larger Discussion
The incident sparked wider discussions on social media. Ayra Starr’s tweet resonated with many who saw the award show’s decision as a slight to the contributions of female artists in the music industry. The sentiment was shared not just by the fans but by industry insiders as well, who viewed this act as diminishing the hard work, creativity, and accomplishments of women in the music business.
In the light of these events, the episode serves as a reminder of the continual need to recognize and celebrate the efforts of all artists, irrespective of gender, ensuring that accolades are accorded the gravitas they truly deserve.