# MTvVMAs23: Rema Sets Record As The First Best Afrobeats Award-Winner Category With ‘Calm Down’

By Edem Latsu Nukafu

Supertalented young artist, Rema TYE proceeds to break records. On Tuesday night (Sept. 12), he evolved to be the first African musician to win the prestigious Best Afrobeats Award, which was introduced this year at the MTV VMAs.

The fast-rising Nigerian vocalist’s hit single “Calm Down” remix feat. Selena Gomez was nominated in the category alongside Burna Boy’s “It’s Plenty,” Davido’s “Unavailable” feat. Musa Keys, Ayra Starr’s “Rush,” Libianca’s “People,” Wizkid’s “2 Sugar” feat. Ayra Starr, and Fireboy DML’s “Bandana” feat. Asake.
“Calm Down” was also nominated in the Song Of The Year and Best Collaboration categories.

Rema stepped on stage with Selena Gomez to accept his award during the celeb-studded occasion at the Prudential Center in New Jersey, USA.  He paid profound tribute to many Afrobeats legends from Nigeria.
“Africa in the house tonight!” he exclaimed. Then continued and added, “First of all, I wanna give big thanks to God. I wanna give big thanks to my fans, make some noise. I wanna give big thanks to my team. Big shout out to Selena, I wanna say I love you from the bottom of my heart. This means so much seeing Afrobeats grow this big and being here on this stage representing Afrobeats.”

He went on, “I am so happy. But one thing I will not forget to do tonight is forget to shout out to the people who opened the doors for me. Big shout out to Fela, who started Afrobeats in the first place. 2Baba, Don Jazzy, D’banj, D’Prince, Runtown, Timaya… Wizkid, Burna Boy, Davido. And I want to give a huge shout-out to the new generation of Afrobeats. We are here to take it to the rest of the world.”

Meanwhile, the original version of “Calm Down,” which was the second single from Rema’s debut album, Rave & Roses, was first dropped in February of 2022. The remix with the one-time Disney Channel celebrity was released in August of that year and it’s been a global hit ever since. It peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and it also became the first-ever song to lead the Billboard U.S. Afrobeats Songs chart for a record-setting 52 weeks.


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