The 19th edition of the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards (VGMA) is on Saturday, April 14 and as it’s been in the last couple of years, the highlight of the night would be who wins the much-coveted category – Artiste of the Year.
It’s a free world and nothing bars anybody from openly supporting and predicting who stands the best chance of clinching that honour – and I choose Ebony Reigns; a choice I made, way before her illustrious life was cut short – and I am still sticking to it!
Of course, there’s also been clamour for other artistes to win the category, which is normal but unfortunately, many commentators just express their rejection of Ebony and their support for others as Artiste of the year without taking cognizance of the critical element for winning – the category criteria.
The category definition for the VGMA Artiste of the Year states that: “Artiste of the Year is the Artiste(s) adjudged by the Academy, Board and the General Public as the Artiste(s) with the highest audience appeal and popularity. The Artiste(s) must have released a hit single/album during the year under review.”
Highest Audience Appeal
The Oxford Dictionary has three different definitions for the word ‘Appeal’ and it’s the third definition that speaks to the crux of the category definition – which means, to be attractive and interesting.
There’s no shred of doubt the level of attraction and interest Ebony generated to her brand last year. Every move she made roused massive interest and made all the headlines.
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Her appeal was incomparable to the other competitors in that category.
Her music topped the charts; her actions dominated the headlines, her brand made many artistes go unnoticed, especially for the year under review and that inestimable appeal made her the busiest artiste in December 2017, where she performed at almost every event, from Bawjuase to Abetifi, whether high-profile or not.
Yes, the others in the category had appeal but Ebony’s audience appeal in 2017 was the highest.
Ebony’s popularity transcended show business. It permeated the arenas of religion, politics, law and security –unprecedented by any artiste in the year under review.
Pastors preached about her brand and her type of music, politicians could not help but pass commentary about her, lawmakers contemplated her endeavours as an artiste with some making audacious assertions of her brand and music having some ripple effect on security.
That was how Ebony soared in popularity in 2017.
Let’s get back to the corridors of show business where Ebony’s popularity as a female artist in 2017 was a never-seen-before moment in the history of Ghanaian entertainment. She did not only dominate her gender but controlled the entire industry in all aspects.
From the toddler to the frail old lady, every body and every household knew her name, a line from her song or a chorus to her song(s), she was all over the place!
A Hit Song/Album
A hit song? That is an understatement of the dominance and influence songs, yes, songs released by Ebony in 2017 had. Every song released that year was a mega hit, a chart-topper and show-topper.
There was Poison in January, then came Sponsor in May, and not relenting on her soaring popularity, she dropped Date Ur Fada in September and then another banger, Hustle in November.
With many thinking she’d already done enough to compete and possibly win the biggest award in the VGMA, she unleashed another big tune, Maame Hwe in December and climaxed her efforts with the release of her maiden hit album, ‘Bonified’, also in December.
Her solo tracks were so dominant, it is even useless to rope in all the countless hit collaborations she did last year - just pointless.
Some people, after the unfortunate demise of Ebony have asserted that, others are pushing for a win for her out of sympathy.
Such persons are simply oblivious of plain facts.
The call for Ebony to win the category has nothing to do with her death or whatever sympathy the naysayers want to assign.
It is strictly based on merit as stated in plain language above. She worked tirelessly to make that transition from a ‘nobody’ to a most sought after act in just a year.
There’s also this absurd talk about the award going to an artiste who is alive and can project the VGMA brand. That is such a senseless suggestion!
Even for many artistes who won the ultimate prize and are alive, what kind of impact were they able to engineer, a year and more after their respective wins?
When she wins, her songs and influence would project the scheme in the next year and more.
Ebony worked hard and totally deserves to become the first female to win the VGMA ‘Artiste of the Year’.