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Stonebwoy grabbed the coveted Artiste of the Year prize
Stonebwoy grabbed the coveted Artiste of the Year prize
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Glitz, glamour and controversy: Hits and misses at TGMA25

The silver jubilee edition of the Telecel Ghana Music Awards (TGMAs) lit up the Grand Arena of the Accra International Conference Centre(AICC) last Saturday, June 1, 2024 delivering a night packed with unforgettable moments and headline grabbing controversies.

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Despite a late start that tested fans' patience, the event unfolded with a rollercoaster of awe and letdowns. 

Stonebwoy's electrifying performance brought the house down, contrasting sharply with an underwhelming show by King Promise, one of the favourites for the ultimate award, Artiste of the Year. 

The unexpected victory of gospel artiste Queendalyn Yurglee as Best Female Vocal Performance sparked widespread buzz, while the hosting by actors Naa Ashorkor and Chris Attoh fell flat and left the audience underwhelmed. 

Celebrating its 25th milestone

The TGMA organised by Charterhouse proved its ability to surprise, thrill, and stir up conversations. Here’s a rundown of what went down at the just-ended TGMA.

Red Carpet Royalty, Glitches

The evening kicked off with the much-anticipated Red Carpet which drew a galaxy of stars all vying for attention. 

This segment of the annual awards ceremony has consistently been one of the highlights of the event, and this year's was no exception.

Celebs like Zynell Zuh, Chris Attoh, Naa Ashorkor, Sista Efya, Efia Odo, Kwabena Kwabena, and Nadia Buari dazzled in their extravagant outfits.

However, not everyone hit the mark. Kuami Eugene, DJ Azonto, Official Dacosta, TikTokers Asantewaa and Wesley Kesse left fans scratching their heads with their fashion choices. 

Despite these missteps, the Red Carpet remained a vibrant display of style and glamour.

Dry Hosting 

Screen stars, Naa Ashorkor and Chris Attoh, were expected to bring charisma and energy to the stage as hosts but fell flat despite their established reputations, delivering a performance that many found dull. 

The event's late start, a recurring issue, was compounded by long-winded speeches and unnecessary encomiums from both award presenters and winners, dragging the ceremony into the early hours of the next day.

For an event that has ran for 25 years, disregard of time by the organisers, has reached unacceptable levels and needs urgent attention by Charterhouse by benchmarking against the standards set by premier international awards, to reflect the TGMA's vaunted status on the national entertainment calendar.

Show-stopping performances 

Despite the hiccups, the night featured performances that left the audience in awe. Nacee’s gospel-inspired set, a heartfelt tribute to the late KODA, was a poignant highlight. 

Stonebwoy electrified the crowd with his energetic switch from Manodzi to his upcoming single Your Body. 

Efya showcased her incredible vocal prowess and stage presence, and proved why she's called the ‘Big Dragon’.

 Also, Kuami Eugene brought his rockstar energy to the stage, and Mr Drew's choreography left the crowd mesmerised. And of course, the legendary Amakye Dede, honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award, performed his timeless hits, bringing nostalgic joy to fans. 

Other standout performances were provided by Okyeame Kwame, Kwabena Kwabena, Reggie Rockstone, Epixode, Mzbel, Akwaboah, Amerado, King Paluta, and Eno Barony—each delivering their unique style and energy.

Big Flop

 In a surprising turn, King Promise, a top contender for the Artiste of the Year award, delivered a lacklustre performance that lacked spark and failed to connect with the audience. 

It was a shocking misstep from an artiste who had everything to gain from a stellar performance and the high expectations of fans.

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 Hits and Misses

 The TGMA awards ceremony culminated in a resounding win for Stonebwoy, as he took home the coveted Artiste of the Year award. Despite King Promise's impressive showing in the year under review, his fans were left disappointed when he failed to clinch the ultimate honour. (Related articles: Did King break Promise? EDITOR’S LENS: Celebrating Stonebwoy, Afronita and Abigail's triumphs)

 However, there was no disputing King Paluta's well deserved win as Best New Artiste, as patrons erupted in unanimous applause, acknowledging his exceptional talent and dedication. 

The auditorium went loud with congratulations, making King Paluta's moment of victory a truly unforgettable highlight of the evening. Meanwhile, fans of Adina and Abiana were left in shock and disbelief when their favourites failed to secure the Best Female Vocal Performance award.

Instead, the prize went to Queendalyn Yurglee, a gospel artiste who is a new face to many in the audience. 

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The night was also a disappointment for songstress Gyakie, who many believed would have been recognised for her hard work and achievements in the year under review. 

Despite earning two nominations in the Most Popular Song and Best International Collaboration categories, Gyakie went home empty-handed, leaving her fans disappointed. 

Challenge for Charterhouse 

While Charterhouse has done a commendable job celebrating Ghanaian music and its players over the years and being a major driver of growth in the industry, this year’s TGMA highlighted areas for improvement. 

Areas requiring attention and improvement to enhance the event's overall experience for patrons, award winners, performers, and even TV audience include respecting event's scheduled start, reduction in unnecessary delays on stage through tighter production and dry rehearsals, and ensuring more engaging performances.

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Enhancing audience interaction and implementing a more efficient award presentation system will also be crucial. 

Finally, the organisers should consider showcasing a more diverse and inclusive lineup of performers and presenters to truly reflect the richness of Ghanaian music.

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