Burna was nominated in four categories at the BET awards 2023. Photo: AP

By Charles Mgbolu

Burna Boy paid tribute to his fans, writing ‘thank you’ on social media as congratulatory messages flooded his timeline following his announcement as winner of the BET 2023 Best International Act award in the early hours of Monday.

Although his award as Best International Act is remarkable, some fans had hoped he would get the Best Male R&B/Pop Artist award this year to add another feather.

The award nomination in the Best Male R&B/Pop Artist category was seen as another test for the fiery power of Burna’s popularity.

He was thrown into a pack of international heavyweight contenders for the same award including Blxst, Brent Faiyaz, Chris Brown, Drake, The Weeknd, and Usher.

His win would have been the perfect icing on the cake for a young man who has had such remarkable musical success in such a short space of time.

The odds

‘’We have to thank you for giving us songs that move our soul and strengthen us every blessed day. You deserve this odogu,'' a fan, Nana Kojo Shyboi wrote on Twitter.

If Burna Boy had won, it would have been the first time an African act had clinched this award. But entertainment writer Ameyaw Debrah believes there were so many odds stacked against Burna Boy winning the Best Male R&B/Pop Artist.

This is Burna Boy's fourth win of the BET Best International Act award. Photo: Reuters

‘’Remember, he is contending with more traditional R&B and pop artists who are doing very well in their careers. Burna Boy is doing extremely well, but we shouldn’t exaggerate when pushing the boundaries of expectations when African acts are on these international awards,'' he says.

Very traditional

The award for Best Male R&B/Pop Artist was taken by Chris Brown and Usher, two formable acts who have been in the music business for a combined 51 years.

‘’These are artists who are doing very well in their respective music careers. They are also Americans, and this is where R&B is very traditional, so their clout and influence must never be underestimated,'' Debrah added.

Burna might have hoped for more wins. But he however knows winning the Best International Act award is still a huge accomplishment.

He went against Aya Nakamura (France) and Ayra Starr (Nigeria). Central Cee (UK) Ella Mai (UK) K.O. (South Africa) L7nnon (Brazil) Stormzy (UK), Tiakola (France), and Uncle Waffles (Swaziland).

Cameroonian Afrobeats singer Libianca Fonji won the award for Best New International Act.

TRT Afrika