Rema paid tribute to Afrobeats giants from Africa. Photo: MTV

Nigerian singer Rema is 'living the life', literally, as he has won the Afrobeats category at the MTV Music Video Awards for his single ‘Calm Down’ with American singer Selena Gomez.

It is also a historic moment for Rema, as he is the first African to win the award category, which was introduced this year to the 39-year-old music awards event.

An excited Rema got on stage with Selena Gomez to pick up the award and payed tribute to leading Afrobeats figures from Nigeria.

Tribute to legends

He said: "This means so much seeing Afrobeats grow this big and being on this stage representing Afrobeats".

"I am so happy, but one thing I will not forget to do tonight is forget to shout-out the people who open the doors for me. Big shouts to Fela, who started Afrobeats in the first place, 2 Baba, Don Jazzy, D Banj, De Prince, Runtown, Timaya, 2Face, Wizkid, Burna Boy and Davido".

Rema defeated Afrobeats heavyweights Burna Boy, Davido, Wizkid, Fireboy DML, Ayra Starr, and Labianca.

Nigeria's president Bola Tinubu also congratulated Rema for his award.

''Congratulations to Nigeria’s very own - Rema on winning the ‘Best Afrobeats’ at the VMAs for his song ‘Calm Down’ with Selena Gomez. Such an amazing acceptance speech!'' Tinubu wrote on X. ''He continues to represent Nigeria on the world stage, breaking barriers and inspiring countless others. His talent knows no bounds, and his music resonates with audiences worldwide,'' he concluded.

Rema had also been nominated for Song of the Year and Best Collaboration but lost both to Taylor Swift, Karol G and Shakira, respectively.

Other winners

Taylor Swift emerged the biggest winner of the night, earning nine awards, including Video of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Pop, as well as Best Direction, Best Cinematography, and Best Visual Effects, all for "Anti-Hero," Album of the Year for Midnights, plus Artist of the Year and Show of the Summer.

Taylor Swift (middle)  won nine award categories. Photo: MTV

She became the first artist to win Video of the Year two years in a row.

Best Hip Hop went to American rapper Niky Minaj for 'Super Freaky Girl, while Group of the Year went to Black Pink.

TRT Afrika