Barring any unforeseen circumstances, tonight promises to be BIG as the much awaited 20th edition of the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards (VGMA) unfolds at the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC).
The much anticipated event would honour great artistes whose hit songs have gained global notoriety and acceptance as far as the entertainment industry is concerned.
The annual event which was established by Charter House Production in the year 2000 has grown into a festival of music and entertainment that has gone beyond national boundaries to engulf the continent.
Last year was memorable for most music lovers and artistes who won various awards from the event.
This year’s edition of the VGMA looks promising for other big stars like Sarkodie, a two-time Artiste of the Year and the likes of Shatta Wale, Stonebwoy and Joe Mettle, one time winners of the same category who will be battling out with Kuami Eugene and King Promise being first time nominees.
Another compelling category which is the Dancehall Artiste of the Year has only one female, dancehall goddess AK songstress locking horns with dancehall genius Stonebwoy, dancehall prodigy Samini, self acclaimed dancehall king Shatta Wale, and Epixode.
King Promise, Shatta Wale, and Stonebwoy led this year’s nominations with nine nods, followed by Sarkodie with eight within the 26 categories.
As part of the 20 years celebration, the scheme introduced Experience Concert, unlike the Nominees Jam to set the tone for the main event this evening.
It also introduced two other categories which is the Artiste of the Decade and the Best African Collaboration.
The awards show which is expected to be characterised with the usual glitz, glam and style would be climaxed by performances from 4S; Sarkodie, Shatta Wale, Stonebwoy and Samini alongside the 4Ks Kuami Eugene, Kwesi Arthur, Kidi and King Promise.
Others billed to thrill fans at tonight’s show are legendary high life artiste, Abrantie Amakye Dede, Barima Sydney and other international artistes like Queen Soca and Alison Amanda Hinds from Barbados, Cassper Nyovest from South Africa and Burnaboy from Lagos Nigeria.
Capturing the heart of many music and non music lovers, the awards scheme has not been without controversies from the categorisation to nominations stage and the announcing of the most popular song and artiste of the year with some describing it as a ‘sham’.
Last year’s event had the ‘One Corner’ hitmaker, Patapaa Amisty, walk out of the auditorium after losing out to Fancy Gadam in the ‘Most Popular Song of the Year’ category.
Before the announcement, the entire auditorium kept screaming Patapaa’s name as the likely winner, the decision made many Ghanaians lose interest in the award as majority felt Patapaa was cheated.
Others believed some of the categories should not have been voted for but was by a unanimous decision by the board and academy.
Speaking with the Times Weekend in Accra yesterday, Mr George Quaye, Communications Director of Charterhouse, however, debunked any suggestions that the award had ever been manipulated since its inception.
He explained that VGMA ran a three-tier voting system where the VGMA board, the public and the VGMA academy played their various roles.
Mr Quaye said “a winner is determined from percentages garnered from the combined voting activities embarked upon by the three blocks, the public holds 40 per cent voting power while the other two blocks hold 30 per cent each.”
He further stated that all votes were supervised, monitored and collated by one of the world’s most respected accounting firms, KPMG.
On the readiness of his outfit for tonight’s event, Mr Quaye said the past years have taught them lot of lessons and that his outfit was doing its best to make the event successful and memorable for patrons, adding that “we are counting on God to crown our efforts with great success.”
Many Ghanaians have taken to their social media pages to predict the winner of the biggest category, till tonight the question still remains, Who Wins What Tonight?