African acts don’t fly at EMAs

2011-11-04 08:02

The bad news is that there is not a single sub-Saharan nominee at this year’s MTV Europe Music Awards (EMAs).

The event – which has honoured African acts since 2005 and has nominated South African stars like HHP, Zamajobe and 2006 winners Freshlyground – will be short of Afro-pop, Afro-beat, zouk, kwassa-kwassa and mbalax flavour.

Popular musicians Cabo Snoop, Fally Ipupa, Wizkid and local house DJ Black Coffee were finalists for the Worldwide Act, but failed to get enough public votes.

The Best African award was scrapped in 2008 in favour of the MTV African Music Awards. Now African musicians have had to compete with global counterparts in the Worldwide Act category.

Arabic singer Abdelfattah Grini from Egypt represents Africa, India and the Middle East in this category. Other nominees are Lena from Europe, Big Bang from Asia Pacific, Britney Spears from North America and Restart, flying the Latin American flag.

The star-studded event happens tonight at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and will be hosted by singer and actress Selena Gomez.

Confirmed performers are big-name teenybopper Justin Bieber, who is Gomez’s boyfriend, and superstar DJ David Guetta along with Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars, Coldplay, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jessie J, LMFAO and Snow Patrol. Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi and Jenni “JWOWW” Farley are some of the presenters.

Some of the celebrities expected to walk the red carpet include pop star Katy Perry, Evanescence lead singer Amy Lee, actress Hayden Panettiere, supermodel Bar Refaeli, WWE superstar Sheamus, supermodel Irina Shayk and actor William Moseley. Jason Derulo is scheduled to perform during the red carpet pre-show.

Lady Gaga has the most nominations with six, including for Best Song and Best Female Artist. Katy Perry and Bruno Mars follow her with four each.

Adele, Justin Bieber and Thirty Seconds To Mars are each up for three awards. Other nominees are Snoop Dogg, Jennifer Lopez, Beyoncé, Eminem, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Kanye West, Linkin Park, Wiz Khalifa and Kings of Leon. Queen will be honoured with the Global Icon award and will also perform.

»?Watch the EMAs live on MTV tonight from 9pm, and recorded on MTV Base tomorrow from 9pm.

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