PICS | 5 music stars of 2020

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
With his acting debut on Netflix and signing to Def Jam Africa, Nasty C has had a stellar year musically.
With his acting debut on Netflix and signing to Def Jam Africa, Nasty C has had a stellar year musically.

Whether it was virtual shows, or streaming, South Africans used music, TV shows and various art forms to help them deal with the hardest year most people have ever had to endure.

In a year where RIP was a constant and a pandemic raged through the world, the arts have kept many people going. So for some musicians, even though they haven't been able to perform, it's been a good year. 

From making historical milestones to signing major record deals, we take a look at (in no particular order) some of the musicians that continued to make waves in 2020. 

Read more | Kabza de Small and Elaine top Spotify's streaming list for 2020

Master KG 

No list could be quite complete without mentioning the impact of Kgaogelo Moagi's hit song Jerusalema on the international music scene this year. From getting the world dancing through the #JerusalemaChallenge to raking in numerous award nominations, Master KG has made history with his hit song. 

Featuring vocalist Nomcebo Zikode, Jerusalema has over 270 million views on YouTube, while the remix featuring afrobeat megahouse Burna Boy has over 6 million views. 

Master KG recently made history by being the first African artist to win the International Song of the Year award at the NRJ Awards. He is also nominated in the Artist of the Year category at the 2020 MTV Africa Music Awards alongside stars such as Burna Boy and Wizkid. 

Read more | The road to Master KG’s MTV EMA Award for global hit Jerusalema

Kabza de Small

Continuing his reign on Spotify, Kabelo Motha known better by his stage name Kabza de Small, was named the streaming sites most-streamed local artist of 2020 - for the second time in a row! His albums, I Am The King Of Amapiano: Sweet & Dust, joint-albums Scorpion Kings Live and The Return of the Scorpion Kings were also the top three most-streamed albums of the year. 

Kabza de Small and DJ Maphorisa are nominated in the Best Group category in this years' MTV Africa Music Awards. He also won Best Album Song Artwork at this year's South African Dance Music Awards. 

Read more | DJ Maphorisa on his and Kabza de Small's success: "We are the hardest working people I know"

Nasty C 

Nsikayesizwe David Junior Ngcobo, professionally known as Nasty C, went from record label troubles to making major movies internationally. 

At 23, he made his global footprint through signing a recording deal with Def Jam Africa, a joint venture with Universal Music Africa. Nasty C was also nominated in the Best International Flow category at the 2020 BET Africa Awards and is nominated in MTV Africa Music Awards in the Best Hip-Hop category. On this years MTV Hottest MC list, he was ranked at No.3 and won the Best Digital Sales award at this years South African Hip Hop Awards. 

His much-awaited album, Zulu Man With Some Power was named Spotify's fourth most-streamed album of 2020.

Read more | Nasty C wants to be a billionaire by age 35 – this is how he plans to do it


Crowned South Africa's shining star, Ndivhuwo Elaine Mukheli has had a career-defining year. 

The R&B sensation signed an international record deal with Columbia Records, the house of stars like Adele and Beyoncé. She was also the most-streamed local female artist of 2020.

Boasting the title of being the first independent female artist to reach No.1 on Sub-Saharan African iTunes and Apple Music album charts, You're the One has over 4 million views on YouTube.

Read more | Singer Elaine chats about the success of her debut EP: 'It's honest, it's pure and passionate'


Lethabo Sebetso made his earliest appearance in the music scene in 2018, in 19 Tobetsa a feature with Major League Djz and since then, he's become a well-known name.

His infusion of hip hop with amapiano has led to him getting a number of accolades in the industry including a nomination from MTV's Africa Music Awards as a breakthrough act alongside amapiano vocalist, Sha sha and singers Elaine and Tems. He was named MTV Base's Hottest MC of the year, beating out MC's such Nasty C, Yanga and Cassper Nyovest. Continuing his winning streak, Focalistic was also awarded the Best Freshman award SA Hip Hop Awards. 

His hit song Ke Star feat. Vigro Deep was recently certified platinum, with Blecke being certified Gold. 

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24