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Trace Awards in Kigali: Who are the top contenders?

The long-awaited Trace Awards and Festival has arrived, and Kigali is set to be graced by over 55 global celebrities. These stars will be attending and performing at the largest music event ever to take place in East Africa.

This event marks a historic moment, as it is the first of its kind to draw such a substantial number of mega-music celebrities to the capital of Rwanda.

The awards ceremony features several categories, including Song of the Year, Best Artist Africa Franco, Best Artist Africa Luso, Best Artist Anglo, Best Collaboration, Best DJ, Best Male Artist, Best Live Performance, Best Female Artist, Best Artist in France and Belgium, Best Newcomers, and Best Artist Rwanda.

Other categories, including Best Artists in the United Kingdom, Best Gospel Artist, Best Artist in the Caribbean, Best Artist in the Indian Ocean, Best Music Videos, Best Artist in North Africa, Best Artist in Brazil, Best Producer, and Album of the Year.

The three-day festival will take place at Kigali Convention & Exhibition Village (KCEV) on October 20-22, while the Trace Awards, which is the highlight of the festival, will stage on Saturday, October 21, at BK Arena.

Meanwhile, the leading nominations are artistes from West Africa, notably Nigeria, who affirm the global resonance of Nigerian Afrobeat with over 40 nominations. Prominent figures include Burna Boy, Ayra Starr, Davido, WizKid, Tiwa Savage, Yemi Alade, Fireboy DML, and Rema among others.

Among the nominees are several prominent celebrities, including Diamond Platnumz, Fally Ipupa, DJ Maphorisa from South Africa, Bruce Melody, and Libianca, among many others.

Beyond the continent, the African diasporas are celebrated with nominees from France, Brazil, the U.K., the Caribbean, and the Indian Ocean, including the likes of Stormzy (U.K.), Aya Nakamura (France), Leo Santana (Brazil), and Shenseea (Jamaica), Tay-C (France) among other stars.

The event is also in line with the 20th anniversary of Trace, the global music powerhouse and Afro-music tastemaker, which has played a big role in boosting Africa’s music industry in the last two decades and the biggest export of Afro-music.

The Trace Awards will shine a spotlight on a diverse array of music genres, including Afrobeats, dancehall, hip-hop, mbalax, amapiano, zouk, kizomba, genge, coupé décalé, bongo flava, soukous, gospel, rap, rai, kompa, R&B, and rumba.

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