Popular Hip-Co CIC rapper has bested odds-favorites DenG and Kobazzie to win the two of the five MTN Liberia Music Award coveted categories ‘Artist of The Year and Male Artist of the Year respectively.
CIC who grabbed seven nominations for the just ended MLMA, Liberia’s most prestigious music awards at the Executive Pavilion last Saturday, December 22, also won the Video of the Year for the single “Hello”, even though the video did not have an attractive story line.
To win this award, CIC had to beat competitions from F.A and Stunna to clinch the third award of the night—the highest for any artist during the awards ceremony.
In his awards acceptance speech, CIC thanked his manager, King Jaffar, fans and former record label mate Kizzy W for their level of support over the years to his musical career.
“To my team at SOG and fans, I dedicate these awards to you people. Thanks for the constant support over the year. To the other nominees in this category, you guys are the reason why I’m in the studio working day and night to be able to come out with good songs often to match yours,” CIC said in his acceptance speech.
The “Pekin John” rapper’s winnings of the Artist of the Year and Video of Year mark a very successful year of the rapper who gained more international fame from the feature with Iyana and Joey B.
By winning the “Artist of the Year” category, CIC has become one of the very few rappers (not more than five) to win such prestigious MLMA categories, a rare achievement for any rapper presently.
During an award night full of splendid performances from the likes of Kuami Eugene, Ghana’s 2018 most popular fast-rising artist, Bucky Raw, Cjay, PCK & L’Frankie all walked away with two awards each.
Bucky walked away with the MTN People’s Choice award and the coveted Artist of the Year award for his Country Soda II (CS2) album, which became the first album by a Liberian artist to top iTunes World Music Albums chart and Amazon Best Seller in the International category, respectively.
Super-talented singer Cjay also won the sought-after Song of the Year category for his smash hit, Boss Chick, and the R&B /Afro Soul Song of the Year for the same song.
PCK and L’Frankie, the last big winners of the night, grabbed the Best Group of the Year, and Afropop/Afro Dance Song of the Year for their song, “Go Down”.
Meanwhile, Stunna who had the second most nominations of any other artist — after CIC’s 10 nominations — was unable to win any awards in spite of his popularity and songs this year.
According to a statement from Lonestar Cell MTN following the awards program, the partnership with the organizers of the awards ceremony is a long-term one through which Lonestar Cell MTN will support the growth of the Liberian music industry and expose its talent to the world.
“We would like to thank all attendees and participants who helped to make the event a rousing success. Congratulations to all the winners, including: CIC, PCK and L Frankie, Bucky Raw, CJay, KZee, DJ Blue and Cypha, Alvin Soeh, Fullest 4, Jaredo, Davero, K Praise, Nassiman, Flex, C Note, Kizzy W, Steve Tequah, Tony Kabedeh, Jackie Russ, Duke Black, DJ Nelly, Pascal and Davido.
“Through the awards platform, Lonestar Cell MTN will continue to support and develop the Liberian music industry by helping local recording artists gain international recognition for their music,” the company said.
The awards ceremony was not without its share of challenges, including sub-par lighting systems, stage designs and delay in starting on time.
In a related development, several of the MLMA awards recipients told LIB Life that, they have yet to receive their cash prizes as promised.
The situation, according to the artists who LIB Life talked to is creating a bad imagine for the MLMA for which it might likely affect next year awards.
“Adding a monetary prize to the awards comes with lots of benefits. While I cannot disclose the amount, it will be something good,” Lonestar Cell MTN’s Chief Marketing Officer Yaw Ankoma Agyapong told the Daily Observer during a press conference in November when the company agreed to sponsor the event for over five years. This is something that will continue every award year. Going forward, the company has the plan to invest more resources into the development of Liberia’s arts and culture industry. This is a commitment we will live by.”
In response to the artists concern, an inside source from the awards organizing board clarified that the cash prizes were not immediately released at the awards due to some technical issues that are now being resolved.
“It is matter of time and we are working tirelessly to resolve this problem,” the source said.
Full list of winners below:
Male Artist of the Year
New Artist of the Year
Female Artist of the Year
Video of the Year
Hello – C.I.C. ft Joey B
Album of the Year
CS2 – Bucky Raw
R&B /Afro Soul Song of the Year
Boss Chick – CJay
MTN People’s Choice Award
Artist of the Year
HipCo Artist of the Year
Gbema Artist of the Year
Kzee Big Name
Traditional Artist of the Year
R&B / Afropop Artist of the Year
Gospel Artist of the Year
Song of the Year
Boss Chick – C JAY
AfroPop/Afro Dance Song of the Year
Go Down – PCK & L’Frankie
Gospel Song of the Year
Bow Before The Your Throne – K-Praise ft Sayon Mayson
Hip-Hop Artist of the Year
DJ of the Year
Producer of the Year
Video Director of the Year
Collaboration of the Year
Bae – DJBLUE ft C.I.C., Cypha D’King & Geno
Afropop Artist of the Year
International/African Artist of the Year
Best Group of the Year
PCK & L’Frankie
Reggae / Dance Hall Artist of the Year
Life Time Achievement Award
Legendary Achievement Award