Ghana Music Honours 2014 Winners

Sonnie Badu

Sonnie Badu

Instrumentalist Honour

A keyboard and a multi-talented instrumentalist, his talent comes once in a generation. His extraordinary talent, which started at age 5, has earned him the accolade, The Oracle.

He has worked and toured with such legendary artistes as Stevie Wonder, Craig David, Shaggy, Ms Dynamite, Jamie Scott, Osibisa and many more. No doubt, South African Jazz trumpeter, Hugh Masekela affectionately refers to him as his ‘God son’.

For many years, he has been recognised for his special collaboration and production churning out unique sounds for Ghana’s No1, selling international singer, Kojo Antwi. He has been very instrumental in producing local home grown artists such as Becca, and Nana Yaa, daughter of legendary Hi-Life artist Pat Thomas,

Kwame is now the youngest succeeding producer and Musical Director of the all-time international legendary group, Osibisa.

Music Tutor Honour

Born on 22 June 1921, he is considered Africa’s premier musicologist. He is easily the most published and best known authority on African music and aesthetics in the world.

Prof. Nketia attended the University of London from 1944 to 1949. In 1949 he began three years’ study at Birkbeck College, University of London, and Trinity College of Music, London, obtaining a B.A. degree. In 1958 a Rockefeller Fellowship allowed him to come to the United States, where he attended Columbia University (studying with Henry Cowell), the Juilliard School, and Northwestern University, studying musicology and composition.

He was a professor of music at UCLA and the University of Pittsburgh, and has lectured in many prestigious universities worldwide, including Harvard University, Stanford University, University of Michigan, City University London, and the China Conservatory of Music. He is an emeritus professor of music at the University of Ghana, Legon, Accra, where he began teaching in 1952. He currently directs the International Centre for African Music and Dance (ICAMD). Joseph Hanson Kwabena Nketia is the real meaning of a “Living Legend”.

Music Industry Development Honour

He is the founder and CEO of OM Studios formerly Si-Fex Digital. Since he established in Ghana in 1996, he has worked with over 500 musicians in various capacities including Executive Producer, Music Video Director, Artiste Manager, Business Development Consultant.

The first youth entertainment lifestyle programme, ‘SMASH TV’, was one of the tools he used to promote musicians in the late nineties. He and his brother, Eddie established Noise Management, a record label that produced the likes of Tic Tac, Obrafour and many others.

The brains and force behind the successful Nescafe Revelation Talent Hunt which produced the likes of Praye, Wuta and more.  His contribution to royalty payment for musicians through his Fiesta TV youtube Channel gives hope to our musicians who until then couldn’t monetize their channels.

His Fiesta TV is the only local Television station that plays 100 per cent Ghanaian music, a key booster and role model to the Development of our music industry.

Music Industry Development Honour

He has been singing since he was a teenager and has since been amazing audiences with his talents. He has recorded alongside several top artists and has won several awards to his credit. In 2007, he released his most successful album yet, Lost And Found. Apart from enjoying massive airplay on radio and TV, he at a certain point, topped the Kenyan charts. His efforts were crowned with two Ghana Music Awards in 2008 for Best Male Vocal Performance and Best Reggae Song of the Year. He has toured Australia extensively and his music is loved across Africa.

Hiplife Musician Honour

A transient and focused musician, he is a hip life/hip-hop, rapper, songwriter, and a professional singer for more than 15 years; and still a force to reckon with.

Born on 17th April 1976, he attended the Kumasi Anglican Secondary School and has a first degree from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology where he read Akan & Sociology.

After six successful years as one half of the hip-life group, Akyeame, he began his solo career and saw even more success come his way. In 2009, Okyeame Kwame picked up the much-coveted “Artiste of the Year” in the Ghana Music Awards, as well as Joy FMs Nite With The Stars Award. Okyeame Kwame also founded his own record label, One Mic Entertainment. He has over the course of his career produced countless hits, and won many awards and performed on many stages worldwide.

In December 2012, Okyeame Kwame staged his own show, The Okyeame Kwame Versatile Show, a kind never seen before in the Ghanaian entertainment industry.  He is also known for his varying rap styles hence his name Mr. versatile.

Highlife Musician Honour

He has always been in love with music from an early age, and he learned a lot of band organization and music writing from his uncle Onyina who played with Nat King Cole, Miriam Makeba, Ray Charles and Ella Fitzgerald.

In the early 70’s he came to Accra to join a band known as the Blue Monks under the leadership of Ebo Taylor. He later moves to Ivory Coast to form a band called the Satellites. He later came to Ghana to form the Sweat Beans Band.

Pat was crowned Mr. Golden Voice of Africa in 1978 and at the same time won the ECRAC award of the year. In 1991 he also won the Album of the year with his “Sika Ye Mogya” song.

Pat moved to Europe and played in almost every city in Europe with his band the Anabos. Pat moved to London, then to Canada where he lived for ten years. Pat is now residing in Ghana and can proudly boast of 15 albums to his credit. Ladies and gentleman, MUSIGA is proud to confer on PAT THOMANS the highlife musician honour.

Musicians Choice Awards

With an exciting and successful musical career spanning over two decades, Kojo Antwi ‘Mr Music Man’ has established himself as a consummate vocalist; a prolific songwriter, producer and arranger; and an enigmatic performer, making him arguably the best Ghanaian musso alive. His music defies categorization and is often a blend of West Africa’s highlife and soukous, the Caribbean lover’s rock and a dash of Afro-America’s soul and R&B.

He has won several Ghana Music Awards and international awards like Best Male Artist, West Africa, at the 2003 All Africa Music Awards, Our Music Award, Kora Award, West Africa Tourism award among many others.

Music Promoter Honour

They are Ghana’s biggest events house, producers of the Industry’s biggest music gigs such as Ghana Music awards, Ghana Rocks and Laughs and Music series. Their contribution over the years to the music industry- through talent hunt shows- eg (Stars of the Future), to promoting various music genres through events and awards show, Charterhouse is undoubtedly one of single biggest contributors to the marketing of Ghanaian music. In addition, their sister media outfit GH ONE, contributes immensely to the promotion of Ghanaian music.

Music Production and Sound Engineering, MUSIGA Honours

Guitarist and Music Producer, Emmanuel Mallet, also known as Zapp or Papa is one of Ghana’s best recording engineers. He started playing drums for the school band while in Accra Academy and moved on to feature on guitar and bass for numerous Christian groups in Accra and in Kumasi when he was in the university. The CEO of Track Productions Limited, he has worked with various high profiled Ghanaian and International artistes.

He is the only engineer to have won the Ghana Music Award for three consecutive years; 1999, 2000, 2001. In 1994 the Entertainment Critics and Arts society of Ghana adjudged him the best Instrumentalist. Zapp is recognized as one of the pioneers of the Hip life genre which started in 1994. Having been a resident Judge on most of Ghana’s finest music reality shows, he is a member of the planning and selection committee of the Ghana Music Awards.

Gospel Musician Honour

He started his music career from the Methodist group singing band and worked with Professor Kofi Abraham as a backing singer. From there he joined Christo Asafo group in Accra and later, the Ahinsan gospel band. He then travelled to Liberia in search for greener pastures where he got a revelation from God to set up his own band and that gave birth to the Asomafo group. They have 25 albums to their credit and have performed in Ghana and around the world.

International Act Honour

He is a multiple award winning Gospel Singer, songwriter, philanthropist, producer, TV presenter and author. His unique blend of intimate worship, high class visuals, and his energetic style of ushering congregations into the presence of God is affecting lives worldwide.

In rising to the pinnacle of achievements, his hall of fame is replete with these significant laurels: he organized the first Africa worship concert in UK in congregation with most High Commissioners and ambassadors. In 2009, he received numerous honors and accolades for his contribution to the gospel community, winning a BEFFTA (Black Entertainment Fashion and Film Award) in the category of Best Gospel Artist.

He was also the recipient of three awards at the Gospel Music Awards Italy and to crown the year, he was decorated the Best Gospel Male at the British Gospel Music Awards. Since then, his local and international awards never stops coming.

He is arguably the most successful gospel export to emerge out of Africa in recent years. For this year’s International Act Honour, Ladies and Gentlemen, we present Sonnie Badu.

Music Band Honour- King Shabo Band

Formed in 2003 as a six-piece Band, the members of this Band came from Western Diamonds, Rex Omar’s Nu Ashanti band and Amadzeba’s Band.

Core members include: Emmanuel Koomson a.k.a Paa Kofi Shabo, the bassist, Fiifi Drummer, Zion, the vocalist and Prince the Guitarist.

They specialize in High life and Jazz. Carpet band for TV3 Mentor, Music and Food Festival and Official Band for Presidential Events including Tribute concert.

They have performed in over 19 countries around the world – including Italy, Germany, Benin, Ivory Coast, Zimbabwe. Presently, it is a 10-piece band and performs frequently at many locations across the country.

Traditional Music Honour

Formed by Nii Tei Ashitey in 1972, this is the most celebrated indigenous cultural troupe in Ghana. They have performed in the United States, Europe, Asia and many other places all over the world.

Some of the founding fathers of this indigenous group are, big boy, Naa Amanua, Uncle Pele, Uncle Dedson.

Among the numerous local and International awards they have received include Pan African Award in 1995, a merit award at the 2006 Ghana Music Awards and a LIFETIME MOGO Awards in 2011.

President’s Honour

He is a Ghanaian musician and former athlete. He moved to the United States in 1966 to study music at the New York School of Music.

He returned to Ghana in 1985 and released the album Africa Responds to the World. This won him an ECRAG award. He has since released 16 albums in Ghana. He has been a past president of the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA)and Vice President of the International Federation of Musicians (FIM).


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