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[VGMA Artiste of the Year] The Age Factor: Facts behind the figures

Quick facts

  • Kontihene may be the youngest musician to have won Artiste of the year in 2003
  • Kojo Antwi may be the oldest to have won the award: now believed to be in his early 60’s, he was probably 40 years when he won it in 2001
  • Almost half of the winners of Artiste of the year over the past 19 years have won the award before they turned 25
  • Ebony is the only person to have won the award posthumously and the only female yet
  • Sarkodie is set to become the only Artiste to have won the artiste of the year for a 3 time.
  • Joe Mettle, Stonebwoy and Shatta Wale would equal the record of Sarkodie, Okyeame Kwame and VIP (Now VVIP) should any of them win. 
  • When the VGMA started in 1999, Kuami Eugene was only 2 years and King Promise was a year older, one of the two is likely to shock on May 18 by winning artiste of the year.

When the name of the artiste of the year is mentioned in the wee hours of May 18 or just about dawn the next day, it could be one of four out of the six in their thirties.

That will be the fifth time out of the twenty years since this glamorous award started that someone of that age  will be winning the award.

Of the over 20 winners [if you counted the individuals or groups] over the years, a majority have been people in their twenties.

This is really telling if you considered the fact that people who were in music long before the VGMAs started are still in active music production yet year in year out, people in their early twenties and at most early thirties are the ones that keep winning the artiste of the year award.

It is also telling of what we think of old musicians or that it is a verdict on the lack of creativity that seems to creep in, as one grows older as a musician (a situation I cannot convince myself is the case).

Other schools of thought would argue the voting audience and people who end up making music relevant predominantly tend to be young people in the age category of eventual winners, the reason why the 20-year-old VGMAs is yet to see someone in their forties or above win the artiste of the year.

And so, this year’s winner will be just another and that person would be following up on a tradition only broken by the late Ebony and Joe Mettle who made a historic first: a female and gospel artiste.

But history is in the making; no matter how you look at it.

Sarkodie stands to be the only artiste to have won the artiste of the year three times, Stonebwoy, Shatta Wale and Joe Mettle on winning the 2019 edition would be equalizing a fate only chalked up by Sarkodie, VVIP and Okyeame Kwame.

Kaumi Eugene and King Promise would be the youngest of the six shortlisted to take home the coveted prize of the most valuable artiste of the year.

And the two superstars in their own rights would be making their own claims to glory if they happen to win.

Kuami Eugene would on winning become the fourth person less than 23 years after Kontihene, Obour and Ebony to take home the artiste of the year award.

King Promise would just be in the age category of past winners to have won the coveted award when they were just 23. These include the likes of Okyeame Kwame of Akyeame fame who won this award when he was just 23 years, Lord Kenya, Ofori Amponsah, and Mugeez of the R2bess fame.

Interesting enough, one is not sure who is the oldest to have won the artiste of the year due to lack of information on the age of previous winners. But the bet would be on Kojo Antwi, the music maestro who suspected to be in his early sixties won the award in 2001. Or could it be Joe mettle who comes in as the oldest to have won the award since no information is available about his age.

Daddy Lumba may be the oldest in the absence of conjecture and speculation as the four past winners whose ages are not known, having won the artiste of the year award at age 35. [Artistes with unknown ages are Kojo Antwi, Kwaw Kese, VIP (average age) and Joe Mettle].

However, on the youngest to win the most wanted artiste of the year, the late Priscilla Opoku-Kwarteng a.k.a Ebony may not have been the youngest, she was a few days shy of her 21 birthday when she died in February 2018.

Kontihene may have long held this title. In an interview granted in 2017, the “Aketesia” hitmaker indicated he wanted to build an orphanage by age 40, which he stated would be in 7 or 8 years’ time. So if one did a quick maths, he was probably 18 or just 19 when he won the artiste of the year in 2003.

By Cyril Delali Dogbe|3news.com|Ghana

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