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Some of the Unforgettable Moments from 2020 are #EndSars, Virtual Concerts, Celebrity Scandals.
2020 has really been a year and a half. From the COVID-19 pandemic to the #EndSars protests, the demise of notable personalities, and the numerous celebrity scandals. These are some of the unforgettable moments in the Nigerian entertainment industry from 2020. Allow us to take you down memory lane while we highlight the good, bad, and ugly moments of 2020 in the Nigerian music industry.
Peruzzi Battled Rape Allegations & Record Label Drama
DMW artiste, Peruzzi kicks off our list as one of the artists who had a really scandalous 2020 at least for the first six months. It all started when the singer was accused of copyright infringement and a breach of contract by his former record label, Golden Boy Entertainment. Shortly after, controversial investigative journalist, Kemi Olunloyo, accused him of having an affair with Davido’s fiancee Chioma.
As if that wasn’t enough, Peruzzi was further accused of sexual assault and fraud by London-based singer, Daffy Blanco, five months after he was once again accused by another woman of rape. This was the last straw that broke the camel’s back because the singer took a break off social media. Months later he returned with a track titled “Lagbaja”. We haven’t heard any negative reports about Peruzzi thus far and we hope he keeps things that way in 2021.
Naira Marley’s Twitter Account Hacked
Controversial Nigerian singer, Naira Marley and “No Mannaz” pioneer came into 2020 with not as much drama as 2019. However, things changed when his Twitter account was hacked in February. The account which had over 600,000 followers at the time was taken over by hackers from Denmark and his handle got changed to @fros. However, a few weeks later Naira Marley was able to recover his account.
Later in the year, the singer got into the news again for flouting COVID-19 restrictions after performing at a concert in Abuja and attending a birthday party at Funke Akindele’s residence.
#StayAtHome: COVID19 Virtual Concerts
Although the COVID-19 pandemic had been ravaging other countries in full force it wasn’t until February/March 2020 that it got into Nigeria After the government announced that the pandemic had gotten to Nigeria a lockdown was enforced forcing all establishments to shut down. This meant no events, no shows, and no parties.
To encourage people to stay at home, Nigerian entertainers; the likes of Reekado Banks, Asa, Skales, and DJ Cuppy turned to digital platforms to deliver virtual concerts so as to entertain people at home. Some artists took things a step further and released a number of songs about the coronavirus.
MI Parts Ways with Chocolate City Music
Nigerian rapper, Mr. Incredible aka M.I Abaga parted ways with his erstwhile record label Chocolate City after 13 years. From a signed artiste, M.I rose to become the president of the record label, signed new acts, and also brought a lot more to the limelight while at Choc City. However, in 2020 he announced his exit from Choc City via his social media page to start his own label, Incredible Music imprint. To kick off the new journey he also launched a new EP ‘Tribe of Judah’.
Picture Kodak’s Demise
In April, the Nigerian music industry was thrown into mourning over the demise of popular video vixen Picture Kodak (Love Divine). Until her death, she was a top dancer who featured in popular music videos. Kodak had reportedly died from electrocution which she suffered at the home of ace music director, Clarence Peters. The death of the dancer drew a lot of reactions within the music industry.
Niniola Recognized by the Grammys
For her involvement on Beyonce’s’ 2019 Lion King album, Afro-house singer, Niniola got recognized by the Recording Academy organizers of the Grammy Awards. The Recording Academy mailed her the “Grammy Certificate” stating that it recognized her work as ‘composer’ on the Grammy Award-nominated recording, The Lion King: The Gift album
Simi Reveals Pregnancy in Duduke Music Video
A few months after celebrating her one-year wedding anniversary, Nigerian singer Simi announced her pregnancy in the most exciting way. The singer who had gone off the radar for some time, returned to the music scene on April 19 (also her birthday)with a new song titled; ”Duduke”.
In the accompanying music video, a heavily pregnant Simi was seen on the beach singing sweetly about her love for the little one and how she can’t wait to meet her. Prior to the announcement, a lot of rumors had been circulating that the singer was pregnant, however, she didn’t respond to any because she had plans to make the revelation in her own special way.
DJ Cuppy Became The First African to Host Apple Music’s ‘Africa Now’ Radio Show
Nigerian disc jockey and singer, DJ Cuppy surely had an amazing 2020. From bagging massive endorsement deals to receiving luxury gifts, and releasing her debut album, Original Copy. However, the one deal we are focusing on is the one she bagged with the online music platform, Apple Music. Cuppy make history when she was announced as the new host for “Africa Now” making her the first African to host a radio show on the platform.
Cynthia Morgan vs Jude Okoye
After a long hiatus from the music scene, Nigerian dancehall artiste, Cynthia Morgan resurfaced with allegations against her former record label, Northside Entertainment, and manager, Jude Okoye. The embattled singer shared her ordeal after she fell off the music scene via a video that caused a social media uproar.
According to Cynthia Morgan, she was depressed and sick and couldn’t make music as fans would have expected. She also blamed her woes on Jude Okoye for taking away her stage name. Recall that Cynthia changed her name to Madrina at one point in her career before she finally disappeared.
Nigerians empathized with her and even created a GoFundMe account to help her get back on her feet and music career. Afterward, Jude Okoye responded to her claims and shared the contracts between his company and Cynthia Morgan. This move was to redeem his name of libel and false accusation by his former artiste. Mr. P of the defunct Psquare came out to support Cynthia and fellow label mate Mr. May-D came out to share his own experiences while under Jude Okoye’s management.
The matter was finally cleared after Jude shared the contracts between him and Cynthia. The artiste proceeded to tender an apology to Jude stating that “pain took over her emotions” a few weeks after she released a single titled “ “Hustle”. Davido also proposed collaborating with her on a song.
D’banj Rape Scandal
Two years after the loss of his son, D’Banj returned to the social media scene just in time for his 40th birthday and the release of a new song. However, the excitement was short-lived as he faced sexual assault allegations leveled against him by Seyitan Babatayo. The saga which went on for weeks got very messy and became the trending topic on Twitter for a while.
During this period, the Oliver Twist crooner lost major endorsement deals and faced a lot of backlashes. After so much back and forth, it was reported that Seyitan Babatayo withdrew her case of alleged rape against the Koko master, D’Banj.
#EndSarsProtests and #LekkiMassacre
A few days after celebrating her 60th Independence, Nigerians took to the streets to protest against Police Brutality by the SARS unit. What started out as a vociferous outrage on social media platforms led to mass demonstrations throughout the major cities of Nigeria. Solidarity protests and demonstrations by Nigerians in diaspora and sympathizers also occurred in major cities of the world.
The protests were led by entertainers, celebrities, and other public figures. The protests had a really huge impact and attracted the attention of major media organizations in the world. International celebrities and public figures also lent their voice to support the movement.
However, things took a turn on October 10, 2020, when the Nigerian government opened fire on its citizens at the Lekki Toll Gate. The event which took the lives of many Nigerian citizens and left some badly injured has been been christened the Lekki Massacre.
Just when we thought we had seen it all, fast-rising singers Omah Lay and Tems got into a messy situation in Uganda. The duo had been booked for a live show in the East-Central African country. After a warm welcome and a successful show, news got to Nigeria that the singers had been arrested by the Ugandan government for allegedly flouting COVID-19 rules. The singers were further charged to court and treated like criminals. It took the intervention of top celebrities and government officials before they were released and flown back to the country.
Other moments worthy of mention include; Victor Olaiya’s demise, Davido dissing Burna Boy, Rema’s Twitter Meltdown, Duncan Mighty’s Saga, and Burna Boy’s second Grammy nomination.
2020 has really been a lot in the music industry yet these moments will not be forgotten in a hurry.
What are some of your unforgettable moments of 2020? Kindly share with us!