In what appears to be a departure from the established trend, gospel artistes have emerged with the highest number of nominations at this year’s edition of the Ghana Music Awards (GMA).
With six nominations apiece, Ohemaa Mercy and Cee are tied at the top of the list. They have both been nominated for the Song of the Year, Gospel Song of the Year, Gospel Artiste of the Year, Best Collaboration and Female Vocal Performance.
Ohemaa Mercy is, however, in contention for the Artiste of the Year award while Cee finds herself in the Discovery of the Year category.
The topmost award (it was Most Popular Song of the Year last year but has reverted to Artiste of the Year) has consistently eluded gospel artistes since the inception of the GMA in 2000.
The award has been handed over to secular artistes year in and year out though the gospel musicians manage to rack up almost the same number of nominations.
Last year, gospel artiste, Kwaku Gyasi, came close to breaking the jinx but failed. He was beaten to it by King Ayisoba who caused an upset with his immensely popular I Want To See My Father.
Perhaps things will look up for gospel music at this year’s awards judging by Ohemaa Mercy’s strong showing during the period under consideration.
Ohemaa Mercy’s star has really shone brightly with her second album, Edin Jesus which has very popular songs like Menwu Da and Fefeefe.
She burst onto the scene in late 2005 with her first album, Adamfo Pa which did not do too badly considering the fact that it got her three nominations: Gospel Song of the Year, Discovery of the Year and Gospel Artiste of the Year at the Golden Jubilee edition of the GMA.
She may have gone home empty-handed but with six nominations this year, this trained teacher-turned-singer may turn out to be wearing the biggest smiles in the long run.
Cee has surprised many with her nominations in six categories. She was discovered during the second season of TV3’s talent show, Mentor.
She was evicted early in the competition but signed on to the Bandex label through which she released her debut album, Osabarima. With some very impressive videos on TV, she and her songs have become quite popular.
Following closely on the heels of Ohemaa Mercy and Cee in terms of number of nominations is Ofori Amponsah. The biggest winner with six awards last year, he has been nominated this year in the Artiste of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Collaboration, Highlife Song of the Year and Highlife Artiste of the Year categories.
It looks like a straight fight between him and Ohemaa Mercy for the Artiste of the Year award.
5five, Becca and Pastor Lenny Akpadie tie with four nominations each, while Shasha Marley, K.K. Fosu and Irene and Jane have three nominations each. Daddy Lumba and Chemphe each have two.
Samini, used to nominations and awards, finds his name in only one category this year: Best Collaboration, with Ofori Amponsah for Odwo. Ayisoba is not in contention for any award this year and the same story goes for five-time nominee last year, Kwaku Gyasi.
There are some categories which have either been scrapped or are now not subject to public voting because they do not appear this year.
The main event of this year’s GMA has been scheduled for April 26 in Accra.