30 December 2013

Nigeria: Top 10 Entertainment Stories of 2013

The year in entertainment started on a low note with the death of Goldie Harvey. However, it was also a triumphant year for afro-pop music with the likes of Kcee, Iyanya and Flavour topping the charts. Wazobia rappers also made themselves felt: Olamide, Phyno and belatedly, Reminisce.

It was also the year celebrities uncensored themselves on Twitter and Instagram: Tonto Dikeh and her marijuana advocacy, Maheeda and her nudie. We were also blessed/cursed with another season of the show we all love to hate, Big Brother Africa. On the foreign scene, we were entertained by the epic rants of rapper, Kanye West, and former Hannah Montana star, Miley Cyrus, trying to make twerking "happen" (twerking, a series of booty shaking dance moves that black Africans have been doing since God created hips.).However, despite the midyear high, the year is ending on another low note for music artistes as BON/IBAN throw down the gauntlet, banning most of the biggest stars (Tuface, Dbanj, MI) from the airwaves.

Here is a rundown of the stories that really made news:

1. Goldie's death

On Valentine's Day, blogger, Linda Ikeji reported that flamboyant singer, Goldie, had died. Linda claimed to have gotten the news first hand from Goldie's "best friend," equally flamboyant, TV host, Derenle Edun. Nigerians were at first shocked that one so vibrant and young could go so suddenly but days later, more shocking news came in the form of the late singer's husband, Andrew Harvey. Fans of Goldie were unaware that she was married. Prior to her death, the closest thing to a romantic relationship the public thought Goldie had was the one she supposedly shared with Prezzo, her Kenyan housemate from 2012's Big Brother Africa.

2. Wizkid leaves EME and goes back again

In February, the blogs and social media went haywire with the news of Wizkid, EME's star boy's departure from the label. Up to that point, the successful afro-pop star seemed to have a healthy relationship with the Banky W helmed label, which also houses rapper/singer, Skales. While with the label, he had rubbed against big shoulders on the international music scene - Akon, Chris Brown, Tinie Tempah. Reports had it that trouble came with the expiration of Wizkid's previous contract, which saw him taking 25 per cent of his earnings from shows and endorsements. After becoming an established star, the young crooner was now looking to take home 50 per cent. Despite some bloodletting on Twitter, and Wizkid launching his own label, Star Boy, the two parties finally managed to come to an amicable agreement that saw Wizzy return to EME.

3. Tuface Idibia's wedding plus Senate President's gift

In March, after twelve tumultuous on and off years together, music icon, Tuface Idibia, decided to finally make an honest woman of his long girlfriend and mother of one of his six children, Annie Idibia. The traditional and white weddings which took place in Annie's home state, Akwa Ibom and Dubai, UAE were later trailed by controversy, thanks to the gifts that the couple "allegedly" received from politicians like Senate President, David Mark, and Akwa Ibom State governor, Godswill Akpabio.

4. Beverly Osu/Big Brother: The Chase scandal

Big Brother Africa, since its inception and introduction to cable TV audiences across Africa, has not been a particular favourite of Nigerians. Criticism for the show reached its peak this year following the antics of Nigeria's favourite worst housemate so far, Beverly Osu. Her tall tales did not make her any friends among most Nigerian viewers; though it did ensure that she made history as the only housemate since the show's inception that has never been up for eviction. Hatred for Beverly grew when the impressionable 21-year-old decided to have sex on camera with South Africa's Angelo. On the internet/social media, she was called every name in the book that was created to depict a "fallen woman," and Big Brother Africa was denounced as a pornographic show.

5. Don Jazzy and Wande Coal Twitter fight

Don Jazzy threw the first punch in this war of words on Twitter, which took place early November. The ace producer accused Wande Coal of not giving him credit for the latter's single, Baby Face. Wande Coal, staggering under the unexpected punch, expressed disappointment in Don Jazzy for taking their private fight to a public place (Twitter) when the latter had all his contact information. There were more counterpunches culminating in an official statement from Mavin records announcing the departure of W Cizzy from the label. According to reports, the artiste, who now operates on his own Black Diamond label, had left Mavin quietly months before the Twitter fight.

6. Chocolate City sues Brymo

Of the entire record label versus artiste fight, the one between Chocolate City and Ara singer, Brymo, seemed the fiercest. After leaving Chocolate City before the expiration of his contract - a departure he announced on twitter - Brymo apparently inspired by his experience with the label, released his third album with a telling title, Merchants, Dealers and Slaves. The record label, outraged by the artiste's audacity in releasing an album independently while still signed to it, unceremoniously took him to court. Brymo followed this with enraged messages directed at Chocolate City boss, Audu Maikori, via Twitter. He got support from his former label mate, Jesse Jags, who also left Chocolate City in a huff - although Jesse waited till his contract expired. Meanwhile, the court case rages on.

7. Glo dumps actors for musicians

Telecoms company, Globacam, known for promoting Nollywood by co-opting actors to be its brand ambassadors, in September, did an about face, dumping most of the actors on its roster for the more influential musicians.

8. Kanye West's rants

With the release of his eight studio album, Yeezus, in June - and even before - self-described genius, Kanye West, decided to bless his fans and haters alike with his stream of consciousness rants. No platform was too grand or too inconspicuous for him. From radio shows, to Twitter, to the stage at his shows, Kim Kardashian's boyfriend complained about everything and threw mud at friends and enemies alike. He lambasted Nike, the footwear company he once collaborated with to produce the Air Yeezy sneakers; compared himself to Steve Jobs and Michael Jackson; and called out President Barack Obama for playing it safe and turning on him. He also went on and on about how he and his girlfriend, Kim, were god's gift to brand marketing students. When one of his rants was parodied by comedy talk show host, Jimmy Kimmel, West took to Twitter to deliver dirty punches on the comedian, attacking everything from Kimmel's weight to his past relationship with fellow comedian, Sarah Silverman.

9. Miley's Twerkgate

In a bid to throw out her squeaky clean Hannah Montana image, Miley Cyrus made 2013 her year of outrageous, over the top, trying too hard, sexy antics. Rihanna's good-girl-gone bad actions since her break-up with Chris Brown seemed tame and tasteful in comparison to Miley's. The peak of the Miley wild-out came at the MTV Video Music Awards, where dressed in plastic underwear, she twerked against Robin Thicke while he sang his hit song, Blurred Lines. The trashiness of Miley's performance more than the actual dance move caused the singer a lot of ire from American viewers who deemed the award show, a family programme watched by impressionable kids. Not long after the twerking failed, the unrepentant 21-year-old broke up with her actor fiancé, Liam Hemsworth.

10. BON/IBAN ban on artistes

At an industry event early December, COSON Chairman, Tony Okoroji, read out a letter from the Broadcasting Organisation of Nigeria announcing the ban of the music of several top-flight Nigerian artistes from the airwaves. The artistes soon responded to the ban by coming together to demand formally that radio and TV stations pay them for the use of their music.

BONUS: Paul Walker's death

When Fast and Furious actor, Paul Walker, met his death in a car crash, some were befuddled: 'Paul Walker, who?' But once a face was attached to the name, even those that have never seen one movie from the franchise lamented the death of a very 'beautiful' man. Walker, who died November 30 in a car driven by his friend and business manager, Roger Rodas, is survived by his parents, siblings, and daughter, Meadow.

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