Music Man Of The Year

The Music Man of The Year is an annual issue of Str8upbangin.com that identifies and honors the artiste that has excelled beyond all others during the year under review. Four major factors were considered in the shortlisting of our nominees:

Critical Acclaim: Artistic and technical quality of materials released by the artiste under his/her own name or as a featured act on a collabo.  The main considerations here are creativity/originality on song and lyrical content, performance and production, recording, mixing and mastering quality.

Commercial Success: This takes into consideration the size of hit(s) scored by the artiste within the year under review as determined by sales, downloads and street buzz.

StarPower: Star Power takes into consideration the strength of the presence of the artiste as a brand. His/her ability to attract attention to products, services and events and ability to earn cover mention and stir media frenzy.

Social Responsibility:  The measures with which the artiste is able to do with the commercial success and starpower for the good of society.

10 days from the first publication of the nominees, Str8upbangin.com will release the results of Music Man of the Year- Critics’s Choice and Readers’ Choice.

Now check out the shortlist – in no particular order- and vote your Man of the Year promptly by clicking on the vote button below their images:

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Why They Were Nominated:


2FACE IDIBIACritical Acclaim – Although Away and Beyond was released in 2012, singles off the album can be found in 2013’s arsenal of hits. From his wrenching delivery on “Rainbow” to the soulful ‘Dance In The Rain’, the dancehall club banging ‘Spellbound’, the playful ‘Steady Steady’ and the smash hit Ihe Neme, Tuface idibia arguably released some of the strongest singles of the yr.

Commercial Success – multiplatinum digital sales and downloads of hit singles Ihe Neme, Rainbow, and Steady Steady; Spiritual Healing is reportedly 2013’s biggest selling single on Spinlet

Star Power– Endorsements with Haven Homes

Social Responsibility – helped raise money for the Lagos State Motherless Babies Home 2face donated the cap and shoes he wore for his traditional wedding to charity; initiated “A Million Voices for Peace” campaign aimed at redirecting young peoples’ energy towards peace and development; supported the Flood with Love campaign for relief and rehabilitation process of flood victims; lent his voice to the farmers and pastoralists as part of the GROW campaign so that African governments invest more in agriculture and livestock farming; participated in the #ChildNotBride social media movement against child marriage just to mention a few


Banky WCritical Acclaim: His third album RNBW had great reviews. With hits like Yes/No, Good Lovin’ and more recently Jasi,  RNBW is arguably the biggest RNB album churned out in 2013. .

Commercial Success: He was placed 10 on the Forbes most bankable African Artist in Africa. He bagged the CHOMVA Award for most gifted RNB Video.

StarPower: Banky W was endorsed by Samsung in a deal in the region of N100million. He has also featured in several corporate marketing campaigns that include Ariel, Coca Cola, and Microsoft.

Social Responsibility: Banky W is founder of “I Am Capable” Scholarship fund which aids university undergraduates in need of financial assistance. He most recently put his career on the line in his very out spoken reaction to the IBAN/BAN artist ban. He supported the Flood with Love campaign for relief and rehabilitation process of flood victims and lent his voice to the campaign for positive change in Nigeria via the single titled “change” as part of EME’s #Dream4naija initiative.


DBANJCritical acclaim: For a superstar artiste blessed with limited vocal ability, the 2012 international hit ‘Oliver Twist’spiled over to half of 2013. His braggadocious and irresistible hook on ‘Don’t Tell Me Nonsense’, the cocky anthemic chant in ‘Blame It On The Money’, and the south-eastern smash, ‘Obimo’ makes D’Kings Men album worth listening to.

Commercial Success: Although Dbanj’s album D’King’s Men was a flop in Nigeria, Dbanj was undoubtedly Nigeria’s biggest export in 2013,

Star Power: Whether it’s getting gifted custom shoes from a world renowned designer like Guiseppe Zanotti, or collaborating with International artistes, headlining Hennessy Artistry or becoming the brand ambassador of the Bank of Industry, D’banj reach, buzz and influence is at its peak. He is also brand ambassador for Nutricima, Globacom and Classic Beverages.

Social Responsibility: besides several investments that has helped create jobs: his establishing of “Koko Gari” and “Koko Water”, Dbanj supported a charity Christmas organized by Kinabuti Fashion Initiative (KFI) to help raise funds for the socio-economic development of Orile-Iganmu local government area in Lagos. No substantial project was embarked upon by his Koko Foundation for Youth and Peace Development this year.  Dbanj scores low points  in social Responsibility


PSQUARECritical Acclaim: Although Alingo was released in 2012, the itunes release of the single in 2013 woke the monster hit single and lit up the first half of 2013 until the Michael Jackson tribute “Personally” took over. They also released a compilation album of earth shaking hit songs.

Commercial Success: Their compilation album titled Greatest Hits reportedly went multiplatinum within the first week of its release. P Square had sold out concerts in Africa, Europe and America.

Star Power: Although the duo already boast of  a multitude of fans stadiums cannot contain, collaborations with international acts likes of Usher, Rick Ross and Akon resulted in an exponential increase in their fanbase and reach. They also landed a multi-million naira endorsement deal with Globacom.

Social Responsibility:  PSquare are known to be very generous with cash donations and are very active charity fundraisers: they  teamed up with Vodacom Foundation and donated to the less privileged and mentally challenged in Tanzania; joined the #ChildNotBride social media movement against child marriage; supported Genevieve Nnaji in her 5 mile marathon race against cancer; promoted the #stopdomesticviolence campaign via social media against domestic violence;


Tiwa-SavageCritical Acclaim: She may not be the best vocalist in the country but her song writing skill is enviable. Her debut titled Once Upon a Time obviously surrendered to market dictates. Although It didn’t live up to critics’ expectations, Once Upon A Time is a very good album nonetheless.

Commercial Success: smash hits like Without My Love and Eminado, both featuring Don Jazzy

Star Power:  Tiwa managed to make the year about her with an album, a wedding, and endorsements.  She was signed on as brand ambassadors of Pepsi and MTN.

Social Responsibility: Tiwa has been involved in many youth empowerment and breast cancer screening projects; Made several visits to motherless babies homes; supported the Flood with Love campaign for relief and rehabilitation process of flood victims; joined the #ChildNotBride social media movement against child marriage


WizkidCritical Acclaim: Wizkid aka Starboy has had an eventful year even without dropping a solo album. Wizkid’s Jaiye Jaiye alongside the sax of Femi Kuti is one of the year’s biggest songs. Other songs of note are Caro (with Starboy’s L.A.X), Back To The Matter, Samba, Sexy Mama (with Iyanya), Ony Man She Wants, Azonto, Pull Over (with Kcee).

Commercial Success: He won the CHOMVA for most gifted video of the year (Azonto), African Artist Of The Year at Ghana Music Awards, NET Artist Of The Year. He reportedly commands around N6million per performance.

Star Power: arguably the biggest afro pop act right now – so big that Legends like Femi Kuti, KSA and international rnb superstar Chris Brown couldn’t say no to a collabo. Wizkid is the highest paid Pepsi ambassador in Africa, ambassador of MTN, also boasts of a lucrative Guinness endorsement deal.

Social Responsibility: supported the Flood with Love campaign for relief and rehabilitation process of flood victims; gave out N100,000 worth of airtime to fans on twitter and Instagram; threw an appreciation party in honor of his large fan base – free entry for all; threw N100,000 to fans at the 2013 Felabration concert. As part of EME’s #Dream4naija initiative, Wizkid lent his voice to the campaign for positive change in Nigeria via the single titled “Change


Flavour_N'AbaniaCritical Acclaim: Although Blessed, his third solo album was released in October 2012, some of the blessings of 2013 were courtesy of hit singles like Ada Ada, Shake and Chinny Baby.

Commercial Success: Flavour enjoyed sold out concerts in the US, Australia and Burkina Faso during the year..

Star Power: Glo and Harp Larger ambassador, multimillion naira brand endorsement deals both locally and internationally

Social Responsibility: None in the yr under review



omawumiCritical Acclaim: churning out hits after hits like Somori, Bottom Belle, Personal Race, If You Ask Me, Warn Yourself, and I Go Go, Omawumi outdid herself in her sophomore album, Lasso Of Truth.

Commercial Success: sold millions of copies of her sophomore album, Lasso of Truth, and bagged multiple awards.

Star Power: From gracing the covers of numerous lifestyle and parenting magazines to multiple movie and music award nominations, Omawumi’s reach and influence cuts across all ages. she bagged mouth watering endorsement deals from Mortein, Globacom, and online retailing store Konga.com

Social Responsibility: besides scouting around for new talents to add to her label, Omawumi is currently working on a mentorship program mentoring disoriented young girls. She is also active in the fight against malaria via the Mortein Anti-Malaria Campaign. She also supported the Flood with Love campaign for relief and rehabilitation process of flood victims


ICE-PRINCE-1Critical Acclaim: He has had several hit songs this year like Aboki, Aboki (Remix), More, Gimmie Dat, I Swear, and DJ Jimmy Jatt’s Cool As Ice and his album titled Fire of Zamani is reportedly doing well.

Commercial Success: Prince’s Fire of Zamani album launch at the prestigious Eko Hotels and Suites has become one of the biggest hiphop concerts of the year. He was ranked 9th on the Forbes and Channel O list of Most Bankable African Artists

Star Power: He got endorsed by Etisalat, Harp Larger, he is also an ambassador for NASCOM and ONE.

Social Responsibility: The rapper loves to give back: he launched the Zamani Foundation; spearheaded the NASCOM’s Rhythm and Play Initiative aimed at promoting grassroot sports in Nigeria; participated in the #ChildNotBride social media movement against child marriage; lent his voice to support Joyful Joy Foundation’s fight against Malaria, poverty, HIV and AIDS among children.

As a ONE ambassador, Ice Prince was active in the ONE campaign’s fight to eradicate poverty



Don-jazzyCritical Acclaim: He launched his Mavin Imprint with the release of the compilation Solar Plexus in 2012, though songs like Take Banana, spilled over to early 2013, Don Jazzy is responsible for making some of the hottest new sounds of 2013.

Commercial Success: He has also been behind some of this year’s biggest hits like Wande Cole’s The Kick, Tiwa Savage’s Eminado and Without My Heart, Surulere By Dr Sid, Goody Bag by D’Prince

Star Power: Don Jazzy picked up some endorsements early in the year with Loya Milk, then later MTN and then Samsung. He ranked No 2 in the Forbes List of most Bankable Nigerian artist.

Social Responsibility: Although his giveaways of cash and gifts to his followers on social media are worthy of mention, Don Jazzy scores very low points in social responsibility.

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