What really happened: The story of the 5th annual 3Music Awards

What really happened: The story of the 5th annual 3Music Awards
It was more than music. It was magic, with a little trauma in between...

If ever there was a moment that captured the sentiments around the 5th annual 3Music Awards, it was the image of 3Music chief, Sadiq Abdulai Abu, on the podium. Immaculately dressed and alone, he wore a forlorn look. And when he opened his mouth to speak, his voice deserted him in protest of overuse.







As was customary at the awards, Sadiq was appearing at the end of the show to present the night’s highest honour, the Artiste of the Year award. KiDi won it- his second in as many years. But the world’s awe and the industry’s appreciation would go to the man who had made the night possible.


When he opened his mouth to speak, Sadiq apologized, twice. Once for a technical challenge that had delayed the start of the show for all of two hours. And then also for his gone voice. “It’s usually like this around this time during the awards every year”, he tried to explain.






Later the next day, KiDi would give an insight of Sadiq backstage during a TV interview.


“The man was there shouting and screaming the whole time. At a point, I think there was a performance and someone had forgotten to sync the lights. You could hear him yelling, ‘Lights! Lights!’, KiDi divulged.

Little wonder. Because save for that rather regrettable long break, we were all truly blown away…








The night of March 26, 2022 was truly magical. It was more than music. It was a master class. For the first time, the annual 3Music Awards premiered a groundbreaking pre-show.  The Grand Arena, where the event was held, was unidentifiable.


A spectacular setup matched only by the artistic impressions littered across the ground greeted guests ahead of main night. Comprising the traditional drip carpet, celebrity interviews and performances in between, fans were being treated to an appetizer before the main night.


In typical 3Music fashion, the show was looking out to support unsung talents deserving of greater spotlight. Here, Herman Suede, Ria Boss and Young Demz showed up to turn the party up a notch. In between performances, hundreds of event patrons interacted with their fans, lived the experience and benefited from the camera-worthy moments.






The fans had not been told that a surprise A-lister was to climax the Pre-show. Technical challenges meant it didn’t happen. Of course it was a surprise so no one knew about it when it was shelved. You have no idea what was planned for that performance.


Neither did any of the organizers have any idea what was about to happen next.


The night was primed to establish this award as the most prestigious music event on the continent. It had taken the best part of a year to plan tonight. Days after the 4th annual 3Music Awards, one of the best television productions ever on this continent for a Music Award, the main players sat again.

It’s the way of the 3Music Awards. It takes months and months of planning, preparation, and implementation. Every little detail receives meticulous attention. Performers, production flow, setup, casting, choice of music, conceptualization,  and every little element in between.







Three months to main night, the hard work kicks off in earnest.  The dream had been laid, forecasts made, as is every other element necessary to aid. A big percentage of featured entertainers are known a couple of months leading to main night and booked for rehearsal.


Black Sherif, who opened the night this time with a pulsating performance, was booked two months ahead of time. It was here that the preliminary ideas were laid out. He took to it like a duck to water, swallowing up every vision like Stevie Wonder’s eyes.


It had taken a 270-strong production crew to piece it all together. There were five state-of-the-art stages intended for use at the venue. It had taken a week to set them all up. Dry runs were held on the eve of the show and late afternoon.




And so after a terrible opening few hours, the packed to capacity Grand Arena witnessed the magic. It was a spectacular way to say sorry. It was also a majestic opening for an award show welcoming fans to the auditorium for the first time in three years. Now they can all truly call it a long wait worthwhile.


In the end, what the annual 3Music Awards set out to do was accomplished. Transitioning from virtual to live, it was an unforgettable experience that offered thrill to patrons and value to partners.











From pre-show to Blacko’s magical opening act, that epic showing from the leaders of the new school, the exhibition of Gospel goodness, Nana Ampadu’s numbing tribute, and a love medley that blended all the chart-topping singles to create an audiomotion spectacle, beauty became boring and excellence was established effortlessly.


This was the night when it became more than an Awards show. This was a prestige music event. For four years the annual 3Music Awards had been answering questions. This time, they made a statement!








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