Apple announces 2021 Apple Music Award winners

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Apple on Tuesday announced the winners of the 2021 Apple Music Award, which is an annual award that chooses the best artists who have excelled with their songs during the year. The third Apple Music Award names The Weeknd as Artist of the Year, while Olivia Rodrigo, H.E.R., and Wizkid are also on the list.

The Apple Music Awards honor achievements in music across five distinct categories — Artist of the Year, Songwriter of the Year, Breakthrough Artist of the Year, Top Song of the Year, and Top Album of the Year — and winners are chosen through a process that reflects both Apple Music’s editorial perspective and what customers around the world are listening to the most.

The Canadian R&B and pop singer The Weeknd has been chosen Artist of the Year as Apple says he “took over popular music and culture on his own terms.”

The global superstar’s 2020 album “After Hours” quickly surpassed one million pre-adds on Apple Music, and is the most pre-added album of all time by a male artist on the platform. “After Hours” also holds the record for the most streamed R&B/Soul album in its first week in 73 countries.

Pop singer Olivia Rodrigo also got her place in the third Apple Music Award with three different nominations: Breakthrough Artist of the Year, Album of the Year, and Song of the Year. At just 18 years old, Olivia Rodrigo’s song “drivers license” has quickly become one of the most streamed singles of the year.

 “SOUR” carries the highest first-week streams for a debut album on Apple Music globally, with all 11 songs on the album ranked on the Daily Top 100: Global chart, as well as the Daily Top 100 chart in 66 additional countries. Rodrigo has been on the cover of Apple Music playlists Today’s Hits, A-List Pop, and New Music Daily, and closes her life-changing year as the deserving recipient of her first three Apple Music Awards.

Singer and instrumentalist H.E.R. has been named Songwriter of the Year thanks to her acclaimed album “Back of My Mind,” which was one of the most streamed R&B/soul albums on Apple Music in its release week.

Award-winning singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist H.E.R.’s work within the R&B genre grew even more expansive in 2021 with the release of her acclaimed 21-track album “Back of My Mind,” which captures the artist at her most brilliant, confident, and freewheeling.

This year, Apple Music Award also introduces a new category that recognizes local artists from five different countries: Africa, France, Germany, Japan, and Russia. The company says that this award “recognizes artists who made the greatest impact culturally and on the charts in their respective countries and regions.”

These are the local winners from each participating country:

  • Africa: Wizkid
  • France: Aya Nakamura
  • Germany: RIN
  • Japan: OFFICIAL HIGE DANDISM
  • Russia: Scriptonite

Starting December 7, 2021, Apple will hold an Apple Music Award celebration with interviews and more original content streaming on Apple Music and the Apple TV app. More details can be found on Apple’s website.

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