Special to the AmNews

The ninth annual Nigeria Entertainment Awards were held Sunday, Aug. 31 at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts in Manhattan. It was a flashy affair, rivaling other much-fan-fared shows on the left coast. It was all about the ever-evolving Nigerian pop culture, with appearances by DJ Cuppy, Eniola Badmus, Juliet Ibrahim and Miss Tourism Nigeria.

The audience was not shy about voicing its approval as favorite artists graced the stage. It was almost as if the audience and entertainers were close, personal friends the way the audience called out names and asked questions.

The always-on Denrele could not get enough of enjoying his moment as winner of the Entertainment Personality of the Year award. “Big Brother Africa” star Beverly Osu may have thought she was back in the house, the way fans yelled their support. Tiwa Savage might well have been walking on water as the audience gave her their hearts and she embraced their love as Female Artist of the Year and Best Pop/R&B Artist of the Year.

The audience went nuts when it was announced that DJ Spinall was voted Best World DJ. Among the crowd favorites were Funke Akindele and Gbemi (Beat FM), who co-hosted with Bovi, who was hilarious with his sometimes risque humor.

The modest L.A.X. accepted his Diaspora Artist of the Year award humbly, as did the crowd-moving Oritshe Femi. Yomi Fash-Lanso delighted the people as Best Supporting Actor, wearing his crisp white agbada. Patroranking was energy-plus as Best New Act, and Shatta Wale was African Artist of the Year; they brought Jamaican dancehall to the very Nigerian evening. Wande Coal brought his A game, and MC Galaxy shut down the whole shebang with his performance as he took over the stage and invited the audience to come on up and dance, and they did.