iHeartRadio Music Awards 2017 Winners: “One Dance” wins Hip-Hop Song of the Year – WTF

Hold up. Hip Hop song of the year though?? Okay, Koffi. Breathe. Okay. Okay..

So this is an auspicious award, and I congratulate Drake, Wizkid and Kyla on receiving it. I also understand that it was entered into that category, by the owners of the song, but that doesn’t make it any less dis-heartening that an organization like iHeartRadio would purposefully allow this blatant dis-regard for genre appropriation.

One Dance. Hip-Hop? or Dance-Hall?


Okay (I say Okay a lot), first of all, iHeartRadio is an American internet radio platform founded in 2008. Think, a bigger version of the Gidilounge platform, with shows, podcasts, and playlists etc.
It incorporates content from over 800 local stations in the United States and beyond, making it easy to listen to content over the internet.
They started their awards show in 2014 and it’s gotten bigger every year with more and more stars coveting its awards as streaming becomes a bigger revenue stream for musicians.
The nominations are based on results from the iHeartRadio Chart, which includes listener feedback and performance data, according to airplay; digital streaming data from the iHeartRadio platform, including sales, social, online video data and tags from BigChampagne and Shazam.
The 2017 iHeartRadio Music Awards were held on March 5, 2017 at The Forum in Inglewood, California, and hosted by Ryan Seacrest.
Notable wins this year were Chance the Rapper for “Best New Hip-Hop” artist, Bryson Tiller for “Best New R&B Artist”, and The Weeknd for “R&B Artiste of the year”…Okay, Drake for “Hip-Hop Artiste of the year”.

Justin Timberlake Receiving “Song of the Year” award. Source: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic



There it is again, okay, but what grinds my gears is that, as an awards show, there should be stricter limits to what can be classified “Hip-Hop” and what cannot be. Granted, Drake is a hip-hop artiste and he makes some of the best hip-hop music around, but we cannot, nay, SHOULD NOT let that get in the way of the representation of other kinds of music.
As you can see below, in the hip-hop category, two Drake songs are listed and they are BOTH dance-hall tracks; the real Hip-Hop tracks are completely sidelined, since a dancehall track won (winner in bold).

Hip-Hop Song of the Year

  • “All The Way Up” – Fat Joe and Remy Ma featuring French Montana and Infrared
  • “Controlla” – Drake
  • “For Free” – DJ Khaled featuring Drake
  • “One Dance” – Drake featuring Wizkid and Kyla
  • “Panda” – Desiigner

As president of the Benchwarmers Flabergasted Committee (The fighting BFC wohoo!!), I am astounded that noone is even talking about this! Hey yo! iHeartRadio!!! If you’re out there listening, hows about you give us a DANCEHALL CATEGORY??? How about throwing in an AFROBEAT CATEGORY for good measure??

Anyway, my main point, is that “One Dance” is NOT a hip-hop song, and even though I’m not sure I agree with how they pick their winners, “Panda” should have won in that category.
Checkout the full list of Nominees and Winners (in bold) below.

Innovator Award

Bruno Mars

Best Tour


Song of the Year

  • “Can’t Stop The Feeling!” – Justin Timberlake
  • “Cheap Thrills” – Sia featuring Sean Paul
  • “Closer” – The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey
  • “One Dance” – Drake featuring Wizkid and Kyla
  • “Stressed Out” – twenty one pilots

Female Artist of the Year

  • Adele
  • Ariana Grande
  • Rihanna
  • Selena Gomez
  • Sia

Male Artist of the Year

  • Drake
  • Justin Bieber
  • Luke Bryan
  • Shawn Mendes
  • The Weeknd

Best Duo/Group of the Year

  • Coldplay
  • DNCE
  • Florida Georgia Line
  • The Chainsmokers
  • twenty one pilots

Alternative Rock Song of the Year

  • “Heathens” – twenty one pilots
  • “Bored to Death” – blink-182
  • “Dark Necessities” – Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • “Ride” – twenty one pilots
  • “Trouble” – Cage The Elephant

Alternative Rock Artist of the Year

  • twenty one pilots
  • blink-182
  • Cage The Elephant
  • Coldplay
  • The Strumbellas

Rock Song of the Year

  • “Bang Bang” – Green Day
  • “Dark Necessities” – Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • “Take Me Down” – The Pretty Reckless
  • “The Devil’s Bleeding Crown” – Volbeat
  • “The Sound Of Silence” – Disturbed

Rock Artist of the Year

  • Disturbed
  • Five Finger Death Punch
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • Shinedown
  • Volbeat

Country Song of the Year

  • “Church Bells” – Carrie Underwood
  • “Snapback” – Old Dominion
  • “Somewhere On A Beach” – Dierks Bentley
  • “T-Shirt” – Thomas Rhett
  • “You Should Be Here” – Cole Swindell

Country Artist of the Year

  • Thomas Rhett
  • Carrie Underwood
  • Jason Aldean
  • Keith Urban
  • Luke Bryan

Dance Song of the Year

  • “Closer” – The Chainsmokers featuring Halsey
  • “Cold Water” – Major Lazer featuring Justin Bieber and MØ
  • “Don’t Let Me Down” – The Chainsmokers featuring Daya
  • “I Took A Pill In Ibiza” – Mike Posner
  • “Let Me Love You” – DJ Snake featuring Justin Bieber

Dance Artist of the Year

  • Calvin Harris
  • DJ Snake
  • Flume
  • Major Lazer
  • The Chainsmokers

Hip-Hop Song of the Year

  • “All The Way Up” – Fat Joe and Remy Ma featuring French Montana and Infrared
  • “Controlla” – Drake
  • “For Free” – DJ Khaled featuring Drake
  • “One Dance” – Drake featuring Wizkid and Kyla
  • “Panda” – Desiigner

Hip-Hop Artist of the Year

  • Desiigner
  • DJ Khaled
  • Drake
  • Future
  • J. Cole

R&B Song of the Year

  • “Needed Me” – Rihanna
  • “Exchange” – Bryson Tiller
  • “No Limit” – Usher featuring Young Thug
  • “Sorry” – Beyoncé
  • “Work” – Rihanna featuring Drake

R&B Artist of the Year

  • Beyoncé
  • Bryson Tiller
  • Rihanna
  • The Weeknd
  • Usher

Latin Song of the Year

  • “Ay Mi Dios” – IAmChino featuring Pitbull, Yandel and El Chacal
  • “De Pies A Cabeza” – Mana featuring Nicky Jam
  • “Duele El Corazon” – Enrique Iglesias featuring Wisin
  • “La Carretera” – Prince Royce
  • “Ya Me Enteré” – Reik featuring Nicky Jam

Latin Artist of the Year

  • Enrique Iglesias
  • J Balvin
  • Nicky Jam
  • Prince Royce
  • Yandel

Regional Mexican Song of the Year

  • “Amor Del Bueno” – Calibre 50
  • “Cicatrices” – Regulo Caro
  • “Me Está Gustando” – Banda Los Recoditos
  • “¿Por Qué Terminamos?” – Gerardo Ortiz
  • “Solo Con Verte” – Banda Sinaloense MS de Sergio Lizárraga

Regional Mexican Artist of the Year

  • Banda El Recodo de Cruz Lizárraga
  • Banda Los Recoditos
  • Calibre 50
  • Gerardo Ortiz
  • Remmy Valenzuela

Best New Rock/Alternative Rock Artist

  • The Strumbellas
  • Foals
  • Kaleo
  • Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
  • Red Sun Rising

Best New Country Artist

  • Kelsea Ballerini
  • Chris Lane
  • Chris Stapleton
  • Granger Smith
  • Maren Morris

Best New Hip-Hop Artist

  • Chance The Rapper
  • Desiigner
  • D.R.A.M.
  • Kent Jones
  • Kevin Gates

Best New Latin Artist

  • CNCO
  • Carlos Rivera
  • Christian Daniel
  • IAmChino
  • Sofia Reyes

Best New R&B Artist

  • Bryson Tiller
  • Belly
  • Dreezy
  • Kayla Brianna
  • Ro James

Best New Regional Mexican Artist

  • Joss Favela
  • Adriel Favela
  • Banda Los Sebastianes
  • Cheyo Carrillo
  • La Séptima Banda

Best New Pop Artist

  • The Chainsmokers
  • Alessia Cara
  • Daya
  • Lukas Graham
  • ZAYN

Producer of the Year

  • Benny Blanco
  • Greg Kurstin
  • Max Martin
  • Mike Elizondo
  • The Chainsmokers

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