I must say this is a tough question.
They are both Nigerian. They are both Afro-pop singers. They have both released only two albums. While Tiwa Savage released her debut album Once upon a Time in 2013 and sophomore album R.E.D in 2015, Yemi Alade released her debut album King of Queens in 2014 and sophomore album Mama Africa in 2016.
Both artists seem to be tugging on either end of the Queen of Pop sceptre like the demigods they are.
To make this tough choice, I had to turn to real people: their fans. I couldn’t get them to stand by their candidate on film (the majority were camera shy) but they love each of them for strong reasons like maturity, versatility, flexibility and creativity.
Opinions are not be the only yardstick of who the queen of Nigeria pop is. In order to avoid an unending feud and bias – because both artists have a whole lot of back-up fans – I’ve decided to go scientific.
To get a conclusive answer, we are going to use standard yardsticks. The yardsticks to be considered are album reviews, YouTube views, social network influences, ambassadorship and awards.
There are probably other yardsticks but the above ones are the most transparent and measurable in Nigeria.
If you’ve wandered past a newsstand or watched African award shows anytime in the last six years, you can probably guess who would get the crown. But the breakdown is enlightening.
There is only one crown and both artists seem to be tugging on either end of the Queen of Pop sceptre like the demigods they are!
Let’s see what the yardsticks decide.
Let’s look at the most subjective ranking of all: critical acclaim. Due to the inconsistency of album reviews by online notable music reviewers, we have narrowed the album ratings to two for each album (debut and sophomore) by both artists.
Plus we only took into consideration reviews of tooxclusive.com, pulse.com, sybttv.com and Nigerian entertainment. The aggregate review is rated over 5.
|DEBUT ALBUM REVIEW*
|SOPHOMORE ALBUM REVIEW**
|AGGREGATE ALBUM REVIEW***
*Source: Tooxclusive.com, Pulse.ng and Nigerian entertainment.com
Yemi Alade won this round with a 0.2 rating above Tiwa Savage. It should be said that if we took more rating reviews into consideration, the result may have been slightly different.
YouTube views of our contenders’ official music videos is another yardstick that must be considered as it is well known that the video site has come to dominate internet traffic.
While Tiwa Savage has above 40-million views in total with highest viewed song Eminado having 14,953,286 views, Yemi Alade won this one also with over 80-million views in total with her highest viewed song (42,274,169 views) being Johnny. You rock, Yemi Alade.
Let’s turn to a realm where Tiwa Savage has a much bigger edge over the competition: social networking.
We totalled the ladies’ likes on Facebook, followers on Twitter and Instagram. Tiwa Savage has a total social network of 3.4 million followers and likes while Yemi Alade has just 1.1 million followers and likes which is a difference of 2.3 million followers and likes. Thumbs up, Tiwa.
*Facebook data collected by 24 April 2016: official pages
**twitter data collected by 24 April 2016: Twitter-Verified pages
*** Instagram data collected by 24 April 2016: Instagram-Verified pages
Let’s stay focused on the Grammys for a minute. Our awards ranking totals up the ladies’ wins at the MTV Africa Music, The Headies, Channel O Music Video etc. Tiwa Savage takes this contest handily, with wins at a whole lot of awards show. Let it be said that Yemi and Tiwa have been nominated for so many awards but we all want to know their take-home trophies. So let’s list them out:
Tiwa Savage achievements include one MTV Africa Music Award, two The Headies Awards, one Channel O Music Video Award, one Nigeria Music Video Award and two City People Entertainment Awards which is a total of seven awards. She was also a nominee for so many other awards too.
Yemi Alade’s Mama Africa has only gotten one award-MTV Africa Music Award but have been nominated for quite a number of award shows like BET Awards, Nigerian Entertainment Awards, City People Entertainment Awards, MOBO Awards, YEM Awards, ELOY Awards.
Tiwa, this round is undeniably yours.
Yemi Alade got her fair share in the ambassadorship wagon which includes being an African ambassador for peace by the Democratic Republic of the Congo (which is a big deal), Bacardi Breezer ambassador and Close-Up ambassador but it would seem lady Tiwa beat her to it with four major endorsement deals with Pepsi, MTN, Forte oil and currently Pampers.
What about scandal? Yes, scandal as a yardstick in what’s otherwise an extremely scientific comparison. It is true that scandal has nothing to do with one’s music but bear with me: scandal can be a strong determinant on who deserves the throne. For instance, when an artiste faces scandal, their music, influence, endorsement deals either dissolve or become stronger. It takes a lot for an artiste to make a quick comeback from that.
Based on press news, Yemi Alade has never had a serious issue with scandal so we can say ‘Mama Africa’ has lost this round. On the other hand, Tiwa just had a major marriage scandal and she’s handling it pretty well. Tina is not only coming back stronger by featuring on a solid star track but also Pepsi has refused to drop her as its ambassador.
In other words we still love you Tiwa Savage.
Drum roll for the moment of truth. Based on the data above, it would seem that Tiwa Savage earns the title of Queen of Pop.
Congrats Tiwa. You can add Queen of Pop to your stack of trophies.
Seems like someone else thought so too as she’s just been signed by a certain Mr Lemonade.
But it’s all still to play for. Maybe a year from now, after Yemi has accumulated more social followers, awards and endorsements, she might be able to make a stronger run for Tiwa’s crown. See you then!