Apple Music Awards 2021 Winners List

Apple Music Awards 2021 Winners List

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The winners of Apple’s third annual Apple Music Awards have been announced, with a new twist this year to better recognize the contributions of artists all over the world.

The Apple Music Awards, which debuted two years ago, were billed as “a celebration of the best and boldest musicians” of the year, as well as “the enormous impact they have had on global culture.” The Apple Music editorial team chose winners in five categories in their first year: Global Artist of the Year, Songwriter of the Year, Breakthrough Artist of the Year, Song of the Year, and Album of the Year.

This year, Apple added a new Regional Artist of the Year category to honor artists from five distinct countries: Africa, France, Germany, Japan, and Russia. The new category will “recognize artists who made the greatest cultural and chart impact in their respective countries and regions,” according to the company.

Because mainstream music awards have traditionally gone to North American or Anglo-European artists, the new regional categories are clearly intended to make the awards less Western-centric. When it comes to the global Apple Music Awards, this year is no exception, but the five new Regional Artist of the Year categories are at least helping to balance things out and giving us a better look into global music culture.

The past 12 months have been a remarkable year for music, and we’re ecstatic to honor the artists on Apple Music who are shaping culture and connecting with fans all over the world. This year, we’re honoring even more regional artists, demonstrating the global impact of extraordinary talented musicians who are making waves.


The winners were chosen by the Apple Music editorial team, as in previous years, based on factors such as each artist’s contributions as well as how popular their music was among Apple Music subscribers.

Beginning next Tuesday, December 7, 2021, Apple will stream interviews, original content, and more from the Apple Music Awards celebration on Apple Music and in the Apple TV app.

  • Read on for the 8 winners of the 2021 Apple Music Awards.

Global Artist of the Year

Apple Music Awards 2021 The Weeknd

Apple’s pick for the top artist of 2021 was Toronto’s The Weeknd, which the company says “took over popular music and culture on its own terms.”

When The Weeknd’s 2020 album After Hours was announced, it quickly surpassed one million pre-adds on Apple Music to become the most pre-added album of all time by a male artist.

I’m so grateful for this huge honor and want to thank Apple for all its support, not only for my work but also for great music by newer artists, where it matters so much for creators to be found and supported.
The Weeknd

After Hours also holds the record in 73 countries for the most streamed R&B/Soul album in its first week, while the artist’s single, Blinding Lights, peaked at No. 1 on Apple Music’s Daily Top 100: Global Chart and still ranks as one of the 20 most “Shazamed” songs of all time.

Breakthrough Artist of the Year, Album of the Year, and Song of The Year

Apple Music Awards 2021 Olivia Rodrigo

Eighteen-year-old singer/songwriter Olivia Rodrigo walked away with Apple Music Awards in three categories for her breakout debut single, driver’s license that came out in January and quickly rose to the top of the charts.

In fact, driver’s license registered the highest first-week streams ever for a debut single on Apple Music, and stayed in the top spot on Apple’s Daily Top 100: Global Chart for over a month. It was also the fastest-ever debut solo track by a US artist to rack up five million Shazams.

I did my first interview for ‘drivers license’ with Apple Music, and so much has happened since then. It’s truly surreal. Thank you to Apple Music for these amazing awards.
Olivia Rodrigo

Rodrigo’s debut single was followed up in May by a full album, SOUR, which also broke the record for the highest number of first-week streams on Apple Music, with every one of its eleven songs topping the charts globally and individually in 66 other countries.

2021 Apple Music Award for Songwriter of the Year

Apple Music Awards 2021 HER

This year’s Songwriter of the Year award went to H.E.R. for her groundbreaking work in the R&B genre, which expanded in 2021 with the release of the 21-track album, Back of My Mind.

H.E.R.’s album became the third most-streamed R&B/Soul album on Apple Music in its first week of release, while singles Damage and Come Through both spend multiple weeks on the Daily Top 100 charts in over 30 countries.

I am very honored and blessed to receive this recognition. As a young Black and Filipino artist, and a woman who is on the stage giving my all, there’s no doubt that representation is important. Thank you so much, Apple Music.

H.E.R. is also known for composing the original Fight for You for the motion picture Judas and the Black Messiah, and has covered Marvin Gaye’s Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler) for Apple Music’s Juneteenth: Freedom Songs compilation.

Artist of the Year (Africa)

Apple Music Awards 2021 Wizkid

The first of the five new Regional Artist of the Year categories went to Nigeria’s Wizkid, who came to widespread recognition on the African music scene back in 2011 with the “massively popular single” Holla at Your Boy.

The singer-songwriter has also worked with other well-known artists such as Drake, Septa, Chris Brown, Beyoncé. In fact, it was his collaboration with Canadian rapper Drake on One Dance that propelled him to global recognition in 2016 after the single soared to the top of the charts in 15 countries.

Thank you to Apple Music for this award. It’s a blessing to get to do what I do, and I’m proud to be representing for Africa.

Wizkid’s latest album, M5ade in Lagos, was a huge commercial success when it was released in 2020, with his hit song Essence gaining 125 million plays on Apple Music and over 2.8 million Shazams.

Also Read : Grammy Awards 2022 Nominations List: Femi Kuti, Wizkid, Burna Boy Nominated

Artist of the Year (France)

Apple Music Awards 2021 Aya Nakamura

On the French music scene, French-Malian pop artist Aya Nakamura is widely recognized as the most-streamed Francophone artist in the world. Her breakout hit song Djadja was accompanied by three albums that all included numerous chart-topping songs, such as CopinesPookiePlus Jamais, and Jolie nana.

I am extremely honored to be the very first Francophone artist to win an Apple Music Award as Artist of the Year (France). Thank you, Apple!
Aya Nakamura

Nakamura is one of the very few female artists to consistently land in the streaming charts in France, where are dominated primarily by male rappers. Her album AYA also garnered the highest first-week streams for an album released by a female artist on Apple Music, which several of her other songs have regularly topped the charts in France, Belgium, Niger, Cape Verde, and Micronesia.

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Artist of the Year (Germany)

Apple Music Awards 2021 Rin

In Germany, the awards went to rapper Renato Simunovic, who is more commonly known as RIN for his strong influence in reshaping the sound of German rap, particularly in the south of Germany.

2021 was such a good year for me because it has borne a lot of fruit of things that I postponed for a long time. My music has evolved in the same sense. I am much more personal.

RIN is already a 25-time gold and three-time platinum artist. He’s also the first German artist to host his own show on Apple Music, KLEINSTADTRADIO, named after his highly acclaimed third album, Kleinstadt.

Artist of the Year (Japan)

Apple Music Awards 2021 Higedan

Apple’s award for the best artist of the year in Japan went to OFFICIAL HIGE DANDISM, a group that has rocketed to the top of the charts in that country in recent years, following the release of its second single in 2018. Since then, they’ve released another number one album and several chart-topping singles, and entered Shazam’s emerging artists lists in both Japan and Australia.

We didn’t know Japanese artists could win this award and were shocked when we were told. We’re super happy to be the winners of the first Apple Music Award for Artist of the Year (Japan).

OFFICIAL HIGE DANDISM, which is also known as HIGEDAN, is made up of lead vocalist and keyboardist Satoshi Fujihara, guitarist Daisuke Ozasa, bassist and saxophonist Makoto Narazaki, and drummer Masaki Matsuura.

Artist of the Year (Russia)

Apple Music Awards 2021 Scriptonite

Russian rapper Scriptonite (aka Adil Zhalelov) rounds out Apple’s list of Regional Artist of the Year awards for his role in leading the new Russian hip-hop revolution with his debut album House with Normal Activity. Since then, he’s risen to become the top-ranked producer and performer in Russian hip-hop, and is considered to be “the most important voice and sound of the new generation.”

This award is the culmination of an incredible few years, and Apple Music has been with me for so much of it along the way. Thank you for the recognition.

In 2019, Scriptonite released 2004, the first album under his own label, exclusively on Apple Music, where it quickly became the most-streamed record of the year. He also holds the record in five countries — Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Moldova — for the two most-streamed albums in Apple Music history.



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