Nigerian R&B duo P-Square were crowned Africa's best in the recent Kora music awards held in Burkina Faso's capital Ouagadougou, attended by some 3,000 people including the country's president.
The twins Paul and Peter who form P-Square beat Senegalese group Black Diamond, Angola's Paul G and homegrown Amety Meria to scoop the top award Sunday, which is worth one million dollars (742,000 euros).
The diva from Cape Verde Cesaria Evora and Gabon's Pierre Akendengue picked up lifetime achievement awards, and a homage was also paid to the late Michael Jackson at the ceremony held in Ouagadougou's sports stadium.
The only black mark on the evening was the absence of Senegalese-American R&B star Akon who, despite being offered a private jet and 150,000 dollars, did not make the trip to the Burkina Faso capital.
Kora awards promoter Ernest Adjovi deplored the singer's absence and apologised to the "15 million Burkinabes and the billion Africans" watching the ceremony.
At least one hundred television channels in 22 countries broadcast the ceremony live, organisers said.
Other successes on the night included Becca (Ghana) for best African prospect, Chronicle 2h (Senegal) for best reggae artist and Alicia Keys, also absent, who was crowned best African-American artist of the diaspora.
Artists from 24 African countries took part in the competition, whose awards are decided through a share of public and jury votes.
The Kora awards were created in 1996 and for the first time the ceremony took place outside South Africa.
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