I think you can agree with me if I say the last three years have been the biggest for Nigerian music – from the local angle and international front. Big budget spending, top quality videos, proper PR strategizing, big-budget endorsements and not forgetting quality music, yes you would definitely agree… Little wonder last year when Black Entertainment Television announced that they would feature a new 'Best International Act' category in the BET Awards 2010 , Nigerian acts M.I and P Square made the final list which also included Kojo Antwi , Chipmunk , Dizzee Rascal , Estelle , Hip Hop Pantsula , K'NAAN , Corinne Bailey Rae and Sade . Although M.I or P Square didn't grab the award which looked impossible placing them against some of the hottest acts at that time, it did shed a lot of light on urbane Nigerian music. For instance they were given a special feature interview which was conducted by BET show host Wendy Williams. So moving on to this year's BET awards, the organizers have gone a step further to appreciate non-US based acts by breaking down the international category into 'Best International Act: UK' and 'Best International Act: Africa'. Critical Breakdown There are five artistes nominated in the 'Best International Act: Africa' category; 2 face Idibia and D'banj from Nigeria, Fally Ipupa from Congo DR , Angelique Kidjo from Benin Republic and Teargas from South Africa. Firstly, if any of these acts win, I think they deserve it. Teargas , the South African hip-hop trio have made quite an impression with 3 albums. Their very likable style which is rapping in Swahili and English has gained a following; in 2010 they won the award for 'Best Cinematography' at the Sound City Music Awards (SMVA) for their 'Goodfellaz' video. Well deserved if you ask me. If you are wondering why the contemporary Grammy Award winning Beninoise singer-songwriter Angelique Kidjo has been nominated here is one solid reason: The 50- year-old icon released her ninth album Õÿö in April last year and it was nominated for Best Contemporary World Music Album for the 53 rd Grammy Awards. The album which featured covers of songs by Aretha Franklin and cameos from John Legend and Bono made a big impression in the international market. Fally Ipupa – who wouldn't agree that last year was the biggest so far for the much-loved Congolese artiste? The Congo-born, francophone makosa singer hit the limelight with his famous dance steps and hit songs that shook the continent. At the MTV MAMA s in 2010 , he won 2 awards – ' Best Francophone Act' and 'Best Video'. The past year was also big for 2 face Idibia . Two MTV MAMA awards for 'Best Male Act' and 'Artiste of The Year', 2face has successfully climbed the ladder of relevance and importance as he can be referred to as Nigeria's biggest musical export. His fourth album ' The Unstoppable International Edition ' revamped a sinking career and was the perfect turn around for him. In 2011 , he featured on BET 's 'Welcome To America' where he talked about his early days as a singer and plans for the future. D'banj has been having it real good in the last one year. With the anticipation of a fourth solo album ' Mr. Endowed ' to hit stores this year, he started out with a couple of singles that rocked the airwaves and got the approval of fans from far and wide. And who can forget that he pulled major weight by featuring renowned US rapper Snoop Dogg on the remix of 'Mr. Endowed' and shot a big budget video for it in California and featured on BET 's 'Welcome to America' show…? As if that wasn't enough, the entertainer slapped a ' G.O.O.D Music signing right in our faces as he is now an official artiste on Kanye West's record label. Indeed it has been a huge year for ' Dapo Oyebanjo . So looking at this analysis and trying to compare and contrast, I'll place my bet (no pun intended) on D'banj! Not trying to downplay the rest but not a creative Teargas, a comeback album by Kidjo, a Sexy dancing Fally Ipupa or even the very talented 2 face can knock D'banj off right now. An international deal with one of the hottest record labels in the world (G.O.O.D distributes through Def Jam Records) is just the right recipe and winning the awards would just buttress the point. Don't agree? Let me know what you think!