Celebrating its eighth anniversary, the Wish Music Awards gathered the best of OPM in its live event comeback.
Welcoming a brand new year with a bang, radio broadcast station Wish 107.5 held the eight edition of its Wish Music Awards on the night of January 22, which made a comeback to the live stage after years of being an online event due to the pandemic. In almost its decade-spanning run, the Wish Music Awards are known for heroing the best of OPM and foregrounding philanthropic causes by awarding monetary prizes to the major-category winners and their chosen beneficiaries.
In this charity-meets-music celebration, Pinoys get to share their love for music and witness how music can impact change and how local artists can pay it forward. This year, 53 musical acts competed across 19 major categories. Hosted by Gretchen Ho and Christian Bautista in a jam-packed Araneta Coliseum, the WMAs saw Filipino music icons, emerging, promising local artists, and of course, the passionate and loyal fans gathering in a night filled with great music, compassion, and optimism for the future of OPM. Here are some of the highlights.
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After dominating the Wish Music Awards last year, P-Pop kings SB19 are back at the top this 2023 with four accolades. For their chart-topping hit Bazinga, they clinched the Wishclusive Pop Performance of the year, which they also won in the 7th WMAs for Ikako. The record-breaking pentad, who’s also fresh from their world tour last year, also nabbed the Wish Pop Song of the Year trophy for WYAT, their third consecutive win in the category.
Since 2020, SB19 has consistently been the winners of the WMAs’ Wish Group of the Year and Wishers’ Choice (voted by the fans) awards, a testament to the pentad’s sheer musical talent and influence. While Ken, Justin, Stell, Pablo, and Josh were not present at the event, A’TIN’s support was overwhelmingly loud as the trophies were received by Sony Music Philippines General Manager Roselyn Pineda. SB19 also chose the Autism Society of the Philippines as their partner charity, which was awarded P100,000.
SB19’s Ken Suson, who goes by the name FELIP in his soloist career, also won big at the eighth Wish Music Awards. Having just released the music video for his new banger of a track Rocksta, FELIP continued to start the year right with the R&B performance of the year award for his comeback single Palayo, as well as the breakthrough artist of the year honor. “I am happy that through my music, I am also able to help other people,” shared the proud Bisdak singer-rapper who chose to pay it forward by supporting the nonprofit organization, A Home For The Angels Crisis Home For Abandoned Babies Foundation, Inc.
The nine-piece folk pop band that’s responsible for music that tugs at our heartstrings also won big with the Wishclusive Ballad Performance of the Year and the Wish Contemporary Folk Song (their fourth already) awards for their tender track Magpahinga and love song Paninindigan Kita, respectively. Also in a cute moment that melted the hearts of the fans, Ben&Ben was seen cheering for SB19 in the group of the year category, which the latter won and the former was nominated in. Ben&Ben also serenaded the audiences and capped of the night with their live renditions of their recent hits, The Ones We Once Loved, Langyang Pag-ibig, and the award-winning Paninindigan Kita.
Moira dela Torre
Just a little over a week before her concert at the same place, the hugot queen Moira dela Torre triumphed at the Big Dome with two major awards: the Wish Ballad Song of the Year for the 2 Good 2 Be True theme song Kumpas; and the Wish Artist of the Year award, winning it for two years in a row now. Moira, who chose the nonprofit organization for disadvantaged childien, Virlanie Foundation Inc., as her beneficiary, also gave the attendees a tease of the feels that you’ll get in her third major concert with performances of her hit singles Babalik Sa’yo and Kumpas.
Asia’s Songbird Regine Velasquez-Alcasid graced the event, too, much to the celebratory cheers of the crowd. The OPM stalwart received the highest accolade of the night, the KDR Icon of Musical Excellence award, which recognizes her inimitable contributions to the Filipino music scene. “I dedicate this award to my husband and our children,” the music icon said. “To all the artists who are here too, keep creating music. Kayo ang future ng OPM.”
One of Spotify’s most streamed local artists, Filipino singer Adie also scored two honors at the Wish Music Awards. For Tahanan, Adie won the Wishclusive Contemporary Folk Performance of the Year while he shared the Wish Song Collaboration of the Year honor with the Tawag ng Tanghalan alum Janine Berdin for Mahika. The artists chose Resources For The Blind, Inc. and the Philippine Cancer Society as their partner beneficiaries. Adie and Janine did not leave without giving a special performance for their fans, singing their hearts out to the LSS-inducing Mahika and Adie serenading the fans with his sentimental single Paraluman.
Another Filipino music act who did not leave empty-handed from the Wish Music Awards was Zack Tabudlo. Spotify’s most streamed male artist in the country last year, the Habang Buhay and Binibini hitmaker took the Wish Rock/Alternative Song of the Year for his upbeat and romantic ditty, Asan Ka Na Ba. Not only that, the chart-topping artist also sported a new look and performed his new unreleased track, Akin Ka.
One of the breakout hip-hop artists last year, Filipino rapper and Ex Battalion member Flow G received the Wishclusive Hip-hop Performance of the Year award for his fiery Praning. The G WOLF and Ibong Adarna singer-songwriter also opened the Wish Music Awards ceremony with a performance of Moon together with his fellow Pinoy rapper Nik Makino. Flow G then joined Pinoy rap icon Gloc-9 as they lit up the stage with a live-band version of Ibong Adarna.
Thank you @wish1075 and thank you for all your votes!✨— CARELESS MUSIC (@CARELESS_PH) February 6, 2022
Congratulations again @tellemjaye for “Hello” winning the Wish Music Contemporary R&B Song of the Year award! 👋 pic.twitter.com/0JNvRYTtuH
Filipino multi-hyphenate and Careless co-founder James Reid took home the Wish R&B Song of the Year for the remix of his summery bop Hello 2.0 Legends Only which he created with Korean superstar, Jay B, and Taiwanese-American hip-hop artist, ØZI. James won in the same category three years ago for Filipina Girl, which he shared with Billy Crawford and Marcus Davis.
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