Arab singer and rapper Manal Benchlikha was named the favourite artist at the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards Abu Dhabi 2023 on Sept. 16.
The best-selling 29-year-old singer and songwriter — whose popular works include ‘Taj’ and ‘Denia’ — shared an emotional message onscreen, thanking all her fans for her support.
The show, held at the Etihad Arena, was the culmination of kids across the Middle East voting for their favourite artists across 16 categories. This year’s edition received as many as 46 million votes — thrice as much as last year, according to a statement.
Manal, who has nearly 4 million followers on Instagram alone, said in a recent interview to Gulf News that she wants to help people overcome their fears and traumas through her music. “I want my music to remind them that they are not alone,” she had said.
The evening had other equally important winners.
While Noel Kharman and Siilawy walked away with favourite female and male newcomer awards, respectively, the online sensation Saudi Reporters bagged the honour for favourite team.
US actress Jenna Ortega, best known for her roles in the films ‘Scream, ‘X’ and the online series ‘Wednesday’, was named the favourite international influencer. Olivia Rodrigo, who made waves for her performance at the MTV Video Music Awards 2023, won the favourite international artist award.
Here’s a full list of the other winners from the night
Favourite content creator: Wessam Q
Favourite influencer: Ghaith Marwan
Favourite gamer: AboFlah
Favourite actor: Ahmed Dash
Favourite actress: Mayan El Sayed
Favourite comedy creator: Islam Afro
Favourite rapper: Big Sam
Favourite Nickelodeon character: SpongeBob - SpongeBob SquarePants
Favourite pet in Nickelodeon series: Gary the Snail - SpongeBob SquarePants
Favorite international content creator: Mr Beast
Earlier, the British pop singer and songwriter Jessica Ellen Cornish, popularly known as Jessie J, set the stage alight with a performance of ‘Price Tag’, one of her biggest hits.
The event was co-hosted by social media star and content creator Ossy Marwah.
Artistes such as the award-winning group Now United, Palestinian-Chilean singer-songwriter and composer Elyanna, Saudi artiste Bader Al-Shuaibi, Noel Kharman and Jordanian singer-songwriters Issam Alnajjar and Siilawy delighted the audience with their performances.