It may not be amongst the awards he’s usually after, or even interrupting speeches for, but it is an award nonetheless. Kanye West will be honoured at the 2016 Webby Awards, after being named their “Artist of the Year.” The award, funnily enough, is centred on West’s contributions to internet culture. Namely, which saw the release of his album The Life of Pablo earlier this year.
The frequently renamed and much reworked album broke records left and right upon its release onto streaming services. Initially, Kanye’s seventh album was only available on Tidal. But it was reportedly streamed 250 million times within its first two weeks of release. Despite Kanye’s assertions that it would be the only platform which his record would appear on, it was later made available on rival streaming sites as well.
My album will never never never be on Apple. And it will never be for sale… You can only get it on Tidal.
— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) February 15, 2016
It then became the first album ever to become number one in the Billboard 200 charts due to streaming numbers, while it was also allegedly downloaded illegally over half a million times within the first week.
In the album’s lead up Kanye frequently courted controversy due to his numerous Twitter feuds. The most infamous being his exchange with fellow rapper Wiz Khalifa. Then after calling it the “album of life,” he launched it at an extravagant listening party held at New York’s Madison Square Garden. But all of this seemed to only heighten expectation and excitement for the record which was released onto Jay Z‘s Tidal as a worldwide exclusive.
“Kanye West… is a standout who has successfully leveraged the immense influence and addictive elements of streaming media to drive innovation on the Internet,” Webby Awards’ Executive Director David Michel Davies said.
The ceremony will be held at Cipriani Wall Street on May 16th. It will also see actress Kristen Ritter being honoured alongside the rapper, voted as the Webby Awards’ Best Actress for her work in the Netflix original series Marvel’s Jessica Jones. The show became the most watched series of the year on the popular streaming site.
The event will be available to be streamed on the official site the next morning.
Image: Dimitrios Kambouris/ Getty.