Aya Nakamura scoops French music awards, thanks fans for support over racist abuse

French singer Aya Nakamura confirmed her status as queen of the pop music scene, sweeping three big prizes at Les Flammes awards for rap, R&B and pop on Thursday – where she thanked fans for support over racist attacks following rumours she would perform at the Paris Olympics.

The 28-year-old French-Malian pop star dominated the awards in Paris, winning female artist of the year, pop album of the year and international star of the year.

"I'm very honoured," she said holding one of the trophies. "Being a female artist, and what's more a black artist, and coming from the banlieues (suburbs) is very difficult."

She dedicated the awards "to all the blacks, to all the girls that are watching me" and thanked her fans for "the love and messages of support, despite the controversy and criticism".

Racism row

Nakamura found herself in the midst of a racism row in February after rumours circulated she had discussed singing an Edith Piaf song at the upcoming Paris Olympics during a meeting with President Emmanuel Macron.

Macron said he backed the idea, though it would be up to the artistic director of the opening and closing ceremonies to decide.

A number of far-right and conservative politicians, including Marine le Pen, founder of the National Rally, openly criticised the French-Malian singer and her music.

Read more on RFI English

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