Zahara on top of the world as she scoops 8 Samas

SINGING sensation Zahara swept the boards at the 18th South African Music Awards held at Sun City in North West on Monday night. And there were also other notable stars that shone at the event..

Mi Casa and DJ Cleo made a strong showing on the night, netting three awards each.

Cleo dominated the downloading categories. He won the Best-Selling True-Tone Download of the Year, Best-Selling Ring-Tone of the Year and the MTN Best-Selling Mobile Music Download.

Zahara took Best-Selling Full-Track Download.

Mi Casa, crowd favourite with the audience at the Superbowl in Sun City, picked up the three awards: Best Dance Album, Duo/Group and the MTN Record of the Year for the hit single These Streets.

New kid on the block AKA also shone on the night as he won Best Male Artist of the Year, the second hip-hop act to do so since Hip-Hop Pantsula. He also won the Best Street Urban Music Album Award for Alter Ego.

Big Nuz's double album - Pound for Pound - picked up an award for Best Kwaito Album.

Jimmy Dludlu collected his umpteenth award in his career when he walked away with Best Jazz Album.

Zonke deserves acclaim for Ina Ethe, which won Best African Adult Album.

Best Maskandi Album went to Thokozani Langa for i-Protection Order.

Best Live DVD went to Simphiwe Dana, whose award was collected by producer Sipho Sithole.

There was confusion as to who exactly had won the award - the producer of the recording - as outdoor events are the function of the producer - or the artist, who is mostly dependent on the producer for such a project. The committee named it for Dana.

Liquideep's single Alone surprisingly took the award for the Most Played on South African Radio in 2011. Zahara was expected to scoop this award too but Alone preceded her releases and has had a longer run on radio than Zahara's Loliwe.

Other winners are:

Best Producer: Dan Roberts for his work on Six Winters by Laurie Levine

Best Engineer: Johan van der Colff for his work on Loliwe by Zahara

Best Adult Contemporary: Elvis Blue for Elvis Blue (2CD)

Best Rock Album: Shadowclub for Guns and Money

Best Alternative Album:

The Dirty Skirts for Lost In the Fall

Best Kiddies Album: Wendy Oldfield for Singalong Kidz Volume 2

Best Sokkie Dans Album: Snotkop for Ek Laaik Van Jol