Freshlyground claimed three South African Music Awards Saturday night (May 3rd) to be the top award winners in the country's premiere music awards event.

The Cape Town-based Afro-pop seven-piece were the leading nominees going into the two-day event held at the Sun City resort in the North West province with four nominations of their own and additional three for production and video work on their 2007 effort 'Ma' Cheri' (Sony BMG).

In the end the group scored the prestigious album of the year SAMA along with those for best duo/group and best adult contemporary album: English for 'Ma' Cheri'. David Langemann was named best engineer for his work on the album.

Taking home two awards apiece were hip-hop solo artist, HHP and pop artist, Tasha Baxter. HHP was named best male solo artist and his 'Acceptance Speech' (EMI/CCP) fought off some strong competition to take the best rap album SAMA. Baxter was named best newcomer. Her debut 'Colour of Me' (EMI) took the best pop album: English award. Afrikaans rocker Karen Zoid was the surprise winner of the best female solo artist SAMA - her 2007, predominantly English, album, 'Postmodern Wiorld' (Just Music) fought off competition from Zonke and KB who both work in the Afro Pop genre which traditionally dominates this key award.

The 14th SA Music Awards gave lifetime achievement recognition to murdered reggae artist, Lucky Dube and Afrikaans singer, Ge Korsten. For the first year a digital category was included: top selling download was awarded to Sony BMG recording Afro-soul artist Lira for her song 'Feel Good'.

The SA Music Awards are organized by the Recording Industry of South Africa (RiSA). They are judged by a panel of more than 170 industry experts.