Rapper Lil Baby has been named global artist of the year at the second annual Apple Music Awards, with Megan Thee Stallion, Taylor Swift and Roddy Ricch also honoured.

The technology giant launched the awards 12 months ago and hands out gongs in five categories.

Atlanta rapper Lil Baby, 25, released his acclaimed album My Turn in February and capped a stellar year by taking the top prize.

Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift has been named songwriter of the year at the Apple Music Awards (PA)

He said: “This year has changed me a lot. Now that I’m an artist, I feel like my voice can get heard through my music and I needed to say something. And my fans listened. So thank you to my fans and thank you to Apple Music for giving me a special way to connect to my fans.”

Megan Thee Stallion was named breakthrough artist of the year. She has enjoyed huge success with the songs Savage and WAP and will release her debut album, titled Good News, on Friday.

Swift picked up the songwriter of the year award after surprising fans with the release of Folklore in July. Apple described the record as a “lyrical masterpiece”.

And hip-hop star Roddy Ricch, from Compton, California, picked up two awards – song and album of the year.

His hit The Box won best song while the record Please Excuse Me For Being Antisocial won best album.

Apple decides the winners of the awards through a combination of expert opinion and streaming data, it said.

The winners for artist, songwriter and breakthrough are chosen by an “editorial team of world-class experts and tastemakers”, the company said.

While song and album of the year are based on streaming data.

The 2021 Grammy nominees will be announced on November 24.