In a groundbreaking moment for African music, Burna Boy, Tems and Rema took to the stage to delight fans with a first-ever Nigerian music performance at an NBA All-Star game.
The three Nigerian artistes delivered an unforgettable halftime show on Sunday, February 19, 2023, as Team Giannis and Team Lebron went against each other in an all-star game at the Vivint Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah.
The African-themed performance, part of the NBA’s All-Star Weekend, saw the trio deliver a set showcasing their unique style and cultural influence. The performance began with Burna Boy’s hit songs ‘Anybody’, ‘It’s Plenty’, ‘Ye’ and ‘Last last’ as the Grammy award winner energetically swayed on stage. Tems, on the other hand, stunned the audience with her soulful performance of ‘Crazy things’, ‘Free Mind’, ‘Essence’ and the Grammy winning ‘Wait For U’ after taking over the set from Rema who performed his record-breaking ‘Calm down’ and new release ’Holiday’.
The performance was not only a historic moment for the Nigerian acts but also for the NBA, as it marked the first time the all-star game had featured a performance by African artistes.
Prior to tip-off, global superstar Post Malone performed a medley of hits following the first-ever in-arena NBA All-Star Draft and Vin Diesel, star of the upcoming “Fast X” movie, welcomed fans to the evening. Pop singer Jewel sang the American National Anthem, and Jully Black delivered the Canadian National Anthem, while LeBron James received recognition from the league for shattering the scoring mark two weeks ago.
Meanwhile, it’s been a busy year for all three Nigerian artistes. Burna Boy is still riding the wave of his globally successful album Love, Damini containing his smash hit ‘Last Last.’ Although he missed out on two possible Grammy wins this year, Tems took home the award for Best Melodic Rap Performance with Future, Drake and producer ATL Jacob thanks to their hit ‘Wait For U.’
Rema, who recently broke the record for the most streams by a Nigerian artiste on YouTube, has also had an amazing run thanks to the overwhelming success of his hit ‘Calm Down’ featuring Selena Gomez.
With this historic performance at the NBA all-star, Rema, Burna and Tems have cemented their place as some of the most influential African artistes of our time. Their talent, creativity, and passion for their craft have undoubtedly placed African music on the global map, and we can only hope to see more of such collaborations in the future.