Riding on his continued fame in the music world, Damini ‘Burna Boy’ Ogulu will be co-headlining the kick-off show of the 68th UEFA Champions League final in Istanbul, Turkey, in June 2023, one month after missing out on the 2023 Grammy Award in February.
At a time when Nigerian music stars are witnessing increasing recognition in the sports world, his announcement by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) is coming three months after music star David ‘Davido’ Adeleke became the first Nigerian artistes to perform in a World Cup final ceremony. On February 19, 2023, in what was 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.
With the UEFA Champions League final slated to hold on June 10, 2023, at the Atatürk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul, Burna Boy, when he takes up the stage, will become the first Nigerian artiste to perform at Europe’s most competitive football tournament.
“As a huge football fan myself, I know it doesn’t get any bigger than the UEFA Champions League! That’s why I’m so excited to be performing on the Pepsi stage at this year’s final. Music and football are the ultimate combination, so you already know, I’ll be bringing the vibes and making magic in Istanbul. The world isn’t ready for what we have in store!” the Grammy winner told UEFA.
The UEFA Champions League Final Kick-Off Show by Pepsi, now in its seventh year, will be broadcast live in over 200 countries, and Burna Boy is expected to light up the arena with an exhilarating performance.
Burna Boy is known for owning his stage when it comes to live performances. In 2022, the Grammy Award winner became the first African artistes to sell out New York City’s Madison Square Garden and performed in front of over 20,000 people. But the June 10 performance, which is expected to be in front of over 70,000 spectators, has kept music and football fans excited.
“The UEFA Champions League Final Kick-Off Show is a significant part of our joint efforts with Pepsi, providing an incredible opportunity to reach new and younger audiences with the some of the biggest names and rising stars in music. We’re excited to showcase a line-up of talented artists at this season’s final in Istanbul in what is sure to be an energetic and memorable performance,” Guy-Laurent Epstein, UEFA marketing director said.