Nigerian singer, Temilade Openiyi popularly known as Tems, has just won her first Grammy Award for her performance in American rapper Future’s “Wait For You”, where she was featured alongside Canadian singer Drake. The song won the “Best Melodic Rap Performance” category in the 65th edition of arguably music’s biggest award show. This makes it her first Grammy award win. Burna Boy failed to win in his category. He had been nominated in the ‘Best Global Music Album’ and the ‘Best Global Music Performance’ categories.
Top Nigerian artists have joined music fans from across the world to congratulate singer Tems on winning a Grammy award.
She won the Best Melodic Rap Performance category for her contribution to the hit song Wait for U with Future and Drake. They beat a strong field which included Kendrick Lamar and DJ Khaled. Artists including Tiwa Savage, Waje and Omowunmi have posted messages congratulating Tems. “It’s Tems’ time. Nobody can stop her shine. Superstar” posted Afrobeats singer Olamide.
Some fans on Twitter have been hailing her as the first Nigerian female artist to win a Grammy. However, others argue that the historic first was achieved by British-Nigerian singer Sade, whose real name is Helen Folasade Adu. She has won the award four times. Tems, 27, whose real name is Temilade Openiyi, has experienced a remarkable rise. She self-produced her debut single, Mr Rebel, in 2018, which led to an almost instant fan base called Rebel Gang, who appreciated its unique sound and faster pace compared to other female Nigerian singers.
Just over four years later, she’s a Grammy winner with a list of collaborations with notable international artists. Featuring on WizKid’s 2020 single Essence helped propel her to global prominence when the song reached the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Dubbed the song of the summer, it saw her fan base expand beyond Africa. She is reportedly working on collaborations with several megastars including Beyoncé and Rihanna.
Her vocal talent has been praised by fellow artists. DJ Edu, the host of BBC’s music show This Is Africa, said Tems has a “unique” style. “It’s great to see Tems getting this recognition. She’s always stood out from the crowd, being true to her own unique sound and style, and I’m really happy she’s achieved such heights without having to conform,” “I nominated her as one to watch in 2020 so obviously, I’m basking in her success,” he added.
Meanwhile, South African’s Wouter Kellerman, Zakes Bantwini and Nomcebo Zikode also won a Grammy Award – for Best Global Music Performance for their collaboration with Bayethe as they defeated Burna Boy’s Last Last to claim the award for Best Global Music performance while Japan’s Masa Takumi edged his album, ‘Love Damini’ to win the Best Global Album category.
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