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Burna Boy, Tems, Rema, Davido… The Nigerian Stars Who Have Taken Afrobeats to International Sports Stages

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On Saturday, June 10, 2023, Nigerian music star Burna Boy performed at the opening of the UEFA Champions League final in Istanbul, Turkey.

After the final whistle, the singer joined Thierry Henry, Jamie Carragher, Micah Richards, Peter Schmeichel, and Kate Abdo, the pitchside crew of American broadcast network CBS Sports, for an interview and a heartwarming mini-performance at their request. That performance highlighted what has been a mind-blowing few months for Afrobeats as a genre on the world’s biggest sporting stage.

In December 2022, Davido performed at the grand closing ceremony of the World Cup final in Qatar. Ckay performed to 40,000 people at the CHAN2023 final in Algeria, and in that same month, Burna Boy, Tems, and Rema stole the show at the NBA All-Star Halftime show. The halftime show performances marked the first time any Nigerian artist would perform at the NBA halftime show.

Let’s look at the performances of Nigerian music stars who have taken Afrobeats to the biggest sports stage in the world in the last few years.

Tems (NBA All-Star Game Halftime Show) 

Rema (NBA All-Star Game Halftime Show)

Burna Boy (NBA All-Star Game Halftime Show) 

Burna Boy (UCL Final Performance) 

Ckay (CHAN2023 Performance) 

Davido (FIFA  World Cup Closing Ceremony)

D’banj AFCON Final Performance 2013

Wizkid (World Tennis League 2022)

Tiwa Savage – CAF Awards 2022 (1:22:00)

Tiwa Savage and Wizkid (2017 CAF Awards)

Korede Bello (CAF Awards 2016)

Flavour (CAF Awards 2016) 

Yemi Alade (CAF Awards 2016)

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