Essence to Global Icon: Tems’ Rise to Becoming 1st Nigerian Afrobeat Singer to Win a Grammy

Essence to Global Icon: Tems’ Rise to Becoming 1st Nigerian Afrobeat Singer to Win a Grammy

  • Nigerian singer Tems has made people very proud as she has put the country on the map yet again
  • The 65th Grammy awards was held on February 5, and Tems went home with her first award, making her the first Nigerian female afrobeats artiste to do so
  • When Tems started out, not many would think she would go so far very quickly to the point of winning a Grammy
  • From indications, Tems' rise to global stardom started with Wizkid's Essence, a track you can call the 'door opener'

2023 is about to be an amazing year for popular Nigerian singer Tems, seeing as on February 5, she casually won herself a Grammy award.

Tems made history as the first female afrobeat artiste to win a Grammy Award. The singer snagged the prestigious award for her efforts on rapper Future’s Wait For You track.

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Nigerian singer Tems
Tems makes history with first Grammy win Photo credit: @temsbaby
Source: Instagram

Not only is the singer the first female afrobeat artiste to win the coveted award, but she is also the first full-blooded female Nigerian to do it, making her win a truly admirable feat.

According to many, Tems' global fame is a sudden occurrence that doesn't happen frequently.

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Some of the people the Try Me crooner looks up to in the industry do not even have Grammy nominations to their names. highlights Tems' journey to the Grammys and the stars that perhaps gave her the recognition and strategic positioning.

1. Tems works with Wizkid

Wizkid's Essence had a new flavour with Tems' unique voice on it. It soon became a hit that caught the attention of fans both at home and abroad.

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One can say that Tems working with Wizkid gave her the opportunity to get nominated for what would have been her first Grammy award.

Essence did numbers on charts both at home and abroad, and it fetched Tems global recognition that allowed her to break records.

Things took a better turn for Wizkid's Essence and of course, Tems, after Canadian singer Justin Bieber jumped on a remix of the song.

2. Tems works with Drake

Shortly after Essence became a global hit, international artistes started coming for Tems.

One of the few people she worked with in 2021 was Canadian rapper Drake who featured her on a track on his album Certified Lover Boy.

It was after this collaboration, Nigerians accepted that Tems already got bigger than some of their faves.

3. Tems works with Rihanna

Last year ended well for Tems as Rihanna made her come back into the music industry after six long years with Lift Me Up.

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Lift Me Up is the lead single for the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever in honour of late lead actor Chadwick Boseman.

The emotional single was co-written by Nigeria's Tems and it earned her first Golden Globe nomination.

4. Tems works with Future to bag Grammy

Tems got to work with Drake again on a track Wait For You on Future's I Never Liked You album.

Wait For You has now become a major win for Tems as it earned her first Grammy award.

The singer is the first female afrobeat singer to win a Grammy, a huge history for the books.

To many, it might seem like Tems came into the industry and defied the popular 'musician hustling spirit'. In an exclusive chat with, broadcast journalist Gucci Augustus Aigbe talked about Tems' rise to fame.

The journalist doesn't believe in suffering to get to the top and noted that Tems has been in the industry since 2019.

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"That people expect you to suffer before you get to the top is ridiculous, because I am working hard now to put food on the table, should my child have to work as hard too? Tems works hard everyday to write, produce ( when she used to) and sing her records. I don't know why the idea of overnight success is so frowned upon. Tem just became a big deal internationally, but she has been grinding here since 2019. So put some respect on her name."

Tiwa Savage and other top female stars congratulate Tems

Following her first win at the prestigious 65th Grammy Awards, Nigerian singer Temilade Openiyi aka Tems was celebrated both at home and abroad.

Tems made history as the first female Nigerian afrobeat singer to win a Grammy with her feature on rapper Future’s Wait For You track.

Waje, Tiwa Savage, and Omawunmi who are pioneers of female stardom in the country took to their Instagram story channel with congratulatory posts. They all shared the young singer's photo.


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