Burna Boy, Afrobeats stars take center stage at the NBA All-Star game

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The stars were out at Sunday’s NBA All-Star game in Salt Lake City, Utah – from basketball legends LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo, to Nigerian musical titans Burna Boy, Tems, and Rema.

The trio performed an Afrobeats-packed halftime show, a sign that the genre’s global rise is continuing into 2023.

Grammy-winning Burna Boy was first to perform, telling the crowd, “I’m about to take you on a journey through Africa without even going on a plane.”

Read more: Burna Boy has a complicated relationship with Africa

For Tems, it caps off a whirlwind month, as she recently made history by being the first Nigerian artist to get an Oscar nomination, for her work on Rihanna’s “Lift Me Up” – a song from “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” She also won her first Grammy on February 5 for her collaboration with Drake and Future on “Wait For U.”

Meanwhile, musician, rapper, and singer Rema is enjoying chart-topping success with his hit “Calm Down,” featuring Selena Gomez.

Nigerian superstar Burna Boy performs during the halftime show at the 2023 NBA All-Star game on February 19.

“Nigeria is a football-dominated, soccer-dominated country,” Burna Boy said in a video posted on Monday by the NBA All-Star Twitter account. “But at the same time, we still have some of the best basketball players from here.”

“This is a dream,” he added in another clip. “This is amazing. I had dreams of playing in the NBA as a kid, but you know, I got to perform at the NBA [All-Star game], so I guess I made it either way.”

Look through the gallery at the top of the page for images from the performances.

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