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