It’s now casual doings for afrobeats to break or set one or two records daily. And performing at the biggest sport events in the world is just part of it. We compile all the times our music has been on these iconic stages.
Several CAF Awards
This organisation is obviously a huge fan of afrobeats. Everyone from Yemi Alade and Korede Bello (2016) to Wizkid (2017) and Tiwa Savage (2017 and 2022) have graced that stage. And it’s hard to forget Flavour’s 2016 performance with the cultural dancers and masquerade.
2022 World Cup final
Two major historical things happened at this huge event. France became the first team to score a hat-trick in a World Cup final and lose. And it was the first time the competition would put out a theme song collection, featuring different international artists. Davido was one of them, making him the first Nigerian musician to perform on a FIFA World Cup stage, joining Senegal’s Youssou N’Dour and Benin Republic’s Angelique Kidjo.
2022 World Tennis League commencement ceremony
On the 20th of December, 2022, Wizkid made history as the first and only afrobeats artist to perform at the league’s commencement ceremony, alongside Ne-Yo and Armin van Buuren. At the Coca-Cola Arena, Dubai, Wiz entertained the multicultural audience with hit songs like Azonto, Fever, Soco and Mood.
2023 NBA All-Stars halftime show
It was a three-peat moment for afrobeats at the 72nd All-Stars halftime show, as Tems, Burna Boy and Rema gave the U.S. basketball audience a taste of African rhythm and sounds. Burna performed Anybody and It’s Plenty, Rema followed with Calm Down and Holiday, ushering in Tems to close the performance with Crazy Things
2022/2023 Champions League final
After Burna sold out a stadium in London, it’s well-deserved that he’d headline the UEFA Champions League’s opening ceremony of the final game. The world’s greatest football club competition, hosted Burna Boy in Istanbul, where he performed a medley of It’s Plenty and Last Last and gave further proof that he’s one of afrobeats’ greatest performers.
The world’s biggest streetball tournament finally made its return after the 2020 pandemic in July 2022. And Yemi Alade, 1da Banton, Fally Ipupa and DaBaby were invited to Paris to give some electrifying performances. While Yemi Alade’s music isn’t new to French-speaking communities, the crowd didn’t spare Ida Banton’s music any excitement.
2023 African Nations Championship (CHAN)
The afrobeats movement took centre stage at CHAN’s closing ceremony, as CKay took the gospel of Love Nwantiti and Emiliano to over 40,000 people. They turned the sad romance tunes into a rave at the Nelson Mandela Stadium in Baraki, Algiers. Seeing as artists like CKay and Burna Boy are gracing major stages, there may be benefits to eating breakfast after all.
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