On Sunday, February 5, 2023, Nigerian singer Tems made history after emerging as one of the winners in the 65th edition of the Grammy Awards held at the Cypto.com Arena in Los Angeles. The Nigerian singer won the prize for best melodic rap performance owing to her contribution to Future’s 2022 hit track “Wait For U.’’
Reacting to her Grammy win, Tems said:
“It is incredible, I get to work with people that five years ago were on my playlist. I was jamming to them and now I am working with them, it is such a pleasure and I feel like this is just the beginning… The song, with U was taken from my record, Higher, they reached out to me and they told me they would use it as a sample and I felt it was amazing. I thought the song was interesting and amazing the way it got together.’’
Following her win, reports circulated online that she was the first female artist from Nigeria to win the global award. Other female acts in the industry, such as Tiwa Savage and Yemi Alade, congratulated Tems for her achievement.
Later, reports would surface indicating that the ‘Crazy Tings’ crooner was not the first Nigerian female to win the award.
Some pundits say Nigerian-born UK singer Sade Adu is the first Nigerian woman to win a Grammy Award. Sade Adu first won a Grammy Award as “Best New Artist” in 1986.
However, arguments surround these claims because she did not win the Grammy as a Nigerian performer. Adu won her Grammy as a British performer.
Whether Sade Adu won the Global Prize as a Nigerian singer or not, the fact remains that she is Nigerian. She was born in Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria, on January 16, 1959, before her family moved to the United Kingdom. However, her victory and that of Tems are all victories for Afrobeat.