Naija’s Best: 5 Nigerian Artists Who Have Made History in the Past Year

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Nigeria is blessed with an abundance of creative talent, and one of the beautiful things about us is how we consistently make history with our creative endeavors. In the realm of music, Nigerian artists have been breaking records for years and continue to do so. Let’s take a closer look at the top five Nigerian artists who have made history with their craft in the past year, spreading the Afrobeats movement globally.

1. Tems: Tems made history in Nigeria by becoming the first-ever female Nigerian artist to win a Grammy Award last year. Her momentous achievement came after being featured on American rapper Future’s song, “Wait For You,” which also included Drake. Notably, she also appeared on the soundtrack of the highly acclaimed movie “Black Panther,” sampling the iconic song “No Woman No Cry.” Tems’ success skyrocketed after being featured by Wizkid on the 2020 summer anthem, “Essence.”

2. Wizkid: It’s impossible not to mention Wizkid when discussing artists who consistently make records and leave a lasting impact. This legendary artist has won a Grammy Award and has been nominated multiple times. In the past year, Wizkid achieved the remarkable feat of selling three platinum singles in the United States. He is widely recognized as a bridge between the Western music world and the Nigerian music scene, thanks to his stellar collaboration on Drake’s hit song “One Dance”.

3. Burna Boy: Known as “Odogwu”, Burna Boy has been making significant strides in the music industry since the release of his hit song “Ye” in 2019. He became one of the few Afrobeats artists to win a Grammy Award for his own album, and he also shared the stage with the legendary Angelique Kidjo during the awards ceremony. Burna Boy made history in the past year by headlining a show at Madison Square Garden in New York City, solidifying his global recognition. In 2023, he continued to make waves by co-headlining the 2023 Champions League Final Kick Off Show, presented by Pepsi.

4. Rema: Rema created history in the Nigerian music scene with his track “Calm Down,” released last year. This song propelled him to new heights, especially after collaborating with Selena Gomez on the remix. “Calm Down” achieved numerous record-breaking milestones, including reaching the Billboard Hot 100 and top 10 charts. Rema is also among the select group of Nigerian artists who have successfully entered the Indian music scene and garnered appreciation from a diverse audience. He even secured a spot in the Guinness World Records as the First No.1 Hit on The Official MENA Chart (the world’s first regional streaming chart).

5. Davido: Davido recently earned recognition as the first Afrobeats artist to surpass a billion streams on YouTube. Two of his hit songs, “If” and “Fall,” continue to gain international popularity. In December of last year, Davido had the honor of performing at the closing ceremony of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, cementing his position as one of Nigeria’s finest artists to grace such a prestigious event.

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