Nigerian singer, Tems, made history on Sunday February 5th, after becoming the first Nigerian female singer to win a Grammy.
The singer, whose real name is Temilade Openiyi, won her first Grammy at the 65th Annual Grammy Awards for her work on Future’s song “Wait For U,” which also features Drake.
The musical sensation triumphed over performers like Latto (“Big Energy (Live)”), Jack Harlow (“First Class”), Kendrick Lamar (“Die Hard”), and DJ Khaled in the category of Best Melodic Rap Performance. At 27-years old, she has accomplished so much in the global music industry.
Tems, who has made a big impression with her music over the past few years, was also nominated for Album of the Year for her contribution to Beyoncé’s Renaissance album.
Earlier this year, the “Higher” Singer scored an Oscar nomination at the 2023 Oscars for co-writing “Lift Me Up’, one of the songs on ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.”
“Wait For U” sampled Tems’ song “Higher,” which was a record off of her 2020 debut album For Broken Ears. “Wait For U’” was released on May 3, 2022, and was released as the second single from Future’s ninth studio album, I Never Liked You.
Shortly after the record was released, Future took to social media to praise Tems’ vocal ability. The rest of 2022 would involve Tems getting praise and international recognition for her artistry, and a fleet of projects, including notable collaborations with mega stars like Beyoncé and Rihanna.
How Nigerians reacted: Ever since news of Tems’ win broke, many fans have taken to social media to excitedly congratulate the star.
- African Dream said “SHE. HAS. DONE. IT. Tems becomes the first Nigerian female artist to win the Grammy Award. Congratulations star girl.”
SHE. HAS. DONE. IT.
— The African Dream (@theafricadream) February 5, 2023
- Guide radio said “God of Tems has done it again! @temsbaby picked up her first award of the night at the Grammys with her collaboration on “Wait For U” alongside Drake & Future.”
God of Tems has done it again!!😭❤️🔥@temsbaby picked up her first award of the night at the Grammys with her collaboration on “Wait For U” alongside Drake & Future #TheNewWave #grammys #awards #tems #drake #future #GuideRadio #grammywatch #grammyawards #grammy2023 pic.twitter.com/eex5onKzVO
— GuideRadio (@GuideRadio915) February 5, 2023
Tems’ other achievements: Tems was the first African female artiste to debut at number one on the Billboard Hot 100.
- Tems joined A-List celebrities on a Coca-Cola campaign.
- Tems bagged two BET Awards, becoming the 1st Nigerian female to win ‘Best International Act’ At BET Awards.
- Tems featured on the ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ soundtrack.
- She was the first female Nigerian artiste to make a solo debut on the Billboard Hot 100.
- Tems Hit the number 1 spot on the Billboard Charts With a Cover Of “No Woman No Cry”
- Tems became the first Nigerian artiste with the most Billboard Hot 100 appearances
About Tems: Temilade Openiyi, popularly know by her stage name Tems, was born in Lagos before relocating to the UK with her Nigerian mother and British-Nigerian father. At age 5, she returned to Nigeria after her parents’ divorce. She later completed her studies at Dowen College in Lagos.
According to Tems, she was a lone ranger; it gave birth to her finding solitude in music at the tender age of 11.
In an interview, she said, “I used to write poems a lot – I’ll just sit down and write things I’m feeling, and it’ll come out so poetic, even if I’m just talking about breakfast,” she laughs. “So then I just started writing songs, at around 11. Some were about me not having friends and some about my classmates saying I was weird.”
Tems’ music reflects her melancholy personality, and Kate Nash, Lauryn Hill, Lil’ Kim, Paramore, OutKast, and Green Day have all had a significant influence on her sense of style.
The “Try me” singer received a lot of assistance from her piano instructor. Tems claimed that she had initially thought her voice was too heavy for a girl, but after her teacher helped her improve it, she started to consider a career in music and finally made the risky move when she was 20.