Wall Street Times

Burna Boy, Rema, and Tems Light Up the Stage with Nigerian Music at 2023 NBA All-Star Game Halftime Show

Burna Boy, Rema, and Tems performed at the 2023 NBA All-Star Game halftime show, putting Nigerian music front and center. Their high-energy performance got the crowd up and moving. With a mix of their most popular and most recent songs, the three artists showed off their skills to an international audience.

Burna Boy wowed the audience with dynamic performances of “It’s Plenty,” “Last Last,” and “Alone.” Rema then took over, bringing his signature Afrobeat flavor to the stage with “Calm Down” and “Holiday.”  

Tems finished the set with a medley of “Crazy Tings,” “Free Mind,” “Essence,” and “Higher,” accompanied by backup dancers. Tems recently won the Grammy Award for Best Melodic Rap Performance.

The halftime show wasn’t the only musical act of the night, as Post Malone also played for the crowd before the game. We brought out the featured 21 Savage. 

For Tems, the halftime show is just the latest in a string of successes. Fresh off her Grammy Award, she was also nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Song for her work on Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Soundtrack. Burna Boy’s latest album Love, Damini was released last summer and showcased his versatility as an artist.  

The debut album by Rema, Rave and Roses, and his collaborations with other musicians, such as FKA twigs, have been causing a stir.

The 2023 NBA All-Star Game Halftime Show was a celebration of Nigerian music and its global influence. As these three artists continue to offer a unique sound to new audiences around the world, it’s clear they are poised for even greater success in the years to come. 


Nigerian singer and songwriter Tems has been making marks in the music industry with her unique sound and soulful voice. Born in Lagos, Nigeria, Tems (real name Temilade Openiyi) started her musical journey in her late teens, performing at various gigs and events around the city.

It wasn’t until the release of her 2018 debut single “Mr Rebel” that Tems started to gain significant attention. The song quickly became a hit in Nigeria and beyond, introducing her to a wider audience. She followed up with other successful singles, including “Looku Looku,” “These Days,” and “Damages,” which have all garnered millions of streams.

In 2021, Tems’ career reached new heights with her feature on WizKid’s hit single “Essence,” which quickly became a fan-favorite and one of the biggest songs of the year. The song’s success propelled Tems into the global spotlight and earned her collaborations with other international artists like Drake and Brent Faiyaz.

Tems’ music is a unique blend of Afrobeats, R&B, and soulful melodies, with lyrics that often explore themes of love, heartbreak, and self-discovery. Her voice is rich and emotive, drawing listeners in with its raw power and vulnerability.

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Burna Boy

A unique blend of Afrobeat, dancehall and hip-hop, Burna Boy has become one of the most prominent voices in contemporary African music. Born Damini Ogulu in 1991, the Nigerian singer-songwriter first rose to fame with her 2012 single Like to Party, and has since released a string of critically-acclaimed albums, collaborated with some of the biggest names in music, We are becoming global stars and ambassadors of African culture.  

Burna Boy’s music often touches on themes of love, politics, and social justice, with a sound that is both infectious and thought-provoking. He has been widely regarded for his ability to blend different genres, and for his use of African rhythms and instruments in his music. He has cited Fela Kuti, Bob Marley, and Jay-Z as some of his biggest influences.

In 2019, Burna Boy released his fourth studio album, “African Giant,” which was met with widespread critical acclaim and bagged him a Grammy nomination for Best World Music Album. The album features teamups with the likes of Jorja Smith, YG, and Damian Marley, and addresses issues such as police brutality and the exploitation of African resources.

Since then, Burna Boy’s star has only continued to rise. He has performed at major festivals around the world, including Coachella, Glastonbury, and the Essence Festival, and has collaborated with artists such as Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran, and Justin Bieber. He was also featured on the hit song “Jerusalema” by South African producer Master KG, which became a global sensation at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Divine Ikubor, popularly known as Rema, is a 21-year-old Nigerian singer and rapper who has made a mark for himself in the music industry with his unique sound and style. He has been making waves since he first appeared on the Nigerian music scene in 2018, and has since become one of the most well-known and influential artists in Africa.

Rema was born in Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria, and was discovered by music producer Don Jazzy on Instagram. Don Jazzy was impressed by Rema’s talent and signed him to his record label, Mavin Records, in 2019. Rema quickly gained recognition with his debut EP, “Rema”, which was released in March 2019 and featured hits such as “Dumebi” and “Iron Man”.

Since then, Rema has continued to make hits and release successful projects. His debut album, “Rave & Roses”, which was released in April 2021, features a blend of Afrobeat, hip-hop, and trap music. The album includes songs like “Bounce”, “Soundgasm”, and “Ginger Me”, which have become fan favorites and have garnered millions of streams on various platforms.

Rema’s music is known for its unique style, which blends different genres to create a sound that is both catchy and memorable. His lyrics mostly touch on themes such as love, relationships, and youth culture, making his music relatable to a wide audience.

Photo: NME