• Entertainment
  • Updated: January 18, 2024

How Nigerian artistes took Afrobeats global through sporting events 

How Nigerian artistes took Afrobeats global through sporting

In a thrilling blend of music and sports, Nigerian artistes have become known for exhilarating performances on world stages, infusing a lively beat into the buzz of different sporting events.

AllNews Nigeria sheds light on notable Nigerian musicians who have created a lasting impact at the crossroads of music and sports. 

Below are Afrobeats stars who have taken the 'Nigerian' sound to global stages for sporting events over the years.

Yemi Alade

Nigerian Afropop singer, Yemi Alade commenced 2024 on a high note as she performed at the opening ceremony of the ongoing 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) on January 13. The artiste otherwise referred to as 'Mama Africa' teamed up with Egyptian rapper, Mohamed Ramadan to perform ‘Akwaaba’, the official anthem for AFCON 2023, which took place at the Stade Olympique Alessane Ouattara in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

Alade who was draped in a green Ankara print ensemble adorned her hair with gold ornaments, evoking the style of the Calabar culture. 

Before her performance on the big stage, the songstress in a tweet described the feat as “a dream come true” revealing “since 2016, I have desired to perform at the stadium for football ceremonies surrounded by 100’s of dancers and millions of people.”

“7 years later, I am performing at AFCON. It is indeed an honour and a dream come true. It is just the beginning! God bless my team.”


Since breaking into the limelight in 2016, Afrobeats sensation Divine Ikubor, popular as Rema, has remained consistent in promoting the Nigerian sound in different scenes including sporting events.

The 23-year-old Nigerian singer became the first African act to grace the Ballon d'Or stage, performing his award-winning song “Calm Down” at the 2023 edition of the sporting award which took place in November in Paris.

Rema's performance at 2023 Ballon d'Or

Also in February 2023, Rema added another milestone to his ever-evolving career when he performed at the 2023 National Basketball Association All-Star Game. The Mavin star delivered an electrifying performance of 'Calm Down' and his hit song 'Holiday' during the NBA All-Stars Halftime show in an Afrobeats-themed performance alongside Burna Boy and Tems.

Burna Boy

Damini Ogulu, widely known as Burna Boy made history as the first African artist to grace the UEFA Champions League finals when he took the stage during the halftime show by Pepsi at the 2022/23 UCL in Istanbul, Turkey, on June 10, 2023. 

The self-acclaimed ‘African Giant’ performed alongside Brazilian popstar Anitta at the Atatürk Olympic Stadium with a capacity of 74,753.  The Grammy Award winner delivered an electrifying performance of his song 'Last Last' and other chart-toppers.

Burna Boy alongside Tems and Rema also anchored the Afrobeats-themed performance at the NBA All-Stars Halftime show on February 19, 2023, in Salt Lake City, Utah. The award-winning singer closed the show with a stellar rendition of his smash hits 'Ye' and 'Last Last'


Grammy Award winner, Temilade Openiyi popularly known as 'Tems' dazzled the audience at the NBA All-Stars Halftime show alongside Afrobeats stars Burna Boy and Rema on February 19, 2023, in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Nigerian singer thrilled the international audience with her hit singles 'Free Mind' and 'Higher' before closing with 'Essence'.

Omah Lay, Oxlade

Nigerian singers, Omah Lay and Oxlade captivated Parisian audiences in the 2023 World Streetball Championship. Oxlade enchanted the crowd with his chart-topping track 'Ku Lo Sa,' while Omah Lay delivered a captivating performance of 'Soso' during the event in Paris, France.

Burna Boy and Anitta's performance at 2023 UEFA Champions League final


Chukwuka Chukwuma Ekweani, also known as CKay, mesmerized a crowd of over 40,000 fans during the closing ceremony of the 2023 African Nations Championship (CHAN) in Algeria. The Nigerian singer showcased his talent at the Nelson Mandela Stadium in Baraki, treating the audience to a delightful performance featuring his trending hits 'Love Nwantiti' and 'Emiliana.'


Davido etched his name in history as the first Nigerian act to grace the FIFA World Cup stage. The Nigerian superstar teamed up with Aisha and Trinidad Cardona, delivering a mesmerizing performance of 'Hayya Hayya' (Better Together) at the 2022 FIFA World Cup finals.

Their joint performance of the official FIFA theme song captivated approximately 88,000 fans assembled at the Lusail Iconic Stadium in Qatar.

Davido's performance at 2022 FIFA World Cup closing

Kizz Daniel

Nigerian singer, Oluwatobiloba Daniel Anidugbe, popularly known as Kizz Daniel realized his aspiration to showcase his hit songs on football's grandest stage when he performed at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

The Nigerian hitmaker and owner of Flyboy Inc. took the stage, delivering electrifying performances of his popular songs, including 'Buga' and 'Cough'.


Nigerian afro-reggae star, Patoranking also delighted a massive audience with his performance at the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup. The dancehall sensation took to the stage at Al Bidda Park with his performance of the well-known track 'No Kissing Babe', thrilling thousands of fans in attendance.


Grammy winner, Ayo Balogun popularly known as Wizkid made history as the first Nigerian musician to perform at a World Tennis League event with his performance at the 2022 World Tennis League in Dubai. Big Wiz delivered a captivating rendition of his hit track "Bad To Me" along with his worldwide anthem 'Essence,' featuring Tems, in a stunning performance.

In August 2022, Wizkid shut down the world's biggest gaming event, Gamers 8 Esports in August 2022, becoming the first African act to achieve such a feat. The award-winning singer gave an electrifying performance to 22,000 capacity at Mohammed Abdu Arena in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Femi Kuti

Nigerian music legend Femi Kuti, along with Egyptian music star Hakim and Ivory Coast's Dobet Gnahore, had a crowd of fans rocking at the 75,000-capacity Cairo International Stadium as part of the festivities during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) opening ceremony.

This wasn't Femi Kuti's first foray into major football events, as he had previously graced the stage at the Soccer City Stadium in Johannesburg for the opening ceremony of the 2010 FIFA World Cup on June 11, 2010. This historic event marked the first time the World Cup was hosted in Africa.


D’banj, the Koko Master, left an indelible mark with his performance at the closing ceremony of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa. The superstar serenaded the audience with his hit "Top Of The World" just before the Super Eagles lifted the continental trophy, marking a historic and celebratory moment for Nigeria.

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