In a historic moment for the Nigerian music industry, Grammy award-winning singers Ayodeji Balogun popularly known as Wizkid, and Temilade Openiyi, known as Tems, have been honored as the first African recipients of the iHeartRadio Titanium Award.
The prestigious Titanium Award is given to artists whose songs gross 1 billion spins across iHeartRadio stations in America, making Wizkid and Tems global icons. The duo received the accolade after their hit song ‘Essence’ grossed an incredible 1 billion spins across iHeartRadio stations.
‘Essence’ was initially housed in Wizkid’s fourth studio album, ‘Made In Lagos’, and was a hit in Nigeria and other African countries. In 2021, the track became a global sensation after a remix version was released in collaboration with Canadian singer Justin Bieber. The song’s popularity on American mainstream radio propelled it to the top of the charts, and it has been gaining massive airplay since then.
Tems’ manager, Muyiwa Awoniyi shared a video clip of the award via his Instastory, expressing delight at the historic achievement of the talented Nigerian artists. Their successful collaboration with Justin Bieber has helped to raise the profile of Afrobeats music globally and cemented Wizkid’s status as Nigeria’s biggest music export.
Speaking on the award, Wizkid expressed gratitude to his fans, who have remained loyal throughout his career. In a tweet, he said, “Love to the homeland. Thank you all for the continues [sic] love and support worldwide. Made in Lagos!!”
This recognition is a significant milestone for Wizkid and Tems, who have emerged as major players in the Nigerian music industry, dominating the Afrobeat genre with their unique style and groundbreaking collaborations. Wizkid has collaborated with international superstars like Drake, Beyonce, and Skepta, among others, while Tems has worked with music producer, Wizkid and British rapper, Dave, on various hit tracks.
Their success has also provided a platform for other upcoming Nigerian artists, who are breaking barriers and making their mark in the industry. The Nigerian music scene continues to evolve and grow, exporting the country’s unique sound to the world.
The iHeartRadio Titanium award is just one of several awards that Wizkid and Tems have received for their incredible music. Wizkid recently won the BET HER award for ‘Brown Skin Girl’, and the 2021 BET award for ‘Best International Act’. Tems was nominated for ‘Best New International Act’ at the 2021 BET Awards and recently featured on the cover of Apple Music’s Africa Now playlist.
In conclusion, Wizkid and Tems’ historic achievement as the first Africans to receive the iHeartRadio Titanium Award is a testament to the power of music to unite people across cultures and geographical boundaries. Their hit track, ‘Essence’ is a testament to the growing influence of Afrobeats music and its place on the global stage. It is also a source of pride for Nigeria, as the country’s music industry continues to break barriers and gain recognition worldwide.