In a groundbreaking moment for both the music and sports worlds, Nigerian music sensation Rema took center stage at the prestigious Ballon d’Or ceremony held in France, showcasing the growing influence of Afrobeat on a global scale. The event, which also crowned Lionel Messi as the winner of the Ballon d’Or for an unprecedented eighth time, recognised the outstanding talents of Erling Haaland and Kylian Mbappe as the runners-up.
Rema, known for his chart-topping hits and infectious Afrobeat rhythms, delivered a mesmerizing performance of his global sensation ‘Calm Down’ to an audience that included football legends, sports enthusiasts, and music aficionados. The young crooner’s appearance marked a significant moment, as it highlighted the already increasing synergy between music and sports, with Afrobeat in particular gaining prominence in sport locker rooms and worldwide.
Taking to his social media platforms after the exhilarating performance, Rema expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to represent Afrobeat on such a grand stage. He humbly attributed his success to divine grace, stating, “Afrobeat in Ballon d’Or! I’m truly grateful for the opportunity. Glory to the most high for the grace.”
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Rema’s inclusion at the Ballon d’Or ceremony symbolises the growing recognition of Afrobeat as a global music genre that resonates with diverse audiences. Videos of famous sport stars have been seen playing Afrobeats songs in the locker rooms after games or celebrating victories. Other Afrobeats artist Burna Boy early this year performed at the champions league final with the likes of Davido also performing at the World Cup. With the Super Bowl looming even closer, there is a possibility to have a themed Afrobeats Super Bowl halftime show which will be historic.
The Ballon d’Or event also witnessed a historic moment in women’s football, as Aitana Bonmat of Barcelona’s female side was awarded the female Ballon d’Or. Bonmat’s remarkable achievements and contributions to the sport were acknowledged, highlighting the continued progress and recognition of women’s football on an international scale.
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With Afrobeats inclusion on the Ballon d’Or stage, the music genre’s global influence has reached new heights, reflecting its ability to unite people across cultures and transcend boundaries. Rema’s captivating performance serves as a testament to the power of music to inspire and entertain, while also shedding light on the immense talent emerging from Africa.