The 2022 BET Awards took place at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles, CA last night. Award-winning actress, writer, and producer Taraji P. Henson played host to the live event’s elite guests and artists. A number of artists took the stage including Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Lizzo, rapper Jack Harlow, Latto, Chance the Rapper, and many others. The eventful night was of course highlight for Tems. Temilade Openiyi, who’s popularly known as Tems is a 27-year-old Nigerian songstress and producer. She was nominated in 3 categories at the 2022 BET Awards; Best Collaboration with Wizkid, Best New Artist, and Best International Act. She broke the record as the first Nigerian artist to ever be nominated in 3 categories at the same time.
Best Collaboration Winner – ‘Essence’ Wizkid & Tems
Tems’ collaboration with Wizkid on the song “Essence” won the 2022 BET Award for Best Collaboration. “Essence”, is undeniably one of the biggest songs and summer hits of 2021. It made history as the first-ever Nigerian song to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 and Billboard Global 100. The record even received a Grammy nomination at the 64th Annual Grammy Awards for Best Global Music Performance. Tems told Apple music that she and Wizkid did not anticipate the outpouring of love the single has received.
Best International Artist Award – TEMS
Tems has had a successful entry into the mainstream music scene. Even though it may seem her rise to the top happened overnight, Tems has been singing since the age of 13. The singer-songwriter released her first breakout record, “Mr. Rebel” in 2018 which afforded her 2 nominations at The Headies, an award show in Nigeria. So it’s no surprise that she’s won the Best International Act Award which was sponsored by Smirnoff. The Lagos native dedicated the award to every single woman who may not believe they could chase their dreams. “Where I’m from in Lagos, this is a dream, as you’re watching me, imagine yourself like me, you are meant to be here, too,” Tems said as she held the award.
Tems started singing at 13 and producing when she was 20. The now 27-year-old songstress said in an interview that she met someone who allowed her to use his studio. She said that she actually didn’t know a thing about the industry at the time. Growing up in Lagos, despite many people’s wishes for her to get a serious job, she never stopped thinking about music. At five years old she fell in love with music and cited her influences growing up being Aaliyah, Destiny’s Child, and Lil Wayne. She joined the choir and learned how to play piano as a teenager. Still, her mother encouraged her to put school first, especially when it came to applying to universities.
When she first posted her music online, she felt her rise to fame was slow and gradual. In 2021 after the release of her debut EP, she spoke with Apple Music about how quickly things had changed. “It’s all happening so fast. “There’s just so many things that have happened. I’m trying to take some time to take it all in, and be grateful for all this grace and blessings,” Tems told Apple music.
Her music has even captured the attention of stars, such as Adele, Rihanna, Drake, and Justin Bieber. Last year, Tems was even featured on “Fountains,” a single from Drake’s 2021 album, Certified Lover Boy. Another hot feature Tems has recently collaborated on is with Future & Drake – on Future’s hit song “Wait For You” from his 2022 album “I never liked you. This song just like Essence has got the Instagram reels algorithm on a chokehold. In 2021 Tems was nominated in the Viewers Choice: Best International Act category however she lost. This year she broke the record as the first Nigerian artist to receive 3 nominations at the BET awards. She has won 2 of the 3 nominations losing the “Best New Artist” award to Latto. The BET Awards have proved that she has worked hard and she’s meant to be a star.