Chilling With Messi, Halaand, Mbappe: Rema Makes History as First African Artist to Grace Ballon d’Or Stage

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Nigerian afrobeat sensation, Divine Ikubor, widely known as Rema, has etched his name into history as the inaugural African artist to perform at the prestigious Ballon d’Or ceremony, held in Paris, France on Monday night.

The 23-year-old music prodigy dazzled the audience with a captivating rendition of his chart-topping hit, ‘Calm Down,’ in front of a star-studded gathering that included football icons and celebrities alike.

The Ballon d’Or event, renowned for honoring the outstanding achievements of footballers in both their club and national team capacities during the 2022-23 season, saw Rema standing shoulder to shoulder with legends of the game, such as Lionel Messi, Didier Drogba, Jude Bellingham, and many others.

Rema’s performance at the Ballon d’Or, a momentous crossover from the world of music to the world of football, marks a unique milestone for an African artist. It accentuates the global recognition and appreciation of the vibrant afrobeats genre.

Reflecting on this extraordinary opportunity, Rema shared his gratitude on his social media platform, formerly Twitter, saying, “Afrobeat in Ballon d’Or! I’m truly grateful for the opportunity. Glory to the most high for the grace.”

During his performance, Rema was observed mingling and exchanging pleasantries with football luminaries, including the likes of Kylian Mbappe, Jude Bellingham, and Erling Haaland. The event was also graced by prominent figures from various fields, including Didier Drogba, Lionel Messi, and Novak Djokovic, who all reveled in Rema’s musical display.

Rema’s appearance at the 2023 Ballon d’Or event adds yet another illustrious chapter to his burgeoning career and solidifies his place among the elite group of Nigerian artists who have graced global stages, following in the footsteps of trailblazers like Davido and Burna Boy.

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