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Is Tems Really The First Nigerian Woman to Win a Grammy?

Is Tems Really The First Nigerian Woman to Win a Grammy?

Nigerian songstress Tems recently won her first ever Grammy award at the just-ended 65th Grammy Annual Awards where she picked up the award for Best Melodic Rap Performance for her contribution to Future’s “Wait For U”, which also features Drake.

Moments after the announcement, social media posts from credible news outlets circulated claiming that Tems was the first Nigerian female musician to win the Grammy Award.

Is Tems Really The First Nigerian Woman to Win a Grammy? 2

This claim is however technically false. The first female Nigerian musician to win a Grammy is the legendary Sade Adu. Sade was born Helen Folasade Adu in Ibadan, Nigeria on January 16th 1959 to a Nigerian father. She was however brought up in Essex, England from the age of four. In 1986, she became the first Nigerian to win a Grammy Award when she was chosen as ‘Best New Artist‘. She’s gone on to win 3 more Grammys in the years 1994, 2002, and most recently 2011.


The Nigerian-born British singer is one of the most successful female artistes in British music history.

Renowned for her sophisticated blend of soul, funk, jazz, and African rhythms, Sade is often recognized as having a major influence on contemporary R&B and soul music.


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