African Voices

Wizkid becomes latest Afrobeats star to make history with sold-out stadium show in London

CNN  — 

On July 29, Nigerian Afrobeats superstar Wizkid performed in front of a sold-out Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, becoming the first African artist to earn that title. With 45,000 fans in attendance, the Grammy winner kicked off the European leg of his “More Love, Less Ego” tour.

He joins Beyoncé and The Red Hot Chili Peppers as the only other musical acts to perform at the stadium so far this year. After the show, he also became the first African artist to receive the BRIT Billion award for reaching 1 billion music streams in the UK.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 29: General view of the fireworks during Wizkid's performs at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on July 29, 2023 in London, England. (Photo by Joseph Okpako/WireImage)

This is the second time Wizkid has made live performance history in the UK; in 2021, he sold out London’s O2 Arena for three dates – the first African artist to do so.

Afrobeats continues to skyrocket in popularity around the world. In 2024, the Grammy Awards will also feature a new category: Best African Music Performance, which “recognizes recordings that utilize unique local expressions from across the African continent,” the organizers said in a statement earlier this year.

Wizkid’s recent show is the latest in a run of historic performances by some of the genre’s biggest stars this year – including Burna Boy, who became the first African artist to headline a sold-out stadium show (London Stadium) in the UK in June, and then a US stadium (Citi Field in New York) in July.

Along with Tems and Rema, Burna Boy also brought Afrobeats to center stage at the NBA All-Star Game halftime show in February.

Later this year, Tiwa Savage – often called the “Queen of Afrobeats” – is slated to become the first female artist from the popular genre to headline at OVO Arena Wembley in the UK, with a scheduled performance on November 26.