Temilade Openiyi (born 11 June 1995), better known as Tems, is a multi-talented Nigerian singer, songwriter, record producer, and performer. She rose to fame after Wizkid featured her on his 2020 hit song, Essence with the remix featuring Justin Bieber and earned her a Grammy Award nomination. Tems also featured on Drake’s song titled Fountains.
Early Life and Education
Temilade Openiyi was born in Lagos, Nigeria, on June 11, 1995. Her family relocated to the UK shortly after her birth, where she was born to a Nigerian mother and a British-Nigerian father.
At the tender age of five, Tems found herself caught in the whirlwind of her parents’ divorce, a life-altering event that would shape her journey. Together with her devoted mother and beloved brother, she embarked on a new chapter in Nigeria, a land that held both familiarity and mystery.
Their first abode in this new chapter was in the vibrant neighborhood of Ilupeju, where Tems’ young heart began to heal amidst the bustling streets and warm smiles of its inhabitants. As time unfolded, life’s ebb and flow guided them towards new horizons, and they soon found themselves relocating to the captivating realms of Lekki, with its azure waters and captivating coastal allure.
But the journey didn’t end there. Fate’s invisible hand nudged them further southward, to the enchanting embrace of Ajah, where the beauty of nature merged seamlessly with the rhythm of urban life. In this tapestry of experiences, Tems discovered resilience and adaptability, blossoming into a remarkable individual.
As the years waltzed on, Tems’s thirst for knowledge and personal growth led her to pursue her undergraduate studies at the esteemed Dowen College, where she delved into various disciplines with unwavering curiosity. Her time there provided a fertile ground for intellectual exploration, nurturing her innate talents and igniting her passion for understanding the intricate workings of the world.
Ever the seeker of new perspectives, Tems continued her academic journey at Monash South Africa, an institution renowned for its academic rigor and global outlook.
She picked up the piano at school when her music teacher recognized her. She sang along with her brother while they practiced, frequently with him playing guitar.
Tems gained notoriety when she appeared on Wizkid’s 2020 single, “Essence,” which received a Grammy Award nomination and peaked at number ten on the Billboard Hot 100 after receiving a remix with Justin Bieber’s added appearance. She appeared on Drake’s song “Fountains” the same year.
For Broken Ears, her debut extended play, was published on September 25, 2020. After signing with RCA Records, Tems released her second extended play, If Orange Was a Place in 2021.
Future sampled Tems’ vocals from her song “Higher” in 2022, and as a result, Tems was listed as a featured artist on Future’s single, “Wait for U.”
Tems made history as the trailblazing African artist to achieve an unprecedented feat, soaring to the illustrious number one spot on the renowned Billboard Hot 100 chart. This remarkable achievement not only solidified her status as a true musical force to be reckoned with, but also positioned her as the second Nigerian artist ever to reach such extraordinary heights. With her exceptional talent and undeniable appeal, Tems has shattered barriers and blazed a trail for African artists worldwide, leaving an indelible mark on the global music scene.
For the soundtrack of the Marvel film Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, which was released in July 2022, Tems performed Bob Marley’s “No Woman, No Cry.” The same month, “Free Mind,” a song from Tems’s debut EP, had its Hot 100 debut.
In a momentous and groundbreaking milestone, Tems secured a highly esteemed BET award, etching her name among the revered group of five Nigerian women who eternally etched their mark on the annals of history during the illustrious month of July.
This moment of triumph not only showcases Tems’ immense talent and undeniable artistry, but also signifies the relentless spirit and unwavering determination that propels Nigerian women to shatter glass ceilings and defy expectations. With this remarkable achievement, Tems joins an esteemed lineage of Nigerian trailblazers, inspiring generations to come and leaving an indelible legacy in the realm of music and beyond.
Tems has been nominated for numerous awards over the course of her career and has gone on to win two NAACP Image Awards, two BET Awards, and a Soul Train Music Award.
Leading Vibe Radio Show With Tems officially launched on March 31, 2022, on Apple Music 1.  Muyiwa Awoniyi and Tunji Balogun make an appearance in the show’s opening episode on April 2.
Tems and Drake were both featured on Future’s single “Wait for U,” off of Future’s eighth studio album, I Never Liked You, which was released on April 29, 2022.
Tems became the first African female artist to top the chart and especially to debut at the top of the chart when the song debuted at the top of the Hot 100. The song uses a sample of For Broken Ears’ “Higher” song.
In the mesmerizing month of July 2022, Tems stepped into the recording booth to lend her captivating vocals to the timeless anthem “No Woman, No Cry,” originally penned by the legendary Bob Marley. This enchanting rendition was destined for greatness, as it found its rightful place on the prestigious soundtrack of the highly anticipated Marvel blockbuster, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
With her soul-stirring interpretation of this iconic song, Tems effortlessly intertwines her own unique artistry with the profound legacy of Marley, creating a transcendent musical experience that will undoubtedly leave an indelible mark on the hearts of audiences worldwide. In this monumental collaboration, Tems’ mesmerizing voice becomes an integral part of the tapestry woven by the Black Panther saga, enriching the film’s narrative and celebrating the rich tapestry of African culture in all its glory.
With the release of her song “Free Mind” from For Broken Ears on the Hot 100 list on July 26, Tems earned her fourth Hot 100 entry.
Tems was announced as a guest artist on Beyoncé’s album Renaissance in July 2022. She worked with Grace Jones on the song “Move,” which became her fifth Hot 100 entry.
She co-wrote Rihanna’s song “Lift Me Up” for the soundtrack to Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, which was released in October 2022.
Tems has a net worth of about $1.5 million. She is a top female Afrobeat singer. Tems has dominated the music industry with her voice and ability to deliver incredible choruses and verses.
She has created influence in the music industry through her music career and makes money at the process including endorsement deals.
Tems and fellow singer Omah Lay were both arrested following their performance at an event in Uganda on December 14, 2020.
The two artists believed they were set up, despite the Ugandan police authority citing a violation of COVID-19 lockdown regulations as the basis for their detention.
Two days later, the Ugandan government released them, apologized for the arrests, and dismissed the charges.
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