Nigerian Female Singers That Won Grammy Awards Before Tems

The Nigerian female sensation Tems joins the league of other powerful songstresses to possess this covetous prize.

Talented Nigerian songstress Temilade Openiyi, popularly known as Tems, recently bagged her first Grammy award after having a splendid year in both the local and international music scene.

The sensational Tems received three major nominations in the categories of "Best Rap Song" and "Best Melodic Rap Performance" for her contribution to the hit collaboration with Future and Drake titled "Wait For U." Tems also received another nomination for "Album Of The Year" as a featured artist on Beyonce's "Renaissance" album.

At the 65th edition of the Grammy awards, which was held on Sunday, February 5, 2023, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, United States, the indie act bagged her first Grammy after four nominations in total. Big congratulations to her.

However, for documentation purposes, it should be recorded that Tems isn't the first Nigerian (or of Nigerian origin) female singer to win the Grammy award. The following Nigerian female singers have previously won the award


Helen Folasade Adu, popularly known as Sade Adu, was born in the ancient city of Ibadan on January 16, 1959. The award-winning singer, songwriter, and actress grew up in Essex, England, and was the lead singer of her eponymous band.

After gaining attention as a performer, she formed the band Sade and secured a recording contract with Epic Records in 1983, eventually becoming a four-time Grammy winner. She won the "Best New Act" category in 1986, the "Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal" category with "No Ordinary Love" in 1994, the "Best Pop Vocal Album" category with "Lovers Rock" in 2002, and the "Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals" category with "Soldier of Love" in 2011.

Cynthia Erivo

Named Cynthia Onyedinmanasu Chinasaokwu Erivo, the singer, songwriter, and actress was born in Stockwell, London, England, on January 8, 1987. Both of her parents were immigrants from Nigeria and separated when she was very young.

She is known for her performance as Celie in the Broadway revival of "The Color Purple,"  which won the 2016 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical, the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Actress in a Musical, the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Musical Performance in a Daytime Program, as well as the Grammy Award for "Best Musical Theater Album," which was given to her in 2017.

She is also known for her global hit "Stand Up," the lead single from the soundtrack to the biographical award-winning film Harriet,

Notable mention:

Jenn Nkiru

Although not a singer, Jenn Nkiru is a Nigerian-British artist and director. She was born and raised in Peckham, South London. After working with Beyonce for the first time in 2018 as the second unit director of Ricky Saiz’s video for Beyoncé and Jay-Z, "Apeshit," she further handled the video for the launch of Beyonce’s Ivy Park fashion line, after which she directed the music video for Beyoncé's "Brown Skin Girl," which won her the Grammy Award for Best Music Video in 2021.

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