Tems, the renowned Nigerian singer and songwriter, has garnered recognition from TIME magazine as a prominent figure in the global music industry.
Born Temilade Openiyi, she has been included in TIME’s prestigious 2023 Next 100 list, which highlights individuals who have achieved significant influence in their respective fields.
In the feature article for TIME, Grammy-winning singer Mary J. Blige drew parallels between Tems and the legendary musician Nina Simone, noting their shared ability to sing with profound emotion and conviction. Blige expressed her belief that Tems has the potential to become one of the most prominent artists of her era.
Blige wrote, “Tems is in a class all by herself because no other artist sounds like her. That voice is so unique and original, so much so that it reminds me of the first time I heard Nina Simone. They both sing with emotion and conviction, making you feel every word they sing. When Tems and I finally had a chance to meet last year at the Grammy Awards, we just exploded on each other, giving each other so much love. I know she will make it far because she’s a talented writer, singer, and producer—my only hope for her is that she becomes one of the biggest artists of her time.
“Tems is not the sole Nigerian figure recognized on this list. Dr. Toyin Ajayi, the founder and CEO of the health start-up Cityblock Health, was acknowledged for her work in addressing the social determinants of poor health and fostering sustainable change for vulnerable communities.
Additionally, Wemimo Abbey, a Nigerian tech founder, and his co-founder Samir Goel were featured for their startup, Esusu, which assists immigrants in building credit in the United States by reporting tenants’ on-time rent payments to credit bureaus. Abbey and Goel expressed their commitment to expanding the company’s financial services with the goal of reducing the racial wealth gap.
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