Post Malone is set to kick off this year’s NBA All-Star Game, while Burna Boy and Tems will deliver the basketball event’s first Afrobeats set.
On Wednesday (February 15), the NBA announced its line-up of All-Star performers in an Instagram post — which also includes American singer-songwriter Jewel and Canadian singer-songwriter Jully Black taking on their respective countries’ national anthems.
Ahead of the game on Sunday (February 19), Posty is set to perform a medley of his hits as LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo take part in the first ever arena-hosted All-Star draft. For the first time in the history of the league-wide matchup, the two captains will select their team on air during a televised 30-minute pregame show, NBC Sports reports.
The halftime show will be dedicated to Afrobeats, with Burna Boy and Tems joined by fellow Nigerian artist Rema.
All three of the African stars have enjoyed considerable success with American audiences, especially in 2022.
Burna Boy’s inescapable single “Last Last” spent an impressive 19 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100. The song also helped him nab a 2023 Grammy nomination as well as three 2022 Soul Train Awards noms, including Song of the Year and the Songwriter award.
Earlier this month, Tems picked up her first Grammy Award, winning Best Melodic Rap Performance alongside Drake and Future for their single, “Wait For U.” The song was her second multi-platinum feature in the U.S., along with her appearance on fellow Nigerian star’s Wizkid’s hit single “Essence,” which saw an additional boost in popularity last year, thanks to the release of a Justin Bieber-assisted remix.
For American audiences, Rema is likely the least familiar name on the NBA All-Star Game’s Afrobeats-themed halftime show. He is also the newer of the three featured artists.
While his success Stateside has yet to catch up with his international popularity, the singer is on his way to crossover recognition following the late Summer 2022 release of a remix to his hit single “Calm Down” featuring Selena Gomez.
To date, the remix has spent 23 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100, all while remaining in the No. 1 position on the magazine’s Afrobeats Songs chart.
In addition to the performances ahead of and during the game, NBA All-Star Weekend will comprise a number of other music centric events, including the Ruffles Celebrity Game. Janelle Monae, 21 Savage, Cordae, are among the list of artists expected to participate in the activities taking place in and around Salt Lake City, Utah between February 17-19.
While its unclear whether he will bring any guests to the All-Star Game with him, the performance would be a timely opportunity for Post Malone to celebrate the recent milestone set by “Sunflower,” his joint single with Swae Lee.
“Sunflower,” which was created as part of the Spider-Man: Into The Spiderverse soundtrack in 2018, was certified 17x platinum on November 14, becoming the highest charting RIAA-certified single in history.
The song surpassed Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus’ “Old Town Road” remix, which previously held the record at 15x platinum.
The plaque was among 14 other plaques Posty himself received on the same day. Among those accolades, “Congratulations” and “Pyscho” were certified 14x-platinum and 10x-platinum respectively, and his debut single “White Iverson” was certified 10x-platinum as well. “Circles,” “Wow” and “Go Flex” were also certified 9x-platinum, 8x-platinum and 6x-platinum, respectively.
Following their latest accolade, Swae Lee revealed in an interview with XXL published in November that he and Post Malone have apparently got an entire album’s worth of material they’ve been working on over the past few years.