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Afrobeat to the world: Rema lights up stage during Ballon d'Or

 Afrobeats star Rema [Facebook]

On Monday night, Rema, the Nigerian Afrobeats sensation, achieved a historic milestone as he graced the esteemed Ballon d'Or ceremony in Paris, France.

Amidst a gathering of both present-day and retired football luminaries who had gathered to honour the finest in the sport, Rema delivered a captivating performance of his hit track 'Calm Down.'

Expressing his gratitude on social media, the Afrobeat star humbly acknowledged the significance of the opportunity and extended his thanks to the divine for bestowing upon him such a remarkable honour.

“Afrobeat in Ballon d’Or, I’m truly grateful for the opportunity. Glory to the most high for the grace,” he wrote.

Calm Down is off Rema’s 2022 album Rave and Roses, which has been described by Pitchfork as “diverse” and “a display of his strengths.”

“Rema sounds just as confident and irrepressibly youthful as ever on his debut album, Rave & Roses. Shepherded by plush and detailed production that spans romantic Afropop, booming dembow, hedonistic synthpop, and hints of amapiano, Rema’s vocals play double dutch with the beats, showing off a spirited playfulness and incredible skill.”

Earlier this year, he collaborated with American superstar Selena Gomez on the now super successful remix for the track Calm-Down.

The remix would mark his entry into the Billboard Hot 100 chats, where it peaked at number 3.

And now, more collabos with international acts seem to be on the horizon, if his recently released song with Ice Spice, Pretty Girl, is anything to go by.

Away from the music, past and present footballers graced the event as Argentine playmaker Lionel Messi bagged his 8th Ballon d’Or.

He was handed the award by Manchester United legend David Beckham, who happens to be the owner of Inter Miami, where Messi plays his club football.

Despite not having the best season at club level, Messi was instrumental in Argentina’s World Cup success as they saw off a stubborn French side in the final in Qatar.

“I couldn’t imagine having the career that I’ve had. Everything that I’ve achieved. The fortune I’ve had playing for the best team in the world, the best team in history. It’s nice to win these individual trophies. To win the Copa America and then the World Cup, to get it done is amazing,” he said.

Other winners on the night included Barcelona female star Aitana Bonmati who won the women’s Ballon d’Or, Jude Bellingham, who scooped the Kopa trophy and Manchester City’s Erlin Haaland who won the Gerd Muller trophy.

The Ballon d'Or ('Golden Ball') is an annual football award presented by French news magazine France Football since 1956 and honours players deemed to have performed the best over the previous year, based on voting by football journalists.

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