In a landmark event, Nigerian music star Burna Boy made history by becoming the first Afrobeats artist, indeed the first African artist, to headline at London’s renowned Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park stadium. On June 3rd, Burna Boy wowed a near capacity crowd of 60,000 enthusiastic fans at this iconic venue which boasts an 80,000 person capacity.
The spectacular performance is part of Burna Boy’s ‘Love, Damini’ tour, which includes stops in Portugal, Denmark, and Sweden. This tour is named after his 2022 album “Love, Damini,” which has significantly popularized the Afrobeats genre in mainstream music.
Characterized by the fusion of West African rhythms with Black American music styles such as jazz and funk, Afrobeats has spawned successful subgenres like Afropop and Afro-fusion. These subgenres have found popularity in South Africa and Burna Boy’s home country, Nigeria.
Burna Boy is part of a wave of innovative musicians including Wizkid, Rema, and Tems, who have put Afrobeats on the global map. His hit track, “On The Low,” has played a pivotal role in amassing a significant fanbase in the UK. Furthermore, his collaborative efforts with local black talent have greatly bolstered his popularity.
The monumental concert saw a thrilling line-up of UK rappers, including Stormzy, J Hus, and Dave, who whipped the already electrified crowd into a frenzy. Jamaican singer and regular collaborator, Popcaan, was also present, adding dancehall vibes to the unique mix of sounds.
Burna Boy’s performance, clad in an all-red ensemble and bathed in the stadium’s red lights, was a sight to behold. The memorable night culminated with the presentation of a platinum plaque to the Nigerian singer, marking the significant achievement.
Having studied in the UK, Burna Boy returned to Nigeria post-graduation to hone his musical craft. Now, he’s back on British soil, this time as an international music sensation.