Music

Tems Delivers Angelic Performance of ‘Not an Angel’ at Billboard Women in Music 2024

Tems might claim she’s “Not an Angel” in her latest single, but she sure looked like one Wednesday night (March 6) when she performed it at Billboard Women in Music.

The Nigerian singer-songwriter and producer took the stage at YouTube Theater in Inglewood, Calif., cloaked in a white bedazzled hooded dress, the smoke billowing from underneath her acting as a long, flowing train. “Not an Angel” is one of two singles Tems released last year, arriving two months after “Me & U.” In her Women in Music profile, she assured her highly anticipated debut album “is 1,000% coming out this year.”

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Following her peformance, Tems accepted the Breakthrough Award from Savannah James, who said that Future‘s Grammy-winning Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 “Wait for U,” featuring Drake and Tems, is her “personal favorite.” Tems said she had prepared a speech for the evening, but “I have forgotten everything completely,” she admitted before one fan screeched, “You’re the best!” and more applause followed. “One thing that’s uniquely special to me is that I’m in a room full of amazing women and I’m standing with a continent behind me, I’m standing with the people behind me, and it makes me feel like I’m part of something just being in this room.”

Tems dedicated her award to “the first woman I ever met,” her mother, who broke with Yoruba tradition by choosing her daughter’s name Témìládè Openiyi — a role typically reserved for the father’s side of the family — because “God told me,” Tems’ mother explained on For Broken Ears’ “Témìládè Interlude.

Growing up, “everybody just called me Temi. Nobody really called me by my full name. It wasn’t something that was on my mind,” Tems previously told Billboard. “It’s only now, as an adult, that I started realizing that it meant ‘the crown is mine.’ I think that’s really powerful. It feels manifested, based on how my life has gone.

“I really want to use this opportunity to say to all the women in the room, in the world, that no matter what you’re going through, you should know you’re not alone. So even when you’re sad, even when you’re angry, there’s someone that’s angry, too. So uplift everybody around you because they need that like you and somebody’s there for you,” she concluded her speech. “It’s the women that got the women, trust me.”

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