In recent years, African pop music, commonly referred to as Afrobeats, has gained popularity in the United States. Among the rising stars in the genre, Burna Boy has emerged as the central figure and an ambassador of Afrobeats. From his breakout in the US to becoming the first Nigerian musician to headline an American stadium tour, Burna Boy’s star power shines the brightest.
During his I Told Them… Tour stop at the BMO Stadium in Los Angeles, the enthusiasm of the crowd was overwhelming. Although the venue’s capacity of 22,000 seats was not completely filled, the energy of the audience filled the space, transforming the misty late-night show into a vibrant arena experience.
Burna Boy’s performance showcased why he is the perfect ambassador for Afrobeats in the US. His music expresses a joy that transcends language barriers, and his infectious enthusiasm and lighthearted dancing captivated the crowd. The concertgoers couldn’t resist joining in the energetic atmosphere, dancing and singing along to Burna Boy’s songs, even if they didn’t understand the pidgin Yoruba lyrics.
Beyond his music, Burna Boy’s commitment to promoting African unity and clarifying the Afrobeats genre adds to his suitability as an ambassador. He rejects the term “Afrobeats” and prefers “Afro-fusion” to accurately represent the diverse range of contemporary African music. His belief in the “One Africa” movement and his desire to distinguish between different sub-genres and cultures within African music further solidify his role as a representative of the genre.
As the concert progressed, Burna Boy’s setlist included slower songs, but he quickly brought the crowd back to life with joyous anthems like “It’s Plenty” and his breakout hit “Ye.” The show ended with his biggest hit to date, “Last Last,” leaving the audience in awe. Burna Boy’s ability to engage the crowd and deliver a memorable performance demonstrated why Afrobeats is gaining global recognition.
With Burna Boy’s increasing influence and popularity, he continues to introduce more people to the music of his homeland, contributing to the global rise of Afrobeats. As the central figure of the genre, Burna Boy’s impact as an ambassador is undeniable, and his performances serve as a testament to the power and joy of Afrobeats music