BET AWARDS 2024: Nigerian Artist, Tems Wins Best Gospel/International Act

Nigerian Artist, Tems Wins BET 2024 Gospel/Inspirational Artist of The Year

 BET AWARDS 2024: Nigerian Artist, Tems Wins Best Gospel/International Act

Nigerian artist, songwriter and producer, Temilade Openiyi, known professionally as Tems won the Gospel/Inspirational Artist award at the 2024 BET Awards. This is a category that included renowned gospel artists like Kirk Franklin, CeCe Winans, Naomi Raine, Chandler Moore, Erica Campbell, Maverick City Music, and Shirley Caesar.  However, Tems is celebrated for her Afrobeat and R&B contributions, and is not known for gospel music. Tems won the award based off her song “Me & U”, which she said talks about her relationship with God.

Gospel music is a distinct genre rooted in Christian faith, worship, and spiritual messages. It holds a significant cultural and historical place, particularly within the Christian community. The inclusion of Tems, a non-gospel artist, in this category raises concerns about respecting the genre’s integrity and the dedicated artists within it.

Firstly, gospel music’s unique contributions risk being overshadowed when the category includes artists who do not primarily produce gospel music. The genre deserves recognition for its specific themes of faith and spirituality. Awarding a non-gospel artist in this category can diminish the genre’s significance.

Secondly, artists like Kirk Franklin and CeCe Winans have devoted their careers to creating faith-based music that inspires and uplifts. Their work merits recognition within its rightful context. Including a non-gospel artist in the category can be seen as a disservice to those who have dedicated themselves to gospel music.

Thirdly, award categories are designed to honor excellence within specific fields. Straying from the criteria undermines the integrity of the awards. Fans and industry professionals expect categories to reflect the true nature of the music and artists being recognized.

Lastly, fans of gospel music tune into the BET Awards expecting to see their favorite gospel artists celebrated. Including an artist from a different genre can lead to disappointment and confusion among the audience.

While Tems’ win underscores her talent and broad appeal, it highlights the need for clarity and respect within award categories. The gospel community and its artists deserve recognition that honors their unique contributions. Celebrating the diversity of music requires acknowledging each genre’s distinct place and ensuring it receives the respect and acknowledgment it deserves.

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