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Nigeria’s Afrobeats Queen Tiwa Savage and South African opera star Pretty Yende only African artists to perform at King Charles’ coronation

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Africa will have just two of her music royalties performing at the historic King Charles III coronation.

And, they are all female – one is from the west and the other is from the tip end of the south – both represinting the motherland and making history for continent, respective countries and themselves.

It is pure stuff of legend that only often exist in the dreamland, but for the two daughters of the African soil, it is surreal and a reality that seems not so real.

Nigerian celebrated Afrobeats Queen and singer, songwriter and performer Tiwa Savage will join South African singing sensation, soprano Pretty Yende in making history as the very first African to perform at a British coronation on May 6, 2023 in London.

The two female songstresses have been invited to perform at the coronation of the British monarch, King Charles III.

Tiwa Savage and Pretty Yende will be joining an array of celebrities such as Steve Winwood, DJ Pete Tong, Lang Lang, Lucy, Paloma Faith, and Olly Murs, who will entertain guests at the coronation concert and Big Lunch scheduled for Sunday, May 7, 2023.

Nigerian shining star and Queen of Afrobeats, Tiwa Savage
South African soprano maestro, Pretty Yende

Tiwa Savage and Pretty Yende’s special invitations to perform at the coronation is a significant milestone for African music, especially the female singers, as they become the first African artists to receive such an honour to grace such a biggest lifetime occasion.

In a statement, the organizers disclosed that Tiwa Savage, who grew up and educated in the English capital, London, was selected as one of the only two African artistes to perform at the historical coronation concert which will attract a global audience.

“We are excited to announce that Tiwa Savage will be performing at the coronation concert alongside other world-class musicians. Tiwa Savage is an exceptional artiste with a unique blend of African and Western sounds…,” the statement reads in part.

Born in Isale Eko, Tiwatope, who shortens her name to Tiwa, relocated to London at the age of 11 for her secondary education.

In the mix, Tiwa Savage.

Five years later, she began her music career doing backup vocals for artists such as George Michael and Mary J. Blige.

After participating in the UK edition of the X Factor  and graduating from Berklee College of Music, Savage signed a publishing deal with Sony ATV Sony/ATV Music Publishing in 2009. 

Inspired by the growth of the Nigerian music industry, Savage moved back to Nigeria and signed with Don Jazzy’s Marvin Records in 2012.

 In June 2016, Savage signed a management and publishing deal with Roc Nation owned by multi-billion mogul and rapper Jay Z real name Shaun Carter. 

In September 2017, she released her debut EP SugarcaneR.E.D and Sugarcane have both been nominated for Best Album at the Nigeria Entertainment Awards.

In May 2019, she announced her record deal with Universal Music Group and exit from Mavin Records. 

In March 2022, Savage announced the Water & Garri North American Tour in support of the EP.

In July 2022, she received an honorary degree from the University of Kent during a graduation ceremony at Canterbury Cathedral.

The 2,000-strong congregation will include royalty and global leaders, and 12 new pieces of music have been commissioned to mark the occasion.

As one of three soloists at the ceremony, it’s thought that Yende has been invited to perform solo at a British coronation because of her uniqueness.

Pretty Yende is not just a pretty face, she has a pretty voice, too.

Yende started making a name for herself in South Africa while still a student at the University of Cape Town, and in 2011, she graduated from the Young Artists program at the Accademia at the Teatro alla Scala, in Milan, Italy, and began entering opera competitions.

“The very first opera competition that I did was in Vienna, Austria, where I won everything possible,” she remembers.

“They called my name so many times I was like, ‘No, God please let this one go to someone else.’ I felt unworthy … hearing the kind of finesse that my peers had.”

Her career took off internationally in 2013, with her debut at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York. Yende has since interpreted roles in Puccini’s “La Bohème,” Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro” and Rossini’s “Le comte Ory,” while performing in major opera houses in Milan, Paris and London.

Yende’s career has involved a number of firsts, including becoming the “first Black person to have a new production of ‘La Traviata’ in Opera Garnier in Paris,” in a production conceived especially for her, according to an interview with Observer.

Yende will perform “Sacred Fire,” a new composition by classical and film composer Sarah Class at the ceremony.

The world is set to witness the crowning of Charles III at Westminster Abbey after his mother, the longest serving British monarch Queen Elizabeth II died.

The 2,000-strong congregation will include royalty and global leaders, and 12 new pieces of music have been commissioned to mark the occasion.

As one of three soloists at the ceremony, it’s thought that Yende is one the two only African artists alongside the queen of Afrobeats, Tiwa Savage, to be invited to perform at a British coronation ever in history.

Buckingham Palace has released details of who else will be performing at the coronation of King Charles III

The historical event is scheduled to hold on Saturday, May 6, 2023, at Westminster Abbey, in the UK’s adminstrative capital, London.

The coronation follows the passing of King Charles III’s mother, Queen Elizabeth II, and will witness the official ascension of the monarch to the throne alongside Queen Consort, Camilla.

“The very first opera competition that I did was in Vienna, Austria, where I won everything possible.”

Pretty Yende
South African soprano Queenpin

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