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Rema: Calm down singer cancels December shows for health reasons – BBC News

By Natasha Booty

Rema rode a giant bat as well as a carousel pony at London’s O2 arena

Years of touring have taken their toll on Nigerian singer Rema, who says he is now cancelling all performances in December to focus on his health.

The Afrobeats star announced the decision on Wednesday on Instagram, saying it “breaks my heart”.

“I need time to recuperate,” he told fans, promising “2024 we go again”.

Rema is best known internationally for his hit song Calm Down, which has smashed multiple streaming and chart records.

The 23-year-old, whose real name is Divine Ikubor, recently gave a dramatic performance at London’s 20,000-seater O2 arena – entering on a carousel pony.

He used the occasion to draw attention to the Benin Bronzes, which are 19th Century artefacts of huge cultural significance that were looted by British colonialists and many of which remain in the British Museum today.

“My ancestors’ bronzes sit in the museum of this very city so I remade mine,” Rema said on social media, explaining the visuals in his London show.

His now-cancelled tour dates for December were booked for the Nigerian cities of Abuja, Benin, and Lagos.

He was also billed to perform at the Hey Neighbour Festival in South Africa on 9 December.

It is not clear whether fans who have already bought tickets will be refunded or have their tickets carried over to new dates in 2024.

Accepting the first-ever Billboard Music Award for best Afrobeats song earlier this month, Rema thanked his fans and called the prize “a celebration of unity and the global domination of Afrobeats”.

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