In a tumultuous twist of events that sent shockwaves through the music world, rumors flew high that the highly anticipated concert of the sensational Nigerian singer, Divine Ikubor, renowned as Rema, was abruptly canceled in Ethiopian due to religious turmoil.
The grand Sheraton Hotel, nestled in the heart of Addis Ababa, was compelled to issue an official statement, in regards to the cancellation of Rema’s Ethiopian New Year’s Eve Concert, slated for September 9, 2023.
The decision to cancel the show arose amid controversy surrounding allegations of “devil-worshipping” associated with the artwork featured on his custom necklace.
The imagery was provocative, featuring a blazing church placed aside with inverted crosses.
He also uses the same image as a backdrop for his album cover and performances.
This was perceived as disrespectful and offensive by many Ethiopians, sparking considerable public outcry and condemnation by the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church.
Within the borders of Ethiopia, cultural heritage and steadfast religious beliefs form an unyielding bedrock of society, the depiction was nothing short of blasphemous.
In addition to the mounting pressure, the Sheraton Hotel in Addis Ababa were forced to cancel the event terming the necklace as “demonic” which goes contrary to their strong belief and culture.
She said: “They made a statement, like a press release in Ethiopia about Rema. Yes, you can imagine, it’s a very big deal.
When Daddy Freeze asked about the content of the press release, the lady said, “They’re basically saying he’s a devil worshipper because of what he has on his neck. And to be honest, I never thought of it myself. And there’s more to it; to be honest.
Daddy Freeze said: “So, because of a necklace, I love religion; religion is such an amazing thing. So, because of Rema’s necklace, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church ‘cancelled’ his show.”
Rema’s “Calm Down” Becomes the First Track Led by an African Artist to Join Spotify’s Billions Club
Rema’s hit song “Calm Down” joins the Billionaires club as it hits 1Billion spotify streams.
The song which he featured American Singer Selena Gomez has skyrocketed since its debut in August 2022.
Spotify data shows that the highest number of streams of “Calm Down” are coming from the U.S., India, Mexico, Brazil, and the U.K.—proof that the song truly transcends borders.
Moreover, this shocking narrative of faith, artistry, and cultural dissonance, Rema’s concert in Ethiopia stands as a harrowing testament to the potent collision of the sacred and the ungodly.