Tems earned her first Academy Award nomination for co-writing “Lift Me Up” by Rihanna from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. However, certain sections of the internet focused more on the Nigerian singer’s gown at the March 12 ceremony.
The Best Original Song nominee went viral because her Lever Couture dress appeared to block the view of other audience members at the Oscars. Photos of the seating arrangements inside the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles spread across social media.
“Imagine waiting your whole life to be at the Oscars and you end up sitting behind a stratus cloud,” tweeted former CNN contributor Jarrett Bellini. That post collected more than 139,000 likes and 26 million views on the platform.
Rihanna Kept Quiet About The Supposed Online Backlash
TMZ caught Rihanna and her boyfriend, A$AP Rocky, outside the Bottega Louie restaurant in West Hollywood. The outlet asked the couple about Tems supposedly upsetting people for obscuring some Oscar attendees’ view of the stage.
A$AP Rocky responded by simply laughing as he and his pregnant girlfriend entered a waiting vehicle. Meanwhile, 9-time Grammy Award winner Rihanna did not offer any reaction to the question about Tems.
Tems Praised Working With Rihanna For “Lift Me Up”
“After speaking with [Wakanda Forever director Ryan Coogler] and hearing his direction for the film and the song, I wanted to write something that portrays a warm embrace from all the people that I’ve lost in my life,” stated Tems about helping to write the “Lift Me Up” single.
If Orange Was a Place EP creator added, “I tried to imagine what it would feel like if I could sing to them now and express how much I miss them. Rihanna has been an inspiration to me so hearing her convey this song is a great honor.”
“Lift Me Up” lost in the Best Original Song category at this year’s Academy Awards to “Naatu Naatu” by M. M. Keeravani and Chandrabose from the film RRR. In addition, Tems contributed “No Woman, No Cry” to the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever soundtrack.