– MILLIONS OF FANS TUNED IN FROM ACROSS THE WORLD TO WITNESS THE HISTORIC SHOW-STOPPING SPECTACLE AHEAD OF THE BIGGEST GAME IN CLUB FOOTBALL –
Selection of imagery from the show HERE
Watch the Kick Off Show by Pepsi performance HERE
ISTANBUL, June 10, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — #PepsiKickOffShow — This evening, Brazilian pop sensation Anitta and GRAMMY award-winning Nigerian superstar Burna Boy delivered an unforgettable co-headline performance at the UEFA Champions League Final Kick Off Show by Pepsi® in Istanbul. The show – which closed with an electrifying special guest appearance from multi-platinum DJ and producer Alesso – was the culmination of Pepsi’s action-packed 2023 football campaign, and took place just moments before the biggest game in club football commenced.
Marking Pepsi’s seventh time delivering the pre-game entertainment for the UEFA Champions League Final, the Kick Off Show by Pepsi took place in front of a sold-out Atatürk Olympic Stadium crowd ahead of the unmissable clash between Manchester City and Inter Milan. The vibrant celebration of sport and entertainment united football and music fans through one must-see spectacle, featuring a stunning light display, mesmerising pyro moments, and world-class special effects.
Burna Boy ignited the stadium with breathtaking renditions of his global hits ‘Last Last‘ and ‘It’s Plenty’, complete with drummers in outfits inspired by the vibrant patterns, prints and colours of Nigerian fashion and accompanied by a cast of dancers who flooded the field, carrying bold, African-inspired flags.
Anitta’s pulsating Latin-American rhythms then filled the stadium as she performed the global smash, ‘Envolver’, surrounded by over 60 LED hexagonal panels that featured animated content. She then gave fans a flavour of her epic Brazilian funk new single ‘Funk Rave’, much to the adoration of the roaring crowd.
The six-minute show culminated in a finale from renowned Swedish DJ Alesso – appearing as a special guest – who reminded the football world that players can become legends overnight with his track, ‘Heroes (we could be)’. Alesso’s appearance was accompanied by mesmerising SFX and pyro moments which lit up the stadium just moments before the players took to the field.
Alongside an electrifying mass cast who added energy and splashes of colour to the stunning choreography, this year marked the first time ever that Pepsi invited fans to get involved in the Kick Off Show for themselves through the #PepsiKickOffShow TikTok challenge. Launched in collaboration with Burna Boy back in March, the challenge saw seven lucky winners from across the globe granted the once in a lifetime opportunity to perform their best dance moves as part of the Kick Off Show cast.
With historically deep roots in sport and music, Pepsi is proud to present the UEFA Champions League final Kick Off Show each year, bringing together the hottest music acts in the world to put on an unmissable performance that elevates the UEFA Champions League Final, as the world’s most-watched annual sporting event, into a truly global entertainment platform.
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Since breaking through in Brazil six years ago, Grammy-nominated global superstar Anitta has become the leading artist of a new generation of Latin American music. As the biggest global female popstar to come from Brazil, she has amassed over 64 million Instagram followers and nearly 17 million YouTube subscribers, garnering more than 6 billion views. Anitta recently became a first time Grammy nominee in the “Best New Artist” category and has also been named among the world’s 15th most influential musicians on social media by Billboard.
Anitta’s first single of 2022, “Boys Don’t Cry,” became the biggest solo debut by a Brazilian artist in the history of the Spotify Global Chart and broke Anitta’s record by reaching #1 on iTunes in 19 countries. She also released her latest album Versions of Me in April 2022. The 15-track album was released in Spanish, English, and Portuguese and holds the record of biggest streaming week for a Brazilian artist on Spotify. It now has surpassed 1 billion streams on Spotify. In August, she released the highly anticipated single “Lobby” featuring Missy Elliott with a music video for the song which has amassed over 11 million views on YouTube. This summer, she won a 2022 MTV Music Video Award® in the category of “Best Latin” for “Envolver,” further making history and earning her second Guinness World Record as the “first Brazilian solo artist to win the MTV VMA for Best Latin (female).” The win followed an explosive performance by Anitta, who made her VMA broadcast performance debut with “Envolver.”
In April of 2021, Anitta released her hit “Girl From Rio”, which was her first single to hit Top 40 radio in the US. Before that she released “Fuego” with DJ Snake and Sean Paul, “Loco” and ”Me Gusta” featuring Cardi B and Myke Towers which popped off as one of her biggest smashes yet with 350 million-plus streams. These tracks combined eclipsed a billion streams before the album was even released. At the end of 2021, Anitta released “Envolver,” which reached the #1 spot on the Global Spotify 200 chart, earning Anitta her first Guinness World Record as the “first Latin solo artist to reach number one on Global Spotify.”
In July 2013, she released her self-titled first album, Anitta, which consisted of 14 new tracks, most of which were written by her. Anitta’s second album, Ritmo Perfeito, was released in July 2014, followed by her third album, Bang, in 2016. Her fourth album, Kisses, was released in April 2019 and marked Anitta’s first trilingual album with songs in Spanish, Portuguese, and English. Kisses was nominated for “Best Urban Album” at the 2019 Latin GRAMMY® Awards. In 2019, she also won “Best Female Artist” at the Latin AMAs. Starting in 2014, Anitta was named “Best Brazilian Act” at the MTV Europe Music Awards for five consecutive years.
About Burna Boy
Burna Boy, born Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu, is a Nigerian singer, songwriter, and artist. He rose to stardom in 2012 after releasing “Like to Party”, the lead single from his debut studio album, L.I.F.E (2013) and gained international recognition with his third studio album “Outside” in 2018. Burna Boy’s fourth studio album, “African Giant,” earned him a Grammy nomination and several awards. His fifth studio album “Twice as Tall” debuted at number one on the Billboard World Albums Chart and won the Grammy for Best Global Music Album category.
Continuing his unstoppable momentum, Burna Boy released his sixth studio album, “Love, Damini,” which has been met with immense acclaim. The album features hit singles such as “Kilometre” and “Last Last,” further solidifying Burna Boy’s status as a chart-topping artist. Notably, “Love, Damini” has earned multiple global rankings and accolades, including two Grammy nominations.
He has etched his name in history as the first African artist to sell out iconic venues like Madison Square Garden in the USA, Accor Arena in France, and Wembley Stadium. With each new milestone, Burna Boy continues to captivate audiences, break barriers, and leave an indelible mark on the music industry. As he sells out arenas, receives accolades, and represents Afrobeats on the global stage, Burna Boy proudly represents Africa and remains an unstoppable force in the world of music.
A global maverick in the dance world, Alesso has repeatedly proven that his influence transcends boundaries and crosses over into countless genres — to that end, he’s collaborated with such eclectic artists as OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder, Calvin Harris, Tove Lo, Liam Payne, James Bay, Marshmello, Swedish House Mafia’s Sebastian Ingrosso, Hailee Steinfeld, Florida Georgia Line, Anitta, and more. With his past hits including the platinum-certified “If I Lose Myself” and gold-certified “Under Control,” the Swedish native has also found major success with “Calling (Lose My Mind),” which topped the Billboard US Hot Dance Club Songs chart. On Billboard’s Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart, his massive breakup anthem “Let Me Go” — a collaboration with Hailee Steinfeld and Florida Georgia Line — reached No. 9, while “Is That For Me” peaked at No. 25.
In 2020, Alesso released a pair of hit singles: “Midnight,” featuring former One Direction member Liam Payne, and “THE END” with goth-pop singer/songwriter Charlotte Lawrence. He also had an explosive 2021, releasing a slew of records: kicking off with his East Asia fueled “Going Dumb (with Stray Kids & CORSAK),” he later closed the chapter to his PROGRESSO series with PROGRESSO VOL 2. Alesso next delivered his cosmic love ballad “Chasing Stars (with Marshmello feat. James Bay),” the dynamic “Rescue Me (with Danna Paola)” from the Blade Runner Black Lotus soundtrack, and his highly-anticipated winter floor-filler “Somebody To Use.” To cap off a monumental year, he made his NFT debut with the Cosmic Genesis collection and then ended 2021 on a bang with “When I’m Gone” — his colossal collaboration with Katy Perry (now RIAA Gold certified). To date, Alesso has performed at international festivals ranging from Tomorrowland to Ultra Music Festival to Electric Daisy Carnival, with his national TV experience including closing out GMA’s Summer Concert Series, performing on “The Late Show with James Corden,” taking the stage at the AMAs and making his “Saturday Night Live” debut in January 2022 with Katy Perry.
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