Rihanna Sends Love to Tems for Writing ‘Lift Me Up’: ‘It’s the Pen For Me’

It’s been six long years, but Rihanna is finally back with her new single “Lift Me Up.” And the singer has Tems to thank for co-writing the heavenly ballad for the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever soundtrack.

The Nigerian singer songwriter, whose full name is Temilade Openiyi, expressed her excitement on Instagram early Friday morning (Oct. 28) over the new song, sharing the stark portrait of RiRi that serves as its cover art, writing, “Blessed to have written this song in honour of Chadwick Boseman and even more blessed to hear the baddest @badgalriri voice it to perfection.”


Rihanna herself was quick to land in the comments section, sending the love right back to Tems by writing, “It’s the pen for me … love to you sistren” with a trio of prayer hands, heart and flexing emojis.

The post also attracted the attention of the likes of Chance the Rapper, Stefflon Don and SZA, with the latter praising the song by commenting, “INCREDIBLE! Such a beautiful record.”

Penning “Lift Me Up” with Ri, Oscar-winning composer Ludwig Göransson and director Ryan Coogler isn’t the only way Tems is contributing to Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. She also recorded a cover of Bob Marley’s “No Woman, No Cry” for the Wakanda Forever Prologue EP that dropped last July and was featured in the powerful teaser for the forthcoming Marvel sequel.

In September, Tems came away as the top winner at the 15th annual Headies Awards along with her “Essence” collaborator Wizkid. The pair took home song of the year and best R&B single while Tems racked up other trophies for best female artiste and best R&B album (for 2021’s If Orange Was a Place). Less than a month later, she also received the BMI Impact Award at the 2022 BMI London Awards.

Check out Tems’ reflection on “Lift Me Up” and Rihanna’s sweet response below.

Glenn Rowley