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Singer's Massive Oscars Dress Draws Both Praise And Criticism For Obstructing View Behind Her

Singer-songwriter Tems, who was nominated for co-writing 'Lift Me Up' from 'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,' sparked heated debate about her view-obstructing gown at the Oscars.

Amy Sussman/Getty Images

A songwriter who was nominated for a Best Original Song Oscar made a huge statement at Sunday's Academy Awards ceremony.

Nigerian singer/songwriter Tems—who co-wrote the nominated song “Lift Me Up” performed by Rihanna for the Black Panther: Wakanda Forever soundtrack—showed up wearing a white dress from Ukrainian designer, Lever Couture.

With the structured top half of the gown extending above and around the entirety of the rising star's head, it was impossible not to notice the Dunsin Wright-styled look on the red carpet.

It certainly was impressive, to say the least.

However, it was a different story once she went from being a supermodel outside the theater to be an audience member inside the auditorium of the Dolby Theater.

Some spectators were impressed by the gown.

However, others thought it might not have been logistically appropriate attire for the distinguished ceremony attended by the Hollywood elite.

Once Tems took to her seat inside, it's easy to see why her fashion statement sparked controversy.

In a ceremony that was largely considered lackluster in the drama department–like, a hard-hitting smack across the face, for example–fans thought Tems' view-obstructing attire was this year's main event.

Tems stans reminded critics of the singer's Nigerian background, where women traditionally wear large ornamental head coverings called gele.

She was just representing, folks.

Audience members sitting behind her could've had it worse.

While the singer and her team may not have considered the consequences of her bombastic sartorial choice, she appeared to have responded to the backlash with an innocent tweet.

In 2022, Tems became the first African artist to debut at number one and the second Nigerian artist to top the Billboard Hot 100, for being featured on the rapper Future's song, "Wait for U."

Her many accolades include a Grammy Award, two NAACP Image Awards, two BET Awards, and two Soul Train Music Awards.

Tems may not have walked away with an Oscar on Sunday night, but it looks like she stole the show.