Richest musicians in Africa: The list was put together using factors such as endorsement value, popularity, show rates, sales, awards, YouTube views, appearance in newspapers, investment, social media presence, influence, and others.
Richest musicians in Africa:
Akon has over 35 million albums sold worldwide. He has won numerous awards, including five Grammy Award nominations, and has 45 Billboard Hot 100 songs under his belt. He tops the list according to Forbes Africa.
The multi-award-winning artist’s real name is Nkosinathi Maphumulo. He was born in South Africa’s house music province, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), and raised in the Eastern Cape province, where Nelson Mandela hailed from. He began his career around 1994 and has released five albums thus far and a live DVD. One of the most admired and respected artists in the industry, Maphumulo became prominent after participating in the 2004 Red Bull Music Academy held in Cape Town. In September 2015, he won the “Breakthrough DJ of the Year” award at the DJ Awards in Ibiza.
3. HUGH MASEKELA, SOUTH AFRICA
The late Hugh Ramapolo Masekela was a South African trumpeter, flugelhornist, cornetist, singer, and composer described as “the father of South African jazz.” Masekela was known for his jazz compositions and writing well-known anti-apartheid songs such as “Soweto Blues” and “Bring Him Back Home.”
He also had a number-one US pop hit in 1968 with his version of “Grazing in the Grass.” Masekela was nominated for a Grammy Award three times, including a nomination for Best World Music Album for his 2012 album Jabulani, one for Best Musical Cast Show Album for Sarafina! The Music Of Liberation (1989) and one for Best Contemporary Pop Performance for the song “Grazing in the Grass” (1968).
4. DON JAZZY, NIGERIA
Michael Collins Ajereh, better known as Don Jazzy or Don Baba J, is a Nigerian record producer, singer, songwriter, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. He co-founded the now-defunct record label Mo’ Hits Records in 2004. Following its closure, he set up Mavin Records on 8 May 2012.
Don Jazzy, as he is fondly called, is from Isoko in Delta State. His mother is an Igbo princess from Abia state, and his father is an origin of the Isoko people. He was born in Umuahia, Abia State. His family moved to Ajegunle, Lagos, where Ajereh was raised.
5. TINASHE, ZIMBABWE-AMERICAN
Tinashe Jorgensen Kachingwe, known mononymously as Tinashe, is an American singer, songwriter, dancer, record producer, and actress. Born in Lexington, Kentucky, Tinashe moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in entertainment.
Her notable roles included as a motion-capture model in the animated film The Polar Express (2004), Robin Wheeler in the Cartoon Network television series Out of Jimmy’s Head (2007–2008), and a recurring role in the CBS series Two and a Half Men (2008–2009). Between 2007 and 2011, Tinashe was a member of the girl group the Stunners. Following their disbandment, she released the positively-reviewed self-recorded mixtapes In Case We Die (2012) and Reverie (2012).
Following their success, Tinashe signed with RCA Records and released her third mixtape, Black Water (2013). Her debut single, “2 On”, reached number one on the Rhythmic airplay chart and peaked at number 24 on the Billboard Hot 100.
6. JIDENNA, NIGERIAN-AMERICAN
Jidenna Theodore Mobisson, better known mononymously as Jidenna, is a Nigerian-American rapper, singer, songwriter, and record producer. In 2015, Jidenna released two singles, “Classic Man” and “Yoga,” promoting Janelle Monáe’s label Wondaland Records’ compilation EP The Eephus with Epic Records. His debut album, The Chief, was released on February 17, 2017, and peaked at number 38 on the Billboard 200.
He was born on May 4, 1985, in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, to Tama Mobisson, an accountant, and Oliver Mobisson, a Nigerian Igbo academic. Jidenna grew up partially in Nigeria, where his father worked as a computer science professor at Enugu State University. When Jidenna was 6 years old, the family moved back to the United States. In 1995, the family moved to Norwood, Massachusetts, and then to Milton, Massachusetts, in 2000. His father died in 2010
7. WIZKID, NIGERIA
Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun (born 16 July 1990), known professionally as Wizkid (sometimes stylized as WizKid), is a Nigerian singer and songwriter. He began recording music at the age of 11 and managed to release a collaborative album with the Glorious Five, a group he and a couple of his church friends formed. Wizkid signed a record deal with Empire Mates Entertainment (E.M.E) in 2009.
After releasing “Holla at Your Boy, ” he rose to prominence,” the lead single from his debut studio album Superstar (2011). “Tease Me/Bad Guys,” “Don’t Dull,” “Love My Baby,” “Pakurumo,” and “Oluwa Lo Ni” were also released as singles from the Superstar album. In February 2014, Wizkid became the first Nigerian musician to have over one million followers on Twitter. Ayo, his self-titled second studio album, was released in September 2014.
Six singles supported it: “Jaiye Jaiye,” “On Top Your Matter,” “One Question,” “Joy,” “Bombay,” and “Show You the Money.” Wizkid left E.M.E after his contract expired. In 2016, Wizkid achieved international recognition following his collaboration with Drake on the global hit, “One Dance,” which reached number one in 15 countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia. He signed a multi-album deal with RCA Records in March 2017.
His third studio album, Sounds from the Other Side, was released on 14 July 2017. It served as his major-label debut and was primarily a Caribbean-influenced record. Five singles supported SFTOS: “Daddy Yo,” “Sweet Love,” “Come Closer,” “African Bad Gyal,” and “Naughty Ride.” Wizkid became the first Afrobeats artist to appear in the 2018 Guinness World Records to contribute to “One Dance.” His fourth album, Made in Lagos, will be released on 15 October 2020.
8. DAVIDO, NIGERIA
David Adedeji Adeleke (born November 21, 1992), better known as Davido, is an American-born Nigerian singer, songwriter, and record producer. He studied Business Administration at Oakwood University before dropping out to make beats and record vocal references. Davido rose to fame after releasing “Dami Duro,” the second single from his debut studio album Omo Baba Olowo (2012), from which six additional singles—”Back When,” “Ekuro,” “Overseas,” “All of You,” “Gbon Gbon,” and “Feel Alright”—were taken.
In 2012, Davido won the Next Rated award at The Headies. Between 2013 and 2015, he released the hit singles “Gobe,” “One of a Kind,” “Skelewu,” “Aye,” “Tchelete (Goodlife),” “Naughty,” “Owo Ni Koko,” “The Sound” and “The Money.”
In January 2016, Davido announced on Twitter he had signed a record deal with Sony Music. A few months later, he founded the record label Davido Music Worldwide (DMW), to which acts Dremo, Mayorkun, Yonda, and Peruzzi are currently signed. In July 2016, Davido signed a record deal with Sony’s RCA Records. In October 2016, he released the 5-track EP Son of Mercy, which was supported by the singles “Gbagbe Oshi,” “How Long,” and “Coolest Kid in Africa.”
In April 2017, Davido re-negotiated his contract with Sony due to creative control issues, and later that year, he released five singles, including “If” and “Fall.” “If” generated worldwide social media activity while “Fall” became the longest-charting Nigerian pop song in Billboard history. Davido released his second studio album, A Good Time, in November 2019. It was supported by the previously released singles “If,” “Fall,” “Assurance,” “Blow My Mind,” and “Risky.”
9. SARKODIE, GHANA
Michael Owusu Addo started as an underground rapper, and through the help of Duncan Williams, his former manager, his career was launched. Staying true to his identity, he is a big advocate of Azonto, a Ghanaian genre that is said to have been born out of Kpanlogo, a traditional dance. His first single off his fourth album, Mewu, sold almost 4,000 copies on Ghana’s first day. He was also the first Ghanaian to win a BET award.
10. OLIVER MTUKUDZI, ZIMBABWE
Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi (22 September 1952 – 23 January 2019) was a Zimbabwean musician, businessman, philanthropist, human rights activist, and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Southern Africa Region. Tuku was considered to have been Zimbabwe’s most renowned and internationally recognized cultural icon of all time.
Mtukudzi grew up in Highfield, a poor neighborhood in Salisbury (modern-day Harare) in Southern Rhodesia, as the eldest of seven siblings. While both his parents sang in a choir, they were initially not supportive of his continued interest in music, consequently breaking his first homemade guitar.
He began performing in 1977 when he joined the Wagon Wheels, a band that also featured Thomas Mapfumo and fellow legendary guitarist James Chimombe. Richest musicians in Africa.
Richest musicians in Africa: Other honorable mentions include:
1). Diamond Platnumz: Nasibu Abdul Juma Issack, popularly known by his stage name Diamond Platnumz, is a Tanzanian bongo Flava recording artist, actor, dancer, philanthropist, and businessman from Tandale, Dar es Salaam.
2). Patoranking: Patrick Nnaemeka Okorie (born 27 May 1990), better known by his stage name Patoranking, is a Nigerian reggae-dancehall singer and songwriter. Born and raised in Ijegun-Egba Satellite Town, Patoranking hails from Onicha, Ebonyi State.
He started his music career doing underground collaborations with XProject, Konga, Slam, and Reggie Rockstone. He signed a record deal with K-Solo’s Igberaga Records in 2010, releasing “Up in D Club” under the outfit. Patoranking became a protégé of Dem Mama Records after collaborating with Timaya on his song “Alubarika”.
In February 2014, he signed a record deal with Foston Musik and released “Girlie O,” a single that put him in the limelight. On 9 February 2015, Patoranking announced on Instagram that he signed a distribution deal with VP Records. On September 28, Patoranking released a song titled Abule, one he released ahead of his album scheduled to be released later in 2020.