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10 richest African musicians of all time (2019)8 minutes read

Here is a carefully researched list of the 10 Richest African Musicians of all Time

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10 Richest African Musicians of All Time (2019) | News Central

There used to a time when doing music was not an admirable or attractive career choice in Africa, both socially and financially. A child who wanted to make a career out of music was seen as a lazy child who wants to bring shame and dishonour to the family.

Parents did everything they could to dissuade their children from ever associating themselves with those talented in music, not to talk of toeing that path.

They used corporal punishments, destruction of musical instruments possessed by their young wards and other tactics to dissuade them from the choice. The insistent wards who dared go against the whims of the parents and guardians were outrightly disowned in some cases.

However, the narrative changed around the 90’s and early 2000’s. By that time, African music had started gaining commercial attention. Musicians started earning good pay for their shows and concerts. Albums started selling like wildfire. Everything changed.

Today, there is no limit to the wealth one can acquire through music. It is entirely a different story from what it used to be. 

Here is a carefully researched list of the 10 Richest African Musicians of all Time.

1. Akon

Country: Senegal

Net worth: $80 million

Aliaune Damala Akon Thiam, popularly called ‘Akon’ is a Senegalese singer and songwriter who rose to stardom in 2004 after the release of his single  ‘Locked Up’ which is the first single from his highly-successful debut album ‘Trouble’.

Akon founded the record label, Konvict Muzik in the same year he launched his debut album ‘Trouble’. He followed it up with Konlive Distribution in 2007.

The record labels signed very successful artists such as Lady Gaga and Kat DeLuna and T.Pain.

According to Forbes, Akon is worth $80 million. He currently stands as the richest African Musician of all time.

2. Black Coffee

Country: South Africa

Net worth: $60 million

Black Coffee is a South African singer, DJ and producer whose career started in 1994.

So far, he has released 5 albums. He rose to prominence after his participation in the Red Bull Academy of 2004, which took place in Cape Town, South Africa.

Black Coffee was inducted into the Guinness Book of World Records in 2010 when he performed as a Disc Jockey for 60 hours non-stop.

In 2019, Forbes ranked him the second richest African musician with a $60 million net worth.

3. Don Jazzy

Country: Nigeria

Net worth: $30 million

Michael Collins Ajereh better known as Don Jazzy became famous when he founded Mo’ Hit Records in 2004 alongside his erstwhile music associate, Dapo Oyebanjo (D’banj).

The successful musical group recruited other artistes that recorded huge success in the label, like Wande Coal and Dr Sid.

2012 saw the end of Mo’Hit following crash of interest between Don Jazzy and D’banj.

Don Jazzy founded another label, Mavin Records in May 2012. He is listed as the 3rd richest musician in 2019 by Forbes. 

4. Wizkid

Country: Nigeria

Net worth: $20 million

Ayodeji Balogun, known by his stage name as Wizkid is ranked the 4th richest African musician of all time.

Wizkid became a formidable force to reckon with in the music scene immediately after he launched his career in 2011 with the widely accepted single ‘Holla At Your Boy’.

He was formally signed to Banky Wellington and Tunde Demuren’s E.M.E Records. Wizkid departed E.M.E in 2013 after the expiration of his 5 years contract with the music label.

He established his own label, Starboy Entertainment the same year. According to Forbes, Wizkid is worth $20 million.

5. Davido

Country: Nigeria

Net worth: $17 million

His real name is David Adeleke but known as Davido by fans and music lovers.

Davido rose to prominence in 2011 with the release of his sensational single ‘Dami Duro’. The 27-year-old Nigerian singer has 3 albums to his credit.

His first album, “Omo Baba Olowo” was released in 2012. After that, came “Son of Mercy” which he released in 2016.

His 3rd album, “A Good Time”, released on November 22, 2019, features Hip Hop heavyweights like Chris Brown.

Davido disclosed that the latest album was recorded in Atlanta, U.S.A.

Forbes listed Davido as one of the richest musicians in Africa with a fortune worth of $17 million.

6. Sarkodie

Country: Ghana

Net worth: $7 million

The Ghanaian rapper, whose real name is Michael Owusu Addo, stands as the richest and only musician from Ghana to make it in the list of richest African musicians of all time.

Sarkodie started doing music professionally in 2005. The rapper who mostly raps in his native “Twi” language has 4 studio albums to his credit: Makye (2009), Rapperholic (2012), Sarkology (2014) and Highest (2017).

According to Forbes, Sarkodie is worth $7 million. This automatically makes him one of the richest African musicians of all time, standing tall at the 6th position.

7. Tinashe

Country: Zimbabwe

Net worth: $6 million

Tinashe Kachingwe is a Zimbabwean singer, songwriter and dancer born to a Zimbabwean father and a Danish mother.

She lives in the United States of America where she has worked as an actress, dancer, and songwriter.

Her music career became more pronounced with the released of her debut studio album, Aquarius in 2014.

She is listed as the 7th richest African musician with a net worth of $6 million. 

8. Hugh Masekela

Country: South Africa

Net worth: $1.5 million

Masekela was a South African trumpeter and composer, widely described as the “Father of South African Jazz”. He is also remembered for his anti-apartheid songs such as “Soweto Blues and Bring Him Back Home”.

In 1968, his song had a number-one US pop hit with his adaptation of ‘Grazing in the Grass’. He recorded over 45 albums and was nominated for the Grammy on 3 different occasions.

Forbes listed him as one of the richest African musicians of all time with a net worth of $1.5  million. Hugh Masekela passed away in January 2018. May his soul continue to rest in peace.

9. Jidenna

Country: Nigeria

Net worth: $1 million

Jidenna Theodore Mobisson is a Nigerian singer born to a Nigerian father and an American mother. Jidenna, as he is fondly called, spent some of his childhood in Nigeria before moving to America at the tender age of 6.

While in high school Jidenna’s passion for music developed leading the singer to co-found the rap group ‘Black Spadez’. From there, he started producing and writing songs.

The 34-year-old singer rose to prominence in 2015 following the release of his first official single ‘Classic Man’. The song made it to #49 on Billboard Hot RnB/Hip-Pop Airplay chart.

Jidenna has won awards for his music including 4 SoulTrain awards. Forbes listed him among 10 richest African musicians with a net worth of $1 million.

10. Oliver Mtukudzi

Country: Zimbabwe

Net worth: $1 million

The last on the list of 10 richest African musicians of all time is Oliver ‘Tuku’ Mtukudzi. Mtukudzi was a Zimbabwean musician that recorded over 65 albums in his lifetime.

He is known to be Zimbabwe’s most renowned and internationally recognized musician of all times. Mtukudzi’s lend his voice to the struggles of Rhodesians (Zimbabweans) during the pre-independent white minority rule.

Even after the Zimbabwean Independence in 1980, he continued to preach tolerance among Zimbabweans.

Though Mtukudzi’s exact net worth could not be ascertained before his death in January 2019, he is widely believed and ranked as one of the richest African musicians of all times, with over 65 albums and millions of Youtube views.

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2Baba releases new album “Warriors”

The album is a key offering in the celebration of 2Baba’s 20 Years A King project.

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Award-winning Afropop icon 2Baba has released his new album titled “Warriors” earlier today, February 28. This album is released as part of his 20 Years a King (#20YearAKing) celebration, commemorating the two decades he has spent in the Nigerian music industry.

This new album contains just 13 tracks including previously released singles like ‘Important’, ‘Oyi’ and the Peruzzi-assisted smash hit, ‘Amaka’. The LP also boasts big-name collaborations like Burna Boy, Wizkid, Olamide, Tiwa Savage and Peruzzi. It also features appearances from AJ Natives, Symeca and his daughter HI Idibia.

The production of the album is handled by a galaxy of PBanks, Spelz, Blaq Jeerzy, Bolji Beatz, Speroach Beatz, Richie, Ploops and his longtime collaborator, Jay Sleek.

Interestingly, this is the first 2Baba album that comes with a title track, which also serves as the opener of the full-length project.

On Tuesday, February 25, the celebrated singer held a well-attended listening party for the album at the Artisan Lounge bar, Lagos.

His seventh studio album, “Warriors” is the long-overdue follow up to “The Ascension” which was met with mixed reviews upon its release in 2014.

Formerly known as 2face Idibia, 2baba is one Africa’s most successful artists, winning local, continental and international awards like BET and MTV Europe Music Awards.

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Netflix Announces First Original Nigerian Series

This comes just after the U.S-based streaming giant launched Netflix Naija.

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Popular media-services provider Netflix has announced the production of its first original African series to be headlined by Nollywood director, Akin Omotoso.

This would be a six-part series that features an all-star Nollywood cast of Kate Henshaw, Ade Laoye, Richard Mofe Damijo, Joke Silva, Fabian Adeoye Lojede, Kehinde Bankole and many others. 

Directed by a team of Akin Omotosho, Daniel Oriahi and CJ Obasi, the series tells the story of a reincarnated goddess who seeks to avenge her sister’s death.

This announcement comes just after the U.S-based streaming platform unveiled Netflix Naija on Tuesday, February 25, 2020.

In a statement with Premium Times, Netflix’s Chief Content Officer, Ted Sarandos revealed that “movies like King of Boys, Merry Men and The Bling Lagosians have shown how much our members love Nigerian movies. 

“So, we’re incredibly excited to be investing in Made in Nigeria stories – bringing them to audiences all around the world.”

Over the past year, Netflix has featured a number of Nollywood movies on its streaming platform. Among such movies include the culturally and commercially successful King of Boys, October 1, The Figurine, Mokalik, and Merry Men. 

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Pilani Bubu to launch new album, “Folklore – Chapter 1”

This full-length project was released in November last year.

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South African soul singer Pilani Bubu is set to hold a launch party for her latest album “Folklore – Chapter 1” later today, 27 February. This event is set to take place at Untitled Basement in Johannesburg, South Africa.

At the launch today, Bubu will perform live with a full band featuring Luke van der Merwe, Bheka Mthethwa and many others.

“My approach has always been to perform my music for at least two years live before recording,” Bubu said. “It often grows and new ideas come in.

My band members are also involved in the making of the album,” she says.

Released in November 2019, “Folklore – Chapter 1” contains a total of 17 songs and features appearances from Lebo Mochudi, Billy Monama, and others. It is the follow up to her 8-track sophomore album, “Warrior of Light” which was released to good reviews in 2016.

“Folklore is the expressive body of culture shared among a people, captured through various art forms inclusive of traditional beliefs, customs, proverbs, sayings and tales passed on through generations by word of mouth.

“In this album series I want to treasure traditional folk music, giving it a more contemporary setting, renewed meaning and more context,” she revealed about the new album.

“Folklore – Chapter 1” was produced by a team of Bheka Mthethwa, Billy Monama, Robin Fernie while Troy Lilley handled the engineering.

The album is currently available on all major streaming platforms and physical copies would be sold at the event.

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