As the year comes to an end, Saturday Beats takes a look at the entertainers that dominated the industry in different ways
Grammy Award-winning singer, Ayo Balogun, popularly known as Wizkid, is one artiste that has consistently blazed the trail since he got into the industry about a decade ago, and this year was not different.
Tickets for the singer’s Made In Lagos tour at the 20,000 capacity 02 Arena in London was sold out within two minutes, and the artiste had to extend the concert by two days, and all the tickets were also sold out within an hour.
Wizkid also bagged three awards at the All Africa Music Awards 2021— ‘Best African Artiste’, ‘Best Song of the Year’ and ‘Best African Collaboration’. He also won the ‘Best International Act’ and ‘Best African Act’ categories at the 2021 Music of Black Origin. Apple Music Awards 2021 also named him the ‘Artiste of the Year for African region’.
This was even as the ‘Pakurumo’ singer snagged two Grammy Award nominations— ‘Best Global Music Performance’ and ‘Best Global Music Album’.
His song, ‘Essence’ has also continued to garner international acclaim, with Canadian singer, Justin Bieber, featuring on the remix of the track.
Self-acclaimed Omo Baba Olowo (son of a rich man), David Adeleke, aka Davido, hugged the headlines at different times during the year.
When Obama DMW, one of the singer’s aide died earlier in the year, it raised a lot of eyebrows, with many saying that death in the singer’s camp had become one too many. Recall that between 2017 and 2021, four friends of the singer had died.
However, the singer also went viral on the Internet for the ‘right reasons’. He was able to raise N201m from friends and fans shortly before his birthday. He later added N50m to the money and announced his intention to donate the money to government registered orphanages in the country.
Damini Ogulu, popularly known as Burna Boy, won the Best International Act award at the 2021 BET Awards, reportedly making him the first African artiste to bag three BET nominations and wins consecutively, having won BET awards in 2019, 2020 and 2021.
Rapper, Olamide Adedeji, aka Baddo, has been described by many as the ‘king of street music’ and he doesn’t seem ready to abdicate his throne anytime soon. definitely thrilled many with his album, ‘UY Scuti’, which was released in June. The album was critically acclaimed, particularly because it was a departure from the artiste’s regular style.
One of the artistes in the singer’s YBNL record label, Fireboy, has also been quite well, and many commended Olamide for giving young artistes opportunities in the industry.
Fast-rising singer, Stanley Didia, aka Omah Lay, has continued to enjoy a steady rise in the entertainment industry ever since he reduced his debut single, ‘Do Not Disturb’ in April, 2019.
The singer won the ‘Next Rated’ category of the 2020 Headies Awards and it is safe to say that many eyes are on him.
The young artiste featured prominently on Apple and Google’s Music ‘Top Songs of 2021’ lists.
Adedamola Adefolahan, popularly known as Fireboy, is another artiste that made waves in the entertainment industry this year.
It was also recently revealed that English singer, Ed Sheeran, would feature in the remix of Fireboy’s hit song, ‘Peru’.
Singer, Akinbiyi Ahmed, popularly known as Bella Shmurda, has become a force to reckon with in the Nigerian music industry since he released the hit song, ‘Vision 2020’.
The ‘Cash App’ crooner was nominated in the Headies Awards ‘Next Rated’ category in 2020 and since then, he has been firing from all cylinders. In July, he released his second Extended Play album titled, ‘High Tension 2.0’, and it was greeted with rave reviews.
The singer also performed at Wizkid’s ‘Made in Lagos’ concert at the O2 Arena in London, UK. Before that, the singer had been spotted hanging out in Wizkid in Ghana. Shmurda later stated that he and Wizzy had recorded a song together but he didn’t know when it would be released. Wizkid also took to Twitter to gush about Shmurda. In August, he tweeted, “One day, I would sit you all down and explain how important Bella Shmurda’s voice is in African music.” For an artiste like Wizkid who rarely makes social media posts even about the artistes signed to his Starboy record label, many opined that the tweet was an endorsement Shmurda should not take lightly.
Shmurda also made Google and Apple’s lists of top songs in 2021.
Tiwa Savage is arguably the most successful female artiste in Nigeria at the moment.
In August, the singer released an album titled, ‘Water and Garri’, which contained the hit track, ‘Somebody’s Son’.
Her sex tape was also one of the most watched videos in the country, and she was listed as one of the most searched Nigerian artistes on Google in 2021.
Temilade Openiyi, otherwise known as Tems, is another singer that gained got global recognition this year.
The fast-rising female artiste came to the limelight with hit songs such as ‘Damages’ and ‘Try Me’ and she has continued to capture the attention of many. Her feature on Wizkid’s ‘Essence’ undoubtedly cemented her star status and introduced her to the global stage.
To underscore how ‘big’ she had become, Tems met with Barbadian and international singer, Rihanna, some months ago and the latter could not hide her excitement on seeing Tems in person. Many had thought the reaction would have been the other way round, considering Rihanna’s status as one of the most popular female singers in the world.
To describe Daniel Benson, aka Buju, as one of the most sought after artistes for collaboration, especially for choruses, in the country cannot be considered an overstatement.
The fast-rising afro-fusion singer, songwriter and pianist is behind the chorus (hook) of many current hit songs. He was initially signed to Burna Boy’s Spaceship Collective in 2020 but refused to renew his contract when it expired in 2021. According to him, he ‘wants to do something new on his own’.
So far, Buju has worked with many top artistes, including Wizkid, The Cavemen, Timaya, Patoranking, Zlatan and Burna Boy.
Singer and songwriter, Oyinkansola Aderibigbe, popularly known as Ayra Starr, is a 19-year-old artiste signed to Don Jazzy’s Mavin Records.
The singer has received favourable reviews for her songs such as ‘Away’, ‘Fashion Killer’ and ‘Bloody Samaritan’. ‘Away’ was said to have reached number one on Nigeria iTunes and also peaked atop the Apple Music charts of countries including Nigeria, Ghana, Uganda, Sierra Leone and Gambia. It was also charted at number four on the TurnTable Top 50.