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Top 25 African Music Artists

African music has gone from being in the back-burner to taking the centre stage in different regions of the globe, dominating the international music scene and turning the world’s attention to the African sound. From South Africa’s Amapiano to Nigeria’s Afrobeats to other indigenous sounds emanating from the African continent.

The African sound is distinguished from amongst other sounds for various reasons, one of them being raw, innovative talent which is accompanied by the unique African touch. Talented music producers and talented artists that come together to create absolute magic. In this article, though, the spotlight is going to be focused on the artists. So, we came up with a list of the top 25 African artists killing it and putting Africa on the map in unimaginably great ways through their artistry. The list below is unranked and made in no particular order.

25. Trevor Rabin

Top 25 African Music Artists, Yours Truly, Articles, December 9, 2022

Trevor Charles Rabin is a South African rock musician and songwriter who was born on January 13, 1954. Raised in Johannesburg and coming from a musical family, Rabin began playing the piano and guitar at a young age. He later developed into a session musician, working with many different artists to play and produce music. He joined the South African rock group Rabbitt in 1972 and put out his debut solo album, Beginnings, the same year. In order to advance his career, Rabin relocated to London in 1978.

He worked as a producer for a variety of artists, including Manfred Mann’s Earth Band, as well as a solo artist. Rabin rose to fame as the guitarist for the progressive rock group Yes from 1983 to 1995 after relocating to Los Angeles in 1981. Over 40 feature films have been composed by Rabin since he started composing for movies, most notably his numerous partnerships with producer Jerry Bruckheimer. He’s received many honors, including 11 BMI Awards.

24. 2baba

Top 25 African Music Artists, Yours Truly, Articles, December 9, 2022

Born on September 18, 1975, Innocent Ujah Idibia is a Nigerian musician, singer, songwriter, record producer, entrepreneur, philanthropist, humanitarian, and activist better known by his stage name 2Baba. He is regarded as one of Nigeria’s best musicians ever and is known for his vocal range, lyrical depth, and durability. His solo debut album Face2Face (which featured the smash hit “African Queen”) ushered in a new wave of awareness and reverence for Nigerian music among Africans on the continent and in the diaspora.

He is primarily responsible for the rise in popularity of Nigerian pop music in the 2000s. He used to go by the stage name 2face Idibia before July 2014. One of the most honored Nigerian musicians in history, 2Baba was the first winner of the MTV EMA Best African Act category in 2005. He was a member of Plantashun Boiz, a boy’s group ran by God Father Productions.

23. Femi Kuti

Top 25 African Music Artists, Yours Truly, Articles, December 9, 2022

Femi Kuti, whose real name is Olufela Olufemi Anikulapo Kuti, was born on June 16, 1962, in London and raised in Lagos. He is the oldest child of Fela Kuti, the father of Afrobeat, and the grandchild of Funmilayo Ransome-Kuti, a political activist, women’s rights advocate, and traditional nobleman. Femi Kuti started out as a member of his father’s band, Egypt 80. Femi formed his own band, Positive Force, in 1986 to forge a career for himself as a musician separate from his father’s legacy.

Together with Dele Sosimi (Gbedu Resurrection), a former Fela Anikulapo Kuti keyboardist, he founded his own band, Positive Force, in the late 1980s. When he accepted invitations to perform at the Festival d’Angoulême (France), the New Morning Club in Paris, and the Moers Festival in Germany in 1988, the French Cultural Centre in Lagos and Christian Mousset launched his worldwide career.

22. Youssou N’Dour

Top 25 African Music Artists, Yours Truly, Articles, December 9, 2022

Youssou N’Dour, also known as Youssou Madjiguène Ndour, was born in Senegal on October 1, 1959. He is a musician, singer, songwriter, occasional actor, businessman, and politician. He served as Senegal’s tourism minister from April 2012 to September 2013.

The form of popular Senegalese music known as mbalax, which has holy roots in the Serer music njuup tradition and ndut initiation ceremonies, was developed by N’Dour and is currently played by all Senegalese people (including the Wolof). He is the subject of the internationally acclaimed films Youssou N’Dour: I Bring What I Love and Return to Gorée, both of which were helmed by Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi. N’Dour played Olaudah Equiano in the 2006 movie Amazing Grace.

21. P-Square

Top 25 African Music Artists, Yours Truly, Articles, December 9, 2022

Twin brothers Peter and Paul Okoye make up the Nigerian music duo P-Square. Through Square Records (now Square Root Entertainment) they made and distribute their records. P-Square and Universal Music South Africa struck a record distribution agreement in May 2012. Numerous media sites reported that the group disbanded on September 25, 2017.

After Peter allegedly gave the group’s attorney a notice of termination, rumors of a breakup started to circulate. The pair allegedly split up in 2016 amid a disagreement on the function of their manager, according to the previous article. The two reconciled on November 17, 2021, putting an end to their protracted argument.

20. Nasty C

Top 25 African Music Artists, Yours Truly, Articles, December 9, 2022

Nasty C is a South African rapper, songwriter, and record producer born Nsikayesizwe David Junior Ngcobo on February 11, 1997. At the 2015 South African Hip Hop Awards, he took home the Best Freshman Award as the youngest winner. After joining Def Jam Records in March 2020, Nasty C released “There They Go,” his first official single in the United States, which helped him gain international recognition. On August 28, 2020, he released his third album, his first for the label, with the working title Zulu Man with Some Power.

19. Tems

Top 25 African Music Artists, Yours Truly, Articles, December 9, 2022

Temilade Openiyi, also known as Tems, is a Nigerian singer, songwriter, and record producer who was born on June 11, 1995. She gained notoriety when she appeared on Wizkid’s 2020 single, “Essence,” which received a Grammy Award nomination and peaked at number ten on the Billboard Hot 100 after being released in a remix with a cameo from Justin Bieber. She appeared on Drake’s song “Fountains” the same year.

For the soundtrack of the Marvel film Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, which was released in July 2022, Tems recorded Bob Marley’s “No Woman, No Cry.” The same month, “Free Mind,” a song from Tems’s debut EP, had its Hot 100 debut. Tems earned a BET award, making her one of five remarkable Nigerian women who made history in July. Tems has been nominated for numerous awards over the course of her career and has gone on to win two NAACP Image Awards, two BET Awards, and a Soul Train Music Award.

18. Omah Lay

Top 25 African Music Artists, Yours Truly, Articles, December 9, 2022

Singer Omah Lay, real name Stanley Omah Didia, is from Nigeria. Early in 2020, he became well-known after his independently produced song “Bad Influence” became a social media sensation. He is also well-known for his appearance with Alpha P on the official Masterkraft remix of Justin Bieber’s song “Peaches” from 2021 and for working with the singer again on “Attention” from 2022.

At the 2020 Headies Awards, Lay took home the Next Rated honor. In June 2019, he signed with the KeyQaad record label before taking a seven-month hiatus. He worked on his debut EP, Get Layd, during the hiatus, and it forever changed the path of his career.

17. Kizz Daniel

Top 25 African Music Artists, Yours Truly, Articles, December 9, 2022

Oluwatobiloba Daniel Anidugbe, a Nigerian singer and composer better known by his stage name Kizz Daniel. His singles “Woju” and “Yeba” are the most well-known. After a well-publicized contract disagreement and legal case, he terminated his record deal with G-Worldwide Entertainment in 2013. In November 2017, he established the Fly Boy Inc record label.

Kizz Daniel, formerly known as Kiss Daniel, made the announcement that he had changed his stage name in May 2018. His social media accounts reflected the name change right away. Also right away, fresh Kizz Daniel accounts with his new songs included were made on Spotify and Apple Music.

16. Diamond Platnumz

Top 25 African Music Artists, Yours Truly, Articles, December 9, 2022

Born on October 2, 1989, Nasibu Abdul Juma Issack is a Tanzanian bongo flava recording artist, dancer, philanthropist, and businessman of Ha ancestry. He is better known by his stage name Diamond Platnumz. He is the creator and CEO of the Wasafi Bet, Wasafi Media, and WCB Wasafi Record Label. In East and Central Africa, Diamond is extremely popular.

He became the first musician from Africa to reach a cumulative total of one billion YouTube views. Platnumz released A Boy from Tandale, his third studio album, in 2018, following the acquisition of a record deal with Universal Music in 2017. Diamond and his record company, WCB Wasafi, signed a 360 Partnership with Warner Music Group in 2021.

15. Stonebwoy

Top 25 African Music Artists, Yours Truly, Articles, December 9, 2022

Afropop, dancehall, and reggae musician “Livingstone Etse Satekla,” born 5 March 1988, is also known by his stage name Stonebwoy. He runs Burniton Music Group as its CEO. He was named Artist of the Year at the 2015 Ghana Music Awards as well as Best International Act: Africa at the 2015 BET Awards. Additionally, he has received two Billboard plaques. He’s been called the reggae and dance hall king of Africa.

With roles in the films Happy Death Day and My name is Ramadan, Stonebwoy is also an actress. He serves as a global sanitization ambassador. He was appointed the Voltic Natural Mineral Water brand ambassador in September 2019. For Tecno mobile in Ghana, he serves as brand ambassador. He signed with Def Jam Recordings, the flagship label of Universal Music Group, and Def Jam Recordings Africa in 2022. With the label, he plans to release three albums.

14. Flavour

Top 25 African Music Artists, Yours Truly, Articles, December 9, 2022

Chinedu Okoli, also known by his stage name Flavour N’abania or just Flavour, was born in Nigeria on November 23, 1983. He started out playing music as a drummer for a nearby church. Because of his popular song “Nwa Baby (Ashawo Remix),” Flavour is well-known throughout Africa and the rest of the world. He is presently under contract with 2nite Entertainment.

He released his debut record, N’abania, in 2005. Uplifted, Flavour’s second studio album, was released in 2010. The tracks “Nwa Baby (Ashawo Remix),” “Adamma,” and “Oyi Remix” served as its backbone. Flavour became one of Africa’s most in-demand musicians as a result of the album’s success. After the release of Uplifted, he was scheduled to play at a lot of concerts and gatherings.

13. Yemi Alade

Top 25 African Music Artists, Yours Truly, Articles, December 9, 2022

Yemi Eberechi Alade, a Nigerian Afropop singer, composer, actress, and activist, was born on March 13, 1989. She joined with Effyzzie Music Group after winning the Peak Talent Show in 2009, and in 2014, her single “Johnny” became a hit. Since then, Yemi has risen to popularity in the music business and is now regarded as one of Africa’s biggest performers.

She started world tours immediately after the publication of her albums King of Queens and Mama Africa, both of which saw tremendous financial success. She became the first woman to win the MTV African Music Awards for Best female consecutively twice and be nominated for Artiste of the Year in 2015. She also won the MTV African Music Awards for Best female in 2015 and 2016 in a row.

12. Tiwa Savage

Top 25 African Music Artists, Yours Truly, Articles, December 9, 2022

Nigerian singer and composer Tiwa Savage was born on February 5, 1980. She was raised in Isale Eko and moved to London for her secondary school when she was 11 years old. Five years later, she started her musical career by providing backing vocals for performers like Mary J. Blige and George Michael.

Savage got a publishing contract with Sony/ATV Music Publishing in 2009 after competing in the UK version of The X Factor and earning his music degree from Berklee College of Music. Savage returned to Nigeria in 2012 and secured a record deal with Mavin Records after being motivated by the expansion of the Nigerian music industry. On the label’s 2012 compilation album Solar Plexus, she made an appearance.

11. Ayra Starr

Top 25 African Music Artists, Yours Truly, Articles, December 9, 2022

Nigerian singer “Oyinkansola Sarah Aderibigbe,” born on June 14, 2002, is better known by her stage name Ayra Starr. Ayra Starr, a Beninese native born in Cotonou, started her modeling career at the age of 16 with Quove Model Management before deciding to focus on music. She shared her first original song to her page in December 2019 after recreating a number of well-known songs on Instagram.

She was noticed by music industry boss Don Jazzy as a result, and she subsequently signed with Mavin Records. The hit single “Away” from Ayra Starr’s self-titled debut extended play reached number 17 on the US Billboard Top Triller Global and spent two weeks at number four on Nigeria’s TurnTable Top 50 in early 2021. This helped pave the way for the release of her debut full-length studio album, 19 & Dangerous, in August 2021.

10. Asake

Top 25 African Music Artists, Yours Truly, Articles, December 9, 2022

Ahmed Ololade, better known by his stage name Asake, was born in Nigeria on January 13, 1995. who was signed by Empire Distribution and YBNL Nation. His stage name is a tribute to his mother, Asake, who has the first name. He became famous after being signed by the label’s head Olamide to YBNL Records in February 2022.

Later, in July 2022, Asake would agree to a distribution agreement with Empire. He also went on to plan a worldwide tour in support of his debut record, selling out London’s O2 Academy Brixton in the process. Asake frequently uses fast-paced Afro and Amapiano production. His songs have characteristics that are similar to Fiji.

9. Fireboy DML

Top 25 African Music Artists, Yours Truly, Articles, December 9, 2022

Nigerian musician Adedamola Adefolahan, often known as Fireboy DML, was born on February 5, 1996. He is a member of the record company YBNL Nation, established by the Nigerian rapper Olamide. 2019 saw the release of his first studio album, Laughter, Tears, and Goosebumps. At the 2020 Soundcity MVP Awards Festival, he took home the Listener’s Choice Award and was nominated for Song of the Year for “Jealous.”

Fireboy DML calls his style “Afro-Life” and claims to write songs that his listeners can identify with. As his primary modern influences, he has named Jon Bellion, Passenger, and Wande Coal. Fireboy DML received media attention in Nigeria in 2020 as a result of FC Bayern Munich using his song “Champion” for their UEFA Super Cup celebrations.

8. Rema

Top 25 African Music Artists, Yours Truly, Articles, December 9, 2022

Divine Ikubor, better known by his stage name Rema, also known as Reedeming Everything Music Around, is a Nigerian rapper, singer, and performer born on May 1, 2000. With the publication of the song “Iron Man,” he became famous. He entered into a recording contract with Mavin Records’ subsidiary Jonzing World in 2019.

Rema announced in May 2021 that he would be calling his style “Afrorave,” a subgenre of Afrobeats with Arabian and Indian music influences. As a result, he has one of the strongest fan bases in the nation, known as Ravers. Along with his labelmate Ayra Starr, Rema was introduced as a brand ambassador for the well-known soft drink Pepsi in September 2021.

7. CKay

Top 25 African Music Artists, Yours Truly, Articles, December 9, 2022

Chukwuka Ekweani, better known by his stage name CKay, was born in Nigeria on July 16, 1995. He is a singer-songwriter and record producer who is signed to Atlantic Records and Warner Music South Africa. He was previously signed to Chocolate City, an independent label service provider affiliated with Warner Music Group’s ADA.

In 2019, Chocolate City debuted his international smash song “Love Nwantiti,” also known as “Love Nwantiti (Ah Ah Ahh).” The song debuted at number one on March 29, 2022, the day the Billboard Afrobeats chart was introduced. It achieved the first-ever billion-stream milestone on Spotify on May 9, 2022, making it the first African song in history.

6. Sarkodie

Top 25 African Music Artists, Yours Truly, Articles, December 9, 2022

Sarkodie is a stage name for Michael Owusu Addo, a Tema, Ghanaian rapper, songwriter, and businessman who was born on July 10, 1988. He has received various honors for his services to the Ghanaian music scene, including the Vodafone Ghana Music Award for “Artiste of the Decade.”

At the 2019 BET Hip Hop Awards, he was declared the inaugural winner of BET’s Best International Flow Artist category. He is also regarded as one of the leading exponents of the Azonto music and dance, as well as one of the greatest African rappers ever. The Sark by Yas clothing line was introduced on April 27, 2013, and is owned by Sarkodie.

5. Olamide

Top 25 African Music Artists, Yours Truly, Articles, December 9, 2022

Rapper, singer, and songwriter Olamide Gbenga Adedeji was born in Nigeria on March 15, 1989. He is one of Africa’s largest and most well-known performers. He makes records in English and Yoruba. In 2011, while still a member of Coded Tunes, he released his debut studio album, Rapsodi.

Olamide signed a sponsorship agreement with Cîroc on July 17, 2013, making him the first Nigerian to do so. Toni Payne served as his manager, and he was signed to ID Cabasa’s Coded Tunes record label. He quit Coded Tunes in 2012 and founded YBNL Nation, his own musical company.

4. Angélique Kidjo

Top 25 African Music Artists, Yours Truly, Articles, December 9, 2022

Angélique Kidjo, whose full name is “Angélique Kpasseloko Hinto Hounsinou Kandjo Manta Zogbin Kidjo,” was born on July 14, 1960, in Benin. She is a singer-songwriter, actress, and activist who has won five Grammy Awards. Kidjo was born into a performing arts household. Her mother worked as a theatre director and choreographer, while her father was a musician.

The five languages that Kidjo is proficient in are Fon, French, Yoruba, Gen (Mina), and English. All of them, as well as her own particular tongue, in which she sings, have terms that are used as song titles, such as “Batonga.”

3. Davido

Top 25 African Music Artists, Yours Truly, Articles, December 9, 2022

Born on November 21, 1992, David Adedeji Adeleke is a Nigerian-American singer, songwriter, and record producer better known by his stage name, Davido. His music fuses worldwide pop with traditional African themes. He recorded several successful singles between 2013 and 2015, and in January 2016, he agreed to a record deal with Sony Music. He subsequently established the record company Davido Music Worldwide (DMW), which has signed artists like Mayorkun, Liya, Peruzzi, and Dremo. Davido and Sony’s RCA Records inked a record deal in July 2016.

2. Burna Boy

Top 25 African Music Artists, Yours Truly, Articles, December 9, 2022

Burna Boy, born Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu MFR on July 2, 1991, is a Nigerian singer, songwriter, and record producer. After releasing “Like to Party,” the main song off his debut studio album, L.I.F.E., in 2012, he became famous. 2017 saw Burna Boy sign with Warner Music Group internationally and Bad Habit/Atlantic Records in the US. Outside, his third studio album, was his first release on a big label.

He was named an Apple Music Up Next artist in 2019 and won Best International Act at the BET Awards that year. At the 2020 VGMAs, he received the African Artist of the Year award. Burna Boy received the honor of Member of the Order of the Federal Republic in October for his contributions to music.

1. Wizkid

Top 25 African Music Artists, Yours Truly, Articles, December 9, 2022

Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun, better known by his stage name Wizkid, was born in Nigeria on July 16, 1990. One of the largest and most well-known African musicians of all time, Wizkid is a well-known personality in the contemporary Afrobeats music scene. At the age of 11, he started recording music and, along with a few of his church friends, formed the group the Glorious Five.

The group released an album together. In 2009, Banky W’s Empire Mates Entertainment and Wizkid agreed to a record deal (E.M.E). After the release of “Holla at Your Boy,” the main song from his debut studio album, Superstar, he instantly rose to prominence.

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