Without a doubt, Nigeria has some of the most talented and accomplished musicians on the African continent. In recent years, Nigerian music has captured the imagination of the world following the rise of a new generation of singers and performers who have displayed their talent with much aplomb at the global stage. It is hard to come up with a definitive ranking of the musical talent in Nigeria, so the following list is not in any particular order. You should also note that the list comprises of musicians who have Nigerian heritage irrespective of whether they are based in Nigeria or not.
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Popularly known as ‘The Kokomaster’, D’Banj is one of the most popular Nigerian musicians and also among the richest musicians on the continent. He rose to the limelight in 2005 when he released the hit single “Tongolo” working alongside Don Jazzy. Tongolo was soon followed by other chart topping tracks in subsequent years. To many fans and pundits, the pinnacle of D’Banj’s career came in 2012 when he released the song “Oliver Twist” featuring Kanye West.
2. TuFace Idibia
TuFace Idibia took to the world stage with a storm with the release of his hit single, “African Queen” in 2006. To date, TuFace remains one of the most decorated hip hop artistes on the African continent. Among his most notable international awards include 1 MTV Europe Music Award, 1 world Music Award, 1 BET award and 4 Channel O Music Video Awards for his compositions and performances.
He started singing while enrolled at the Institute of Management and Technology in Enugu State, and subsequently dropped his studies to pursue a music career. The speed with which he rose up to the top of the Nigerian music industry soon vindicated his decision to quit his studies.
3. Nneka Egbuna
Based in Germany, Nneka Lucia Egbuna is one of the most well known female Nigerian musicians in the world. Born of a Nigerian father and a German mother, she emigrated to Germany at age 18 and soon established herself as a redoubtable musical talent. Her songs, recorded in both English and Igbo, have earned her worldwide acclaim.
The twin brothers Peter and Paul Okoye are considerd by many people to be the most popular musical act to come from Nigeria. They started performing while studying in an obscure high school in Jos State. Today they are household names not only in Nigeria but in many other countries all over Africa and the world.
Bukola Elemide, popularly known as Asa (pronounced “Asha”) is a French Nigerian songstress based in Paris. Though she was born in the French capital of Nigerian parents, she began her musical career back home in Africa, drawing inspiration from such indigenous musicians as Angelique Kidjo and Femi Kuti. Her stage name Asa means hawk in Yoruba and true to it, she has soared high in the Nigerian music scene.