The 43-year-old 9ice (born 17 January 1980, Real name: Alexander Abolore Adegbola Akande) is a multi-award-winning Nigerian musician known for his effective use of the Yoruba language in his music and versatility, proverbial lyrics, and unique style of delivery.
His lyrical abilities set him apart from most artists in his genre, and in his opinion, this is what makes him 9ice. The MTV Awards agree with him as he was awarded the Best Hip Hop Artist at the MTV Africa Music Awards in 2008. Some of his most popular songs include “Little Money,” “Make Dem Talk,” and “Gongo Aso.”
Rather than staying in the entertainment industry alone, 9ice explored the realm of politics when he ran for the office of House of Representatives and took a political appointment as a Special Adviser to the then governor of Oyo State, Abiola Ajimobi, in 2015.
9ice is Currently 43 Years Old
9ice was born Alexander Abolore Adegbola on January 17, 1980, into a polygamous home of five wives and nine children. His family hails from Ogbomoso in Oyo State, South-West Nigeria. He, however, grew up in Bariga Lagos State. As a child growing up, 9ice’s parents did not have it all, which led to different struggles. He initially did not have much of a good relationship with his father and terms what they had like a cat and dog relationship until after his father learned to tolerate him.
For formal education, he attended Abule Okuta Primary School and then CMS Grammar School Bariga for his secondary education. After that, he stayed home for more than four years because he couldn’t get admission to study at the University. It was then that he explored other menial jobs, did many things like boxing, football, and writing. Later, 9ice got admission to study Law at the Lagos State University but later dropped out to concentrate on his music career.
‘Little Money’ Was His First Solo Song, But ‘Gongo Aso’ Gave Him Fame
9ice had begun writing songs and singing at the young age of fourteen. He was a big fan of Pasuma Wonder, which led him to venture into the Fuji music genre. He derives his inspiration from his environment and the likes of Ebenezer Obey, King Sunny Adé, Tatalo Alamu, Late Alhaji Ayinla Omowura, and also from Late Alhaji Haruna Ishola.
After recording his first demo titled “Risi De Alagbaja” in 1996, 9ice joined a group called Mysterious Boys, with whom he made a couple of tracks before going on to form his now-defunct group called Abinibi. His first solo song, “Little Money,” which came four years later in 2000, gave him his first major break, as 9ice and his music started gaining recognition in the Nigerian music market. Not long after that, he collaborated with different Nigerian artists, which led to the release of another hit single titled Ganja Man. Ganja Man, which was released with other songs in March 2006, was produced by Id Cabasa.
9ice later found his own record company called Alapomeji Records, releasing all his other albums under the label. The hit song “Gongo Aso,” from his sophomore album also titled Gongo Aso, was released when he was 28 years old in 2008, and it ended up becoming a significant breakthrough for 9ice as it became a sort of national anthem song on almost every occasion in the country at the time. The Gongo Aso song also led to his performing at the Nelson Mandela 90th Birthday Tribute Concert in London, which won him Best Hip Hop Artist of the Year in 2009 and 4 awards at the Hip Hop World Awards.
Other tracks from the album include “Street Credibility,” “Party Rider,” “Pamurogo,” and “Photocopy,” among others. He has collaborated with many legendary Nigerian acts, including Ruggedman, Lord of Ajasa, 2Face Idibia, etc. 9ice released several songs over the years. Still, his success has not been able to have the equal measure with the initial stage of his career. He has put albums like Fear of God in 2020, with the most recent CD album being Tip of The Iceberg: Episode 1 in 2020.
Songs and Albums of 9ice
- Aranbada (2021)
- Sobo (2020)
- Glory (2020)
- Seku Seye (2020)
- Agbatan (2020)
- Zaddy (2020)
- Pabanbari (2018)
- Living Things (2016)
- Lords Prayer (2016)
- Aunty (2016)
- Ogara (2016)
- Life Drama (2014)
- Shakashiki (2011)
- Life is Beautiful (2011)
- Everyday (2011)
- No Be Mistake (2009)
- Respect is Reciprocal (2009)
- Gbamu Gbamu (2009)
- Alapomei Anthem (2009)
- Anytime (2009)
- Bo Kini Yen (2009)
- Pete-Pete (2009)
- Gongo Aso (2008)
- Street Credibility ft. 2Face (2008)
- Party Rider (2008)
- Kinda Life (2008)
- Photocopy (2008)
- Ade Ori (2008)
- Pamurogo (2008)
- Kasa Final (2008)
- Wedding Day (2008)
- Little Money (2007)
- Tip of the Iceberg (2020)
- Fear of God (2020)
- G.O.A.T (2016)
- GRA/CNN (2014)
- Versus/Bashorun Gaa (2011)
- Certificate and Tradition reloaded (2010)
- Tradition (2009)
- Gongo Aso (2008)
- Certificate (2007)
A Look at the Singer’s Awards And Achievements
With his rise to stardom, 9ice has featured prominently across Nigerian campuses in the Soundcity/MTN Campus Blast tours, performing at the “Let’s Go There Tour With Ariya Entertainment” in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, and Maryland in 2008. The 2007 to 2010 Star Mega Jam and London Troxy in 2008 and 2010.
He also headlined sold-out shows in the Netherlands and Malaysia in October 2010 to mark Nigeria’s 50th independence anniversary. Also, in 2010, 9ice embarked on a European tour covering some parts of Italy, Spain, Switzerland, and Cyprus, where many Nigerians were in attendance. 9ice, who is 43 years old, is looking forward to becoming a Grammy award winner.
All the Awards 9ice Has Won
- 4x Hip Hop Award for Song of the Year; Best R&B/Pop; Album of the Year; Artist of the Year (2009)
- Future Awards Musician of the Year (2009)
- Dynamix Awards Artist the Year (2008)
- MTV Africa Music Awards Best Hip Hop Artist (2008)
- MOBO (Music of Black Origin) Best African Act (2008)
- Nigerian Entertainment Awards Most Indigenous Act (2007)
9ice’s Political Career
In January 2014, 9ice announced plans to run for a political office in 2015 as a House of Representatives member representing the Ogbomoso North Constituency, Oyo State, in the National Assembly. He contested for the seat under the umbrella of the APC but lost at the party primaries. In April 2015, the “Gongo Aso” singer was appointed a special adviser to the governor of Oyo State, Abiola Ajimobi.
9ice Has Been Married Three Times
In July 2008, after 9ice was introduced to Toni Payne by a mutual friend, Ruggedman, the two got married. The marriage lasted for two years, with the musician announcing their separation after their first child Zion. It was rumored that the marriage crashed due to infidelity with 9ice’s song, “Once Bitten,” claimed to be directed at his estranged wife’s perceived romance with Ruggedman.
However, after six years, 9ice apologized to Ruggedman and Payne. Although they seem to have gone past their differences, according to Ruggedman, his relationship can never be the same with 9ice again. Following the breakup, 9ice married Adetola Anifalaje, a software engineer in the United States, in 2018, but it again ended in another divorce after welcoming a daughter, Milani-Francoise Imisioluwa Akande.
He married a Lagos-based event planner, OlaSunkanmi Ajala, when he was 39 years old. A year later, their marriage faced trouble when a video surfaced online that 9ice cheated on Sunkanmi. This was followed by a public apology and the singer asking his fans through Instagram to beg his wife. At present, 9ice and Sunkanmi have a daughter, Michelle Abolanle Akande, who was born before they were married. Additionally, 9ice has twin girls, Maya and Miya Akande, with a different woman named Vickie Godis.