Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogunwhose stage name is Wizkid is one of the best Nigerian music artists and probably one of the youngest too.
He was recently named one of the richest African musicians by Forbes.
Wizkid was born on July 16, 1990, in Lagos, Nigeria. There has been a little controversy about his date of birth, some sources have claimed he was born on July 16, 1989.
He was born into a polygamous family – his father had three wives. His mother is a Christian and his father a Muslim. Wizkid who followed his mother to the church began singing in his local church at the tender age of 11 years.
He was not only a good vocalist but also a lead singer. Before his big break came in 2009, Wizkid released a couple of albums.
As part of the church choir, he produced an album. He later went on to form a singing group with five of his church friends, the group was known as “Glorious Five”.
Before he finally settled for the stage name Wizkid, he performed using other names such as “Glorious Five”, as well as “Lil Prinz”.
While using the name Lil Prinz, he was able to record an album with 7 tracks.
Wizkid’s big break in the music industry came in the year 2009. This is after successfully collaborating with renowned musician M.I.
The two artists produced the award-winning track “Fast Money” which not only went ahead to receive many nominations and awards but also received a lot of airplay both in Nigeria as well as in many other African countries.
In 2010, he released Holla at Your Boy. The song earned him the Next Rated award at the 2011 Headies and he was nominated for Best Pop Single at the aforementioned awards show.
The music video for the same song was nominated for Most Gifted Newcomer Video at the 2011 Channel O MusicVideo Awards. It was also nominated for Best Afro Pop Video at the 2011 Nigeria Music Video Awards (NMVA).
His music career has grown ever since and has had the privilege of working with famous artists both locally and internationally. Locally, he has worked with the likes of 2Face Idibia, Naeto C, Sound Sultan, award-winning producer OJB, among others. Internationally, he has worked with Drake, Chris Brown, Trey Songz, French Montana, Kranium, Ty Dolla $ign etc.
In 2016, Wizkid became Nigeria’s first artist to emerge on Billboard’s Twitter Last 24 hours chart following his guest feature on Drake’s afrobeat-infused One Dance single, which appeared at number 21. By May, the song had reached number-one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, a position it maintained for 10 non-consecutive weeks.
This didn’t stop there, the song went on to become an international hit, topping the charts in 15 different countries, including the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, France, and Germany.
Awards And Nominations
The African star boy is a recipient of two City People Entertainment Awards, two BET Awards, two Channel O Music Video Awards, two Ghana Music Awards.
Awards, three MOBO Awards, six The Headies Awards, three Billboard Music Awards, six Nigeria Entertainment Awards, four MTV Africa Music Awards, a Future Award, two iHeartRadio Music Awards, two SoundCity MVP Awards, two Dynamix All Youth Awards, and one MTV Europe Music Award.
He has also been nominated for: MTV Europe Music Awards (five times)American Music Awards (thrice) World Music Awards (four times)Grammy Awards (once)
He was also nominated for six (6) categories of the 2017 Sound city award and he won the ‘Digital Artiste of the Year’.
The Starboy’s net worth is an estimated $14 million – that is about N5 billion.
He reportedly charges N6 million per show. Apart from his music career, Wizkid has other ventures that have brought him money.
For instance, he has his own music label Starboy Entertainment founded in 2013.
He also makes lots of money from his many endorsements. In 2012, he signed a one-year endorsement deal with Pepsi reportedly worth $350,000.In 2013, he signed a N110 million contract with MTN. In 2015, the singer became one of Globacom’s brand ambassador for N180 million.