Top 9 International Music Stars Who Are Nigerians

4 min


Let’s be honest; there is something about Nigerians and dominating the entertainment industry; be it movies or music. As we speak, the top African artists are Nigerians followed closely by South Africans. But, what if I told you that there are Nigerians who conquered the international music scene? Well, let’s have a look at the top international music stars who are Nigerians.

Some will genuinely surprise you.

9. Skepta

LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 15: Joseph Junior Adenuga aka Skepta picks up the winning prize at this years Hyundai Mercury Prize 2016 at Eventim Apollo on September 15, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by David M. Benett/Dave Benett/Getty Images)

Joseph Junior Adenuga is an English Grime Artist, songwriter and record producer. You all know him from his hit song Shut Down. Adenuga released his debut studio album, Greatest Hits, in late 2007 independently. As a matter of fact, he has released all his albums (4) without a record deal. Look at him now; ranking among the top grime artists in the UK.

8. Nneka

Nneka Lucia Egbuna is a famous musician based in Germany. She was born to a Nigerian father and a German mother and emigrated to Germany at the age of 18. Her songs, recorded in both English and Igbo, have earned her worldwide acclaim.

7. Seal

When I saw the name Seal, I had no idea who he was. So, I went to check out his profile; turns out he was a prolific artist in the 90s and have four Grammy awards to his name. Also, I know his most famous song, Kiss from a Rose. He was born to Nigerian mother, Adebisi Ogundeji and African-Brazilian father, Francis Samuel.

You however don’t need to know all that for you to know he has Nigerian roots. Just look at his name, Henry Olusegun Adeola Samuel.

6. Chamillionare

Believe or not, Chamillionare was born to a muslim Nigerian father and an African-American Christian mother. Hakeem Seriki is his real name and he is known for famous hits like Ridin’. Do you remember this song? That was a long time ago. Fortunately for him, the song earned him a Grammy award.

5. Jidenna

ATLANTA, GA – SEPTEMBER 17: Jidenna attends the BET Hip Hop Awards 2016 Green Carpet at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center on September 17, 2016 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Marcus Ingram/BET/Getty Images for BET)

It’s not surprising to see him here. He has been very vocal about him being of Nigerian descent. Jidenna was born in Wisconsin, but then moved back to Nigeria for some time before moving back to the states again. He is currently signed to Epic records and is most notable for his songs like Classic Man and Particula.

4. Wale

You might not think he isn’t a Nigerian but when you look at his name, Olubowale Victor Akintimehin, everything starts to make sense. Both of his parents are Nigerians from the Yoruba tribe who both moved from Austria to the United States.

He was discovered by Mark Ronson in 2006, where he released a couple of mixtapes before moving to Rick Ross’ label, Maybach Music Group in 2011. Wale has released five studio albums which have all received positive reviews from critics.

3. Tinie Tempah

I actually had a feeling about him being Nigerian simply because of his name. Goodness me, you can’t fail to spot a Nigerian because of their names. So, Patrick Chukweuemeka Okogwu, aka Tinie Tempah, is a British rapper, singer and songwriter.

Tinie is currently the most sought after UK rap artist as he has been their representative in the international scene. Some of the hits he has under his sleeve include Not Letting Go, Trampoline, Girls Like and Pass Out.

2. Sade Adu

She was born as Helen Folasade Adu in Ibadan Nigeria and was brought up in Essex, England. Before pursuing her career with her band, Sade, she was a fashion designer and a part-time model. With the band, she released Diamond Life which became one of the best selling albums of the 1980s era. That’s the same time Michael Jackson blew up in the pop industry. Remember Smooth Operator? That’s her band. Amazing right?

Her band Sade, is considered a musical influence in today’s pop culture. Let’s all remember that she is a Nigerian and that she took over the world with her music.

1. Nas

Get this, one of the greatest rappers in the world has Nigerian roots. I’m not sure you understand; Nas has Nigerian roots. Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones is the son of popular Jazz musician, Olu Dara of Yoruba descent. Nas has released eight consecutive platinum and multi-platinum albums and has sold over 30 million records worldwide.

I still have a hard time believing Nas has Nigerian roots.

Do you know of any other artists with Nigerian descent? Let us know in the comments.


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