Pan-African website, Afk Insider, came out with a list of Africa’s richest musicians and 6 Nigerian musicians made the list.
Born in Nigeria, Panshak Zamani (aka Ice Prince), started writing rap songs and performing them at his high school. He got together with artiste M.I. to form the band, The Loopy Crew, but it wasn’t until he started releasing singles like Extraordinary or Rewind that he started getting airplay in Nigeria. His debut album, Everybody Loves Ice Prince, was very successful, and he has since won many awards, including Channel O prizes and a BET Award for Best International Act Africa in 2013. He collaborates often with Banky W, whom he calls his mentor.
Jose (or Joe) Chameleone is a Ugandan artiste who found his niche blending traditional Ugandan folk music, a bit of rumba and a heavy reggae influence. He sings in English, Swahili and Luganda. His mansion outside of Kampala and four cars (including a Cadillac Escalade and a Benz) are evidence of his success, particularly with his hit, Valu Valu. He’s been credited with changing the face of music in Uganda, as well as making local music accessible to the rest of the world.
Born Olubankole Wellington in the United States, Banky W moved back to Nigeria and grew up in Lagos, where he began singing at an early age. He found success early in singing competitions. Most of his wealth have come from endorsement deals with companies such as Estisalat and Samsung in Nigeria. He also started the Mr. Capable Foundation, an education charity that provides tuition scholarships for disadvantaged children.
One of the leading hip hop artistes today in his home country of Ghana, Sarkodie usually raps in his native language, Twi. His style is actually called hip life — a Ghanaian hip hop creation that fuses high life, hip hop, dance hall, and reggae. He has been nominated for and won many Ghana Music Awards, and in 2012, he won the BET Award for Best International Act Africa. Heading his own clothing line, Sark by Yas and having shared the stage with American stars T-Pain, Ludacris and Trey Songz, Sarkodie is on his way. Forbes and Channel O put him at No. 8 for Africa’s most bankable artistse.
Nigerian singer-songwriter 2Face Idibia began his career as a member of the hip hop group Plantashun Boyz, but went solo in 2004 after the group split. His most popular song, African Queen, took off after being featured in the movie Phat Girlz in 2006, but all of his five albums have been very well received around the world. His wealth comes from various real estate investments across Nigeria, as well as the $80,000 he commands per show.
Fally Ipupa, a former member of Quartier Latin International (along with Koffi Olomidé, who also made this list), went solo in 2006 and has been incredibly successful, both in his home country of the Democratic Republic of the Congo as well as internationally. With MTV Africa Music and Kora awards under his belt, he’s racked up clothing endorsement deals in Paris as well as high commissions for his shows across the world, which are almost always sold-out.
Along with fellow Congolese star Fally Ipupa, Koffi Olomidé formed Quartier Latin as lead singer and vocalist before launching his solo career. Dubbing his style of music as tcha tcho, he considers it a blend of soukous music (dance music that originated from African rumba music). He is noted for taking on controversial subjects in his lyrics, which has led him to be widely praised and criticized worldwide. Raking in over 100,000 euros per show, Olomidé is extremely popular across Africa and the world. One of his albums is listed in Robert Dimery’s book, 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.
D’banj, born Dapo Daniel Oyebanjo (aka Koko Master), has been performing in Nigeria and around the world since 2007, and was the first African artiste who signed with the music label GOOD, owned by Kanye West. The recipient of countless awards, D’banj is known for his unique sound of dance music and Afro beats. He is involved in a variety of investments, including a nightclub in Nigeria, brands such as Glo, Koko Garri Koko and was given his own reality show, Koko Mansion.
In 2009, this Nigerian recording artiste’s single, Holla at your Boy, became a hit in Africa. This young superstar was signed onto Banky W’s label, Empire Mates Entertainment. Channel O and Forbes weighed him in as the fifth most bankable African musician. In 2011, he won the Hip Hop World Award for Next Rated. He has collaborated with numerous international artistes, and is also Pepsi’s highest-paid ambassador to Africa.
P-Square is made up of identical twins, Peter and Paul Okoye, who began singing and dancing together back in their small Catholic High School in Jos, Nigeria. After forming the group in 2005, their music developed a devoted following, particularly in South Africa, and each album outsold the previous one. They were named Artistes of the Year at the 2010 Kora Awards and now bring in more than $150,000 per show. Best of all, their shared home is worth more than $3 million and has been dubbed ‘Squareville’. Talk about product placement