Africa with its diverse cultures, religions, and tribes is a continent with rich music heritage. The second most populous continent in the world that has been renowned for music genres such as Makossa, Juju, Highlife, Fuji, and Afrobeat in the past is fast becoming known for genres such as Hip hop, rock, and Rhythm and blues. In recent times, several African music artists have been making waves by producing amazing music that has been Grammy-worthy.
Burna Boy is the best musician in Africa as he bagged the Grammy award for the Best World Music Album with his Twice as Tall Album which happens to be his fifth studio album at the 63rd Grammy awards in 2021 following his nomination in the previous year. He is closely followed by Wizkid and Diamond Platnumz.
Top 10 Best Musicians In Africa
1. Burna Boy
Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu popularly known as Burna Boy to his numerous fans, is a Nigerian rapper, singer, and songwriter that is the best musician in Africa and undoubtedly one of the most successful artists in Africa. He was born on the 2nd of July, 1991 to Mr. and Mrs. Ogulu in Port Harcourt.
His musical career started at the age of 10 when he used the FruityLoops software to make music. His hit single ‘Like to Party’ from his debut studio album L.I.F.E brought him to the limelight in 2013 and the album was well accepted as he sold 40,000 copies on the same day that it was released. The Yawa Dey crooner has described his music genre to be Afro-fusion which is a combination of Afrobeats, reggae, dancehall rhythms, American rap, and R&B.
Burna Boy has five studio albums, two mixtapes, two extended plays, and several collaborations to his name. He has been featured in international magazines like GQ Magazine, and Evening Standard Magazine. Burna Boy has been nominated for several awards and has won many awards including the prestigious BET awards and the most coveted Grammy awards in 2020 as the Best Global Music Album with his Twice as Tall Album.
Lagos-born Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun that goes by the stage name ‘Wizkid’, was born on the 16th of July,1990 to the family of Mr. and Mrs. Balogun in Surulere, Lagos. He is a Nigerian singer and songwriter who started his musical career in 2011 at the age of 11. OJB Jezreel recorded his first song and a 7 track album as Lil Prinz.
His hit single ‘Holla at Your Boy’ in 2010 brought him fame and he fast rose to prominence with his debut studio album ‘Superstar’ in 2011. Wizkid has collaborated with international artists like Drake, Rihanna, Chris Brown, Akon, Beyonce, Justin Bieber, Tinie Tempah, Angelique Kidjo, Major Lazer, Trey Songz Calvin Harris, Normani, and a lot of African artists as well as Nigerian artists. His music genre can be described as Afrobeats, Reggae, pop, hip-hop, dancehall, and R&B.
Wizkid’s songs have topped several music charts all over the world. The Jaiye Jaiye crooner has received two Guinness World Records with the ‘One dance’ song with Drake and he is recognized as the artiste that has received the most Headies awards. Wizkid has also signed endorsement deals with popular brands like Pepsi, MTN Nigeria, Guinness, and GLO. He is currently signed with Sony Music and he has four studio albums, an extended play, and several collaborations with several artists.
The Starboy singer has been nominated for several local and international awards and he has bagged a lot of them as well. He is a three times BET award winner, six times MOBO awards winner and he also bagged the much-coveted Grammy awards for the Best Music Video in 2020 as a lead artist on Beyonce’s Brown Skin Girl amongst several awards.
3. Diamond Platnumz
Nasibu Abdul Juma Issack popularly known as Diamond Platnumz is a Tanzanian singer, songwriter, dancer, philanthropist, and businessman that was born on the 2nd of October in Tandale, Dar es Salaam. His musical career began at the age of 17 in 2006, as a cloth seller who used his profits to record songs.
He came into the limelight with his hit single ‘Kamwambie’ in 2010 and he went ahead to release his debut album Kamwambie in 2010 as well. Diamond’s genre comprises Afro-pop, Afrobeats, Bongo Flava, and soukous and he is currently signed with his record label WCB Wasafi in an all-inclusive alliance with Warner Music Group.
He is currently the CEO of Tanzania-based establishments like Zoom extra, Wasafi Media, WCB Wasabi record Label, and Wasafi Bet. He is the first African artist to hit 900 million views on YouTube. He has also signed endorsement deals with big brands like Pepsi, Parimatch Africa, Nice one Brand, and Coral Paints.
Diamond Platnumz has been nominated for awards 38 times and has bagged 28 awards including the prestigious BET awards which he won twice. He has also won the MTV Africa Music Awards, the MTV Europe Music Awards, and the AFRIMMA awards severally. Diamond Platnumz has three albums various singles and several collaborations with other artists to his name.
David Adedeji Adeleke is a Nigerian-American singer, songwriter, and producer that has adopted Davido as his stage name. He was born to the family of Mr. and Mrs. Adeleke on the 21st of November, 1992 in Atlanta, Georgia, US. Davido’s musical career started officially in 2011 following the release of his hit single ‘Dami Duro’ and he has since released hit singles like Gobe, Skelewu, Fall, assurance, and so on back to back till today.
Davido is one of the best musicians in Africa presently. His genre of music comprises Pop, Afrobeats, Afro-pop music, electropop, reggae, dancehall, and R&B and he currently owns his record label Davido Music Worldwide (DMW) but he signed a record deal with Sony’s music Africa. He has collaborated with international acts like Akon, Chris Brown, Nicki Minaj, Nas, Lil Baby, Young Thug, Trey Songz, and a host of others.
Davido has had many award nominations and has won several awards including the BET Awards and MTV Europe Awards as the Best International Act and the Best Worldwide Act respectively amongst others. He has also signed endorsement deals with big brands like MTN Nigeria, Guinness Nigeria, Infinix Mobile, 1xBet, and Martell. Davido has three studio albums, an extended play, several singles, and collaborations under his belt.
5. Fally Ipupa
Fally Ipupa N’simba is a Congolese songwriter, singer, dancer, producer, record executive, and philanthropist that was born on the 14th of December 1977, in Kinshasa Zaire. He started his musical career by joining local groups and later on joined a national group ‘Latent Talent’ where he recorded his first album.
His genre of music is Soukous, Ndombolo, Rumba, and R&B and he is signed with Universal Record Label. He has once collaborated with international acts like Snoop Lion and Olivia Longott. Fally Ipupa has been nominated for various awards and he has won several awards including the BET Awards and the MTV Africa Music awards amongst other awards. Fally has six albums and several singles to his credit.
6. Tiwa Savage
Lagos-born Tiwatope Savage is a British Nigerian songwriter, singer, and actress who was born on the 5th of February, 1980 in Isale Eko, Nigeria. Following her family’s relocation to the United Kingdom at age 11, she became a vocal backup for notable artists like Mary J. Blige and George Michael. One of her notable performances as a vocal backup was on Whitney Houston’s ‘I look to you’ Album in 2009.
Her musical career started officially in 2012 when she moved back to Nigeria to sign a record deal with Mavin Record and she released her debut album ‘Once Upon a Time in 2013. Her music genre can be described as Soul, Afrobeats, hip hop, pop, and R&B and she is currently signed to Universal Music Group. The Ife Wa Gbona crooner has three studio albums, two extended plays, and several collaborations to her name. She has also featured as supporting casts in ‘For Colored Girls’, Shuga (season 3), and Jenifa’s Diary (season 3).
Tiwa Savage has signed endorsement deals with big brands like MTN Nigeria, Maggi, Pepsi, and Forte Oil. She has also won many notable awards to her credit amongst which are the MTV Europe Music Awards, AFRIMMA, and the Channel O Music Video awards. Furthermore, she is recognized to be the first female to win the Best African Act at the MTV Europe Music Awards in 2018.
Michael Owusu Addo is a professional Ghanaian rapper, songwriter, and businessman who is popularly known as Sarkodie. He was born on the 10th of July, 1988, in Tema, Ghana and he began his musical career as an underground rapper. He released his Debut Album Makye in 2009 and he has since been releasing hit songs that were featured on several music charts across Africa.
Sarkodie’s music genre is Afrobeats, hiplife, and hip hop and he is presently signed on his record label, Sarkcess Music. The renowned rapper has nine studio albums, EPs, and collaborative albums to his credit. He has also signed endorsement deals with notable brands like Samsung Electronics, FanMilk, Standard Chartered Bank, and Guinness Ghana.
The renowned rapper and singer has had 191 awards nominations and has bagged 107 notable awards amongst which are the prestigious BET Awards, MTV Africa Music Awards, MOBO awards, and EMY awards. He is also acknowledged as one of the most successful African rappers.
8. Yemi Alade
Yemi Eberechi Alade is a Nigerian Afropop songwriter, singer activist, and actress who is popularly known by the stage name ‘Yemi Alade’. She was born on the 13th of March, 1989 to the family of Mr. and Mrs. Alade in Abia state and she started her musical career when she won the Peak Talent Show in 2009, however, she released her hit single ‘Johnny’ and her debut album in 2014
Her music genre is Afropop, hip hop, pop, highlife, and R&B and she is currently signed under Effyzie music group and Universal Music Africa. She has bagged several endorsements deals with prominent brands like Hollandia Yoghurt, Maybelline, Shell Oil, Luc Bellaire, and Glo Nigeria.
Yemi Alade has five Albums and two extended plays to her credit and she has been nominated for several awards and has won several notable awards like AFRIMMA awards, MTV African Music Awards, and the Soundcity MVP awards amongst others. Yemi Alade has also been invited to perform at the Earthshot Prize ceremony in London alongside international artists like Ed Sheeran, Shawn Mendez, KSI, and Cold Play by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in 2021.
Innocent Ujah Idibia is a Nigerian songwriter, singer, musician, producer, activist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur that is popularly known as 2Baba. He was born on the 18th of September, 1975 in Jos, Nigeria. He started his musical career with the Plantashun Boiz and they released two successful albums in 2000 and 2003 before the band broke up in 2004. Following the band’s breakup, 2Baba pursued a solo music career as he released his debut album ‘Face to Face’ in 2004.
He signed up with Kennis music at the beginning of his solo career but later started his record label that he named Hypertek Entertainment. 2baba’s music genre is majorly Hip hop, Afrobeats, Afropop, reggae, R&B, and a bit of gospel. The African Queen crooner has seven albums to his name and he is considered a legend in the Nigerian Music Industry.
He has bagged endorsement deals with big and prominent brands like Guinness Nigeria, NAFDAC, Airtel Nigeria, Globacom Telecommunication, Pazino Homes and Gardens, and Hennessy. He became the first African Ambassador for Campari as well as the first and authorized brand ambassador for Oraimo.
Similarly, 2Bbaba has won various notable and reputable awards like the BET award, MTV Europe Awards, MTV Africa Music Awards, and countless nominations. He is also a recipient of an honorary master’s degree from the Igbinedion University, Edo state in 2016 and he was awarded the first honorary fellow of the school of music in the Obafemi Awolowo University in 2019. Also, he was nominated as the Good cause Ambassador for the Nigerian Stock Exchange in 2019.
10. Sho Madjozi
Maya Christinah Xichavo Wegerif is a professional South African poet, singer, rapper, songwriter, and actress who was born on the 9th of May, 1992 in Limpopo, South Africa. She started her musical career by releasing her hit single Dumi HiPhone in 2017and her debut album Limpopo Champions League in 2018. She was named amongst Forbes Africa’s 30 under 30 for her influence in the entertainment industry.
Madjozi’s music genre is Afropop, hip-hop, and Gqom and she is signed with the Epic record label. She is renowned for her unique hairstyle which is largely motivated by the Fulani and Taureg women and blending the Tshonga culture into her music and fashion style.
She has won several prestigious awards including the AFRIMMA, and BET awards and has been severally nominated for many others. The ‘John Cena’ crooner has one studio album, a mixtape, and a few singles to her name and she occupies the 10th spot on our Top Ten Best Musicians in Africa ranking. She is also a brand ambassador for TRACE Mobile which is a prepaid mobile provider.
African music is evolving and gaining ground in the entertainment sector worldwide, with talented African artists creating their unique and original sounds and genres. The talent that African artists possess has propelled the music industry in Africa to greater heights than it has ever been.
Burna Boy is the best musician in Africa with a Grammy award that attests to this fact. I am hopeful that this piece about the Top ten Best Musicians in Africa has helped to inform you of the best of the best in the African music industry. Please, let me know your thoughts and comments about the artists featured in our ranking, and let me know which of them your favorite artist is in the comments section below. I will be looking forward to reading them.