Nigerian Afrobeat musicians and those of Nigerian heritage, from King Sunny Ade to Fela Kuti to Sade, have long enjoyed international acclaim.
Wizkid, Davido, and Burna Boy were the Nigerian key players and afrobeat superstars of the era based on career statistics records, achievements, and impacts.
Afrobeat was originated in Ghana in the early 1920s Before Nigeria joined the wave in the late 1960s, pioneered by Fela Kuti who explored different fashionable music at the time, he was at the forefront of the genre, popularizing the style both within and outside Nigeria.
Afrobeat was pushed by Femi Kuti, Seun Kuti in the 90s, a bit of juju music led by I.K Dairo and J.O Araba even though it has been in existence pre-independence.
Drake was the first mainstream artiste who joined the afrobeat wave, jumping on Wizkid‘s Ojuelegba song and from then birthed his hit single ‘One Dance‘ featuring Wizkid and a British singer Kyla.
However, the first song introducing afrobeat to wider new generations around the world, as it is a combination of dancehall, afro beats, and Pop.
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Davido signed a record deal with Sony’s RCA Records in 2016, becoming the first Nigerian New generational afrobeat artiste to officially signed to an international label.
Davido released a single titled ‘Fall’ on June 2, 2017, it became the longest-charting Nigeria pop song in US Billboard Hot R&B Songs history.
In 2019 and 2020, Burna Boy’s studio albums were nominated in the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards and won 63rd Annual Grammy Awards (with African Giant & Twice as Tall) respectively, making him the first Nigerian to be nominated in two consecutive years at the Grammys.
Today, the formula is more potent than ever, Afrobeats is a way to stay connected, on the one hand, there is an enthusiastic Nigerian diaspora with disposable income that is keen on maintaining cultural ties with home, which they spend money on, stream, share, support, and promote the genre.
And a global reach is provided by the internet and innovations in music streaming.
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That means artists depend heavily on live music ticket sales, performances, and endorsements.
Their energies are not directed towards developing streaming numbers, selling recorded music, and building careers through labels.