The conversation about who the best Singer or the best Nigerian artists for 2021 are a controversial and subjective topic.
It’s not easy to rank the best Nigerian Artists in 2021 given the competitive nature of the Nigerian music industry and given the year is still in its second quarter.
In this list, we curated a list of the top Nigerian best Artists or singers for 2021 so far.
The criteria for this list includes;
- Recognitions and Achievements so far
- International collaborations
- Trending Songs
- Chart Stats
- RELATED: Nigerian artists with the most Headies awards in history
- RELATED: 20 Biggest Naija Songs of 2020 (1st Half)
Burna Boy had a great 2020 despite dropping his album in the second half of the year. However, 2021 was another great with him becoming the first Nigerian Artist to win the World Album category in the 63rd Grammy Award that took place earlier in the year.
The historic win isn’t the only thing he has achieved in 2021, the finger has also been featured by top International artists like Sia, Justin Bieber, Becky G.
He also secured his first Billboard 100 chart entry thanks to his collaboration with Justin Bieber. The singer also made the list of Forbes Africa Icon List for 2021.
His 2019 song, “On The Low” became the first Afrobeat song to cross the 100 Million benchmark on Spotify. 2021 might still in the second quarter but Burna stays winning.
Wizkid is a reserved artist who rarely posts on his social media accounts but that doesn’t deter his fans love for him.
His 2020 album, “Made In Lagos” which took a long time to release is still topping charts in 2021. One of the songs from the album, “Essence” is a song that has International celebrities like Rihanna, Snoop Dogg, Rick Ross and Kylie Jenner vibing to it.
In the 63rd Grammy Award, he clinched his first award thanks to his collaboration with Beyonce on the ‘Brown Skin Girl.’ The song also won Outstanding Music Video/Visual Album at the 52nd NAACP Image Award.
His ‘Come Closer” song amassed 100 Million streams on Spotify this year. The song was also certified Platinum in the UK and Australia. Just like Burna, he made the 2021 Forbes Africa Icon List.
He also emerged as the most awarded artist in the Headies history in 2021.
In 2020, Davido released “A Better Time” album which birthed hits like ‘Jowo“, “The Best“, “la la‘, “Holy Ground“. Even in 2021, the songs are still dominating charts and playlists.
In 2021, he became the most followed African Artist on Instagram with 20 Million followers, topped the Forbes Icon 2021 list, his song, “Fall” is Africa best Selling song and also became the first Afrobeat song to hit 200 Million views on Youtube.
His album, “A Good Time” also hit 200 Million streams on Spotify while “If” was certified Gold in the US in February. He was nominated for an NAACP Image award this year.
While he is yet to release any new song, he has been featured on songs with Enisa, Sangzoo, Focalistic, Teni, Peruzzi, e.t.c
He was also featured on the 2021 Hollywood blockbuster, “Coming to America” where he performed “Assurance.” American Magazine, TIME named him on its Influential 100 Next List for 2021.
Since his rise to fame in 2019, Rema keeps exceeding every expectation about his career and has shamed people who expect him to be a one-hit-wonder. In 2020, Rema was one of the celebrities that dominated the Google Search list.
In 2021, the young music star who earned himself praises from Drake and Rihanna started the year with a bang. His song, “Bounce” has fans dancing and eagerly waiting for his debut album.
The year is looking up for the youngster who clocked 21 in 2021.
Fireboy just like most artists on this list have been scare on social media but yet still winning in every aspect of his career.
His 2020 album, “Apollo” is one of the most-streamed albums currently and even close to surpassing the achievements its predecessor, “Laughter, Goosebumps and Tears” did.
In the 14th edition of Headies which was held in 2021, the artist bagged nine nominations winning five out of them.
He became the third artist after P-square and Wande Coal to make a record for the highest wins in one award night. Fireboy also made history as being the first artist to have his two Albums(LGT and Apollo) win their respective categories in a single night.
While in 2019 and the early part of 2020, the singer wasn’t involved in collaborations, the later part of 2020 and 2021 saw him feature on some trending tracks like DJ Spinall’s “Sere“, Peruzzi’s “Southy Love“, DJ Cuppy’s “Feel Good“, Lil Kesh’s ‘Like This“, Cheque’s ‘History“.
In 2020, Tiwa dropped “Celia“, her first album since her exit from Mavin records and joining Universal Records.
In 2021, songs like “Dangerous Love” “Koroba“, “Celia’s Song, “Temptation” continue to rock airwaves. “Koroba” was featured on the Coming to America II and was part of its soundtrack. Tiwa herself hosted the after-party premiere launch for the movie.
“Koroba” also debuted at #24 on Billboard word digital song sales chart. She alongside was nominated for the category for Outstanding International Song at the 2021 NAACP Image Award.
Rapper, Blaqbonez featured her on the remix of his “BBC” song which got applauding the African bad Gyal for her prowess on any remix. Stefflon Don also featured her on her “Can’t Let You Go’ remix. She was also featured on Peruzzi and Mr. P‘s respective albums.
She was the guest artist on late Bob Marley’s “Jamming” remix which was in celebration of the Legendary Reggae artist’s 76th birthday.
Mr Eazi is not just an artist but a music entrepreneur who is gaining grounds as a music star and a businessman.
In the month of April, he was honoured for selling over 1.4 million records on three songs which included “Leg over“, “Decline” by Raye and “Operator”
He also bagged 5x Latin platinum as a featured artist in J balvin and Bad Bunny‘s “Como Un Bebe” and Arcoíris another one with J Balvin.
The Music star is currently working towards releasing an album and launching a digital bank for Africans in Diaspora.
Omah Lay is Nigeria’s latest wunderkind doing great things with his music cracking the international border. 2020 which was his breakout year was a mixture of great and bad events happening to him.
With two EPs to his credit, Omah has managed to secure recognitions from Justin Bieber and Tory Lanez.
He also won the coveted Next Rated Award at the 14thHeadies Award show. His award-winning EP, “Get Layd” hit 100 Million streams on Audiomack in less than a year since its release, while his “Godly” music video hit 20 million streams on youtube in less than three months.
Street Hop artist, Naira Marley is the poster boy for rebellion in the music industry. Naira Marley isn’t your usual conventional artist but knows how to keep fans dancing to his songs.
While his 2020 songs, “Chi Chi” and “Koleyewon” still dominate streets and Tiktok, Naira Marley released another banger, Coming” featuring South African Artist, Busiswa. The song was allegedly banned by NBC but yet tops Apple music for Nigeria.
- RELATED: Top Nigerian songs that cracked the border
- RELATED: 10 Most Underrated Nigerian Songs Of All-Time
In 2020, Mayorkun dominated charts with both his songs and songs he was featured on. Every trending song in Nigeria had his name on it.
This is still the same in 2021. He has been a guest on Zinoleesky‘s “Kilofeshe“, Laycon‘s “verified“, Ichaba‘s “Oja“, Idowest‘s “Kabaa” and Zlatan’s “Cho Cho“.
The singer also carted the Best Street Hop Artist Award category at the 2021 Headies award with his hit song, “Geng” which sparked outrage over it beating the favoured Naira Marley’s “Mafo”.
10 Best Nigerian Artists of 2021 so far
- Burna Boy
- Fireboy DML
- Tiwa Savage
- Mr Eazi
- Omah Lay
- Naira Marley