Top 6 Afro Juju musicians in Nigeria

    One evergreen thing Nigeria is blessed with is the numerous genres of music and talented musicians we produce; ranging from Afrobeat, Afro Juju, Highlife, Pop, etc.


    Prior to the contemporary music that dominates today’s world, there have been series of creative genres that promoted the Nigerian music industry, and as such we have decided to take a look at the top 6 Afro Juju musicians in Nigeria.

    Tunde King

    King Tunde

    Tunde King was identified as the founder of Jùjú music in Nigeria.

    He was born on the 24th of August, 1910 in Lagos Island.

    He alongside a couple of his friends formed music named “Palm Wine” that combined Yoruba folk music with musical idioms from countries such as Brazil and Cuba.

    On the other hand, Juju was a type of music that originated from the “Palm Wine” music.

    Moreover, King groomed a lot of the popular Nigerian juju stars including Prince Adekunle.

    Initially, the juju beat originated from when he got a tambourine, Tunde said.

    From there, he started adding other musical instruments before turning them into a refined tune.

    King Sunny Ade

    King Sunny Ade

    Born as Sunday Adeniyi on the 22nd of September 1946 in Oshogbo, to a royal Yoruba family.

    Like every artiste, the roots of their talent and artistic prowess could always be traced back to their background.

    Such is the case of our famous “Merciful God” singer, as his father was a church organist.

    At a tender age, he displayed his love for musical instruments and was blessed with a melodious voice to compensate. In fact, it was under the disguise of coming to study at the University of Lagos, he left Ondo to Lagos to pursue his music career.

    Having begun his music career with Victor Olaiya‘s highlife band, he came off pretty well.

    After completing his time there, he went on to form his own band named The Green Spots, in 1967.

    In particular, the evolution of his highlife style to Juju music was influenced by Tunde Nightingale.

    As a matter of fact, he borrowed his stylistic elements from his ‘So wa mbe’ style of juju.

    With his Afro genre of music, King Sunny became the first African to be nominated twice for a Grammy.

    Also, he has released numerous tracks and albums of which the evergreen Syncro System stands.

    Categorically, he is one artiste who has taken Nigerian music across borders.

    Ebenezer Obey

    Ebenezer Obey

    Obey-Fabiyi Ebenezer was born on April 3, 1942, in Idogo L.G.A of Ogun State.

    He is also amongst the pioneer Juju musicians in Nigeria as he was popularly nicknamed the “Chief Commander”.

    Also, he moved to Lagos to begin his music career in the mid-1950s.

    After tutelage under Fatai Rolling-Dollar’s band, he formed a band called The International Brothers in 1964, playing highlifejùjú fusion.

    Later, the band advanced into the inter-Reformers in the early-1970s.

    As a matter of fact, he has a list of numerous albums, accompanied by awards, recognitions; and such is the famous “Ota Mi Dehin Lehin Mi” among others.

    Additionally, he has performed both in Nigeria and across borders with a high reputation.

    With such a great music career, he is our number 3 in the top 6 Afro Juju musicians in Nigeria,

    Fatai Rolling Dollars

    Fatai Rolling Dollar

    Prince Olayiwola Fatai Olagunju, known better as Fatai Rolling Dollar was born on the 22nd of July, 1927.

    He is a foremost Nigeria Juju and highlife musician whose trademark music was characterized by the use of guitar.

    Rolling Dollar started his career around the mid-1950s and in 1957 he formed an 8 man band

    Another key point, he was the benchmark for Ebenezer Obey and late Orlando Owoh’s success in Juju music.

    One major hit song he left behind is the “Won Kere Si Number Wa” classic song.

    At the fulfilled age of 86, he died peacefully leaving his 3 wives and 16 children, and numerous grandchildren.

    Prince Adekunle

    General Prince Adekunle

    General Prince Adekunle was a descendant of the Egba origin, from Abeokuta in Ogun State.

    Equally important,  when classifying the originators of Juju music in Nigeria, he is a major innovator.

    Like Rolling Dollar, he has also groomed a lot of the legends we see today; such as Sir Shina Peters, Segun Adewale, etc.

    Although he toured in England in the early 1970s, he did not become well known outside Nigeria.

    With a fulfilled career, he released numerous albums such as Aye Nreti Eleya among many others before his demise in 2017.

    I.K. Dairo

    I.K Dairo

    Isaiah Kehinde Dairo was born in 1930 in Offa, Kwara State in Western Nigeria.

    Shortly after he formed his musical group called the Morning Star Orchestra in 1957, he rose to fame.

    Likewise, his band played various instruments such as accordion, samba, akuba, etc.

    In 1962, he released the song ‘Salome’ under Decca records.

    Lastly, his influence and international performance grew so much during the pre-independence time.

    His music was premier and he exported this Afro Juju music to other parts of the continent.

    With so much influence within his short years of reign, he fits directly into the 6 top Afro Juju musicians to uphold this genre.

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