Nigeria’s dominance in the African entertainment scene came to the fore in 2021 with five Nigerian artists on the 64th Grammys nominations list alongside global hit tracks that thrilled the globe.
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The Nigerian film industry remained consistent with its dominance in Africa and on social media, Nigerian trends made their way to the globe. Connect Nigeria has compiled a list of Nigerian entertainers that ensured the most populous black nation on earth remained on the global entertainment map.
Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun popular with the stage name Wizkid tops our list of Nigerian entertainers in 2021. Wizkid’s ‘Essence’ track featuring Tems, the 11th song off his 14-track Made in Lagos 2020 album became a global hit in 2020 and had A-list American artist Justin Bieber jump on a remix of the song.
Wizkid’s Made in Lagos album tour sold out venues such as the O2 Arena in London. The album would go on to earn him a Grammy nomination for the Best Global Music Album, while the ‘Essence’ track earned him another Grammy nomination for the Best Global Music Performance. Wizkid was also a recipient of numerous awards such as the Mobo Awards and was named the Apple Music African Artist of the Year, among others.
Fast-rising Nigerian music act Chukwuka Ekweani is popular professionally as Ckay makes our list for his ‘Love Nwantiti’ song which has equally gained a global reputation with numerous remakes. The song has gained over 166 million views on YouTube so far and over 15 billion views on TikTok, earning Ckay a place in the global entertainment space.
Over time, Davido has established himself as one of the leading African acts on the global scene. Collaborations such as ‘Ke Star’ with South Africa’s Focalistic and ‘High’ with Adekunle Gold were some features the superstar musician lent his voice to in 2021. However, Davido in a display of charity during the week of his 29th birthday celebration donated the sum of 251 million Naira to orphanages across Nigeria, an act that could be described as one of the greatest charity moves of all time in the Nigerian entertainment industry.
Femi Kuti, son of legendary Afrobeat star Fela Kuti, and father to another Nigerian music act Made Kuti, earned plaudits after he earned Grammy nominations for the seventh time. His Legacy+ collaboration album with his son Made Kuti earned them a Grammy nomination for the Best Global Music Album, while his ‘Pa Pa Pa’ song earned him a Grammy nomination for the Global Music Performance category.
Nigerian screen goddess Sola Sobowale thrilled viewers with her character in the popular Kemi Adetiba Nollywood Netflix movie ‘King of Boys: The Return Of The King.’ Sobowale who played the role of Eniola Salami a high profile, political matriarch, cum politician was hailed greatly for her character in the first part of the film and did not fail to live up to her billing in the sequel.
The self-acclaimed African giant earned a third consecutive Grammy nomination for his collaboration with African songstress Angelique Kidjo ‘Do Yourself.’ The pair’s track was nominated for the Best Global Music Performance category. It will be recalled that Burna won the Grammys Best Global Music Album category in 2021 for his ‘African Giant’ album.
Tiwa Savage has remained consistent with making hits for over a decade and is undoubtedly the biggest female African act at the moment. The songstress teamed up with popular American singer Brandy to produce a global hit ‘Somebody’s Son.’
In a digital age where social media has turned out to be a strong tool for every sphere/sector of life, few individuals have dared to use their platforms to make calls for justice and fight oppression while dishing out content that helps to ease pressure in the form of comedy. Popular Nigerian actor and Instagram skit comedian Debo Adedayo, popularly known as Mr Macaroni is on our list not just for his funny Instagram skits, but for his role in the #EndSARS movement which has seen him being arrested and tortured by the Nigerian police. Mr Macaroni with his over 2.5 million followers on Instagram is one of the biggest entertainers on the social media space in Africa.
Nigerian musician, actor, and lawyer Falz is another Nigerian entertainer that has used his platform to fight bad leadership and injustice in Nigeria. Falz in 2021 was constant with calling out wrong moves by the Nigerian government and served as a watchdog to the activities of the Lagos State Judicial Panel on #EndSARS which confirmed that Nigerian security forces shot live rounds at peaceful protesters at the Lekki toll gate on the night of October 20, 2020.
Another fast-rising star who has sold her trade to the entire globe is Tems. Alongside Wizkid, they performed their hit track ‘Essence’ at sold-out venues. Her 2021 single ‘Crazy Tings’ is one of the biggest hits from Nigeria in 2021 with over 4.5 million views on YouTube.
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Featured Image Source: Rolling Stone
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