African Music has evolved over the years. Just like the continent itself, the citizens and countries therein, the average African music has seen some degree of westernization coupled with the fact that some of the African songs come with a captivating African dance moves to help popularize the songs. The original background of jams and sounds from the African perspective often makes a perfect blend with the western pop kind of music creating a powerful party beat that is more than compelling to dance to. There are a few Africa musicians who have acquired a great deal of wealth by appealing to the average African’s sense of good music. They have become so popular with what they know how to do best; you practically have to put down a ton of cash to invite them to grace your occasion. Internationally, they are fast becoming sought after names in the music and entertainment industry making Africa proud. Answers Africa brings you the top 10 wealthiest African Musicians.
10. Jose Chameleone
Joseph Mayanja popularly known by his stage name as Joe Chameleon or Jose Chameleone was born in 1979 and is a popular reggae musician from Uganda. Singing mostly in Luganda, English and Swahili, Jose started his career at an young age in the early 1990s as disco MC at Maganjo Mizuri night club while he was still a student at the Progressive Secondary School, Kampala Uganda. He eventually became affiliated with Kenya’s Ogopa DJs record label. Jose Chameleone’s style of music is a perfect combination of Ugandan folk music, Central African rumba, zouk on a background of reggae. He released one of the most popular songs in the East Africa: VAlu Valu and has popularized some of the phrases he uses in his songs to become regular and everyday words such as Basiima Ogenze, Nekolera Maali, Shida Za Dunia among others. He is regarded as a music star who restructured the popular local music in Uganda at the wake of the 21st century.
Jose Chameleone is the biggest money maker in the Eastern Africa and has acquired a range of 4 wheels as his “testament” which include; Cadillac escalade, Mercedes Benz ml 200 super custom convertible and a Premio. He also owns a big mansion among the elites of Uganda in Seguka hills located at the outskirts of Kampala.
9. Banky W
BankyW whose real name is Olubankole Wellington was born on March 27, 1981 in the United States is a Nigerian R&B artist and generally regarded as the King of African R&B, he grew up in Lagos where he began singing in church at an early age and upon completion of secondary school moved to New York to study Engineering. He won and was featured in numerous competitions while he was still a student. His talent in music has made him one of the richest African musicians. He has been a brand ambassador for Estisalat mobile in Nigeria and is currently the face for Samsung products in the west African nation. Out of his generous heart, Banky W has started off Mr capable foundation; an education charity organization with the aim to aid in the education of children from poor families.
8. Hugh Masekela
Born on April 4, 1939, Hugh Ramopolo Masekela is a South African singer and trumpeter, flugelhornist, cornetist and composer. He is one of the most talented Jazz artists in Africa. His talents got him nominated for a Grammy Award in the “Best Contemporary Pop Performance – Instrumental” music category in 1968. In 2010, President Zuma honoured him with the highest order in South Africa: The Order of Ikhamanga, and 2011 saw Masekela receive a Lifetime Achievement award at the WOMEX World Music Expo in Copenhagen. The US Virgin Islands proclaimed ‘Hugh Masekela Day’ in March 2011, not long after Hugh joined U2 on stage during the Johannesburg leg of their 360 World Tour. U2 frontman Bono described meeting and playing with Hugh as one of the highlights of his career. He also received other awards: 27 April 2010, Ghana Music Awards: 2007 African Music Legend award, 2005 Channel O Music Video Awards: Lifetime Achievement Award, 2002 BBC Radio Jazz Awards: International Award of the Year, nominated for Broadway’s 1988 Tony Award as Best Score (Musical), with music and lyrics collaborator Mbongeni Ngema, for “Sarafina!”. Masekela owns a professional studio in Botswana, and makes good money on invitations to major festivals across the world and the sales of his albums.
7. 2 Face Idibia
Born in Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria, Innocent Ujah Idibia who is more popularly known by his stage name as 2 Face Idibia, is a Nigerian singer-songwriter, actor and record producer. Started off as a member of the defunct Nigerian R&B/hip hop group Plantashun Boyz. He has 5 Albums to his name and has received numerous nominations for which he won 40 of the Awards to date and there were just about 6 other nominations he received where he did not win. The ‘African queen’ singer is one of the kings of African music. He has a vast investment in real estate across Nigeria, earns around $50k to $80k per show and owns a night club in Nigeria just to name a few.
2Face has established an NGO called 2Face Idibia Reach-Out Foundation . In 2009, 2Face was appointed as ambassador the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control. He released a song “Man Unkind” in order to raise awareness on the menace of fake and sub-standard food and drug products in Nigeria. and he is the first non-Liberian to become an honorary member of the Liberian music society in recognition for his outstanding contribution to the growth of music in Africa.
6. Fally Ipupa
Fally Ipupa is a singer and songwriter from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In the early days of his musical career between 1999 and 2006, he was a part of the band of Koffi Olomidé, Quartier Latin International after which he started his own solo career. His released his first album: Droit chemin in 2006, and his secondalbum Arsenal de Belles Melodies (A2BM) in 2009. Fally Ipupa won the Kora Awards for Best Artist or Group from Central Africa in 2007 and 3 years after, he won the MTV Africa Music Awards 2010 for Best Video (for Sexy Dance) and Best Francophone. Fally Ipupa is credited for modernizing the Lingala music. He is a poster boy for a number of clothing brands in Paris, where he also performs at sold out shows, making a lot of money.
5. Salif Keita
Salif Keïta, a proud citizen of Mali was born on the 25th of August, 1949. He has seen the transition of African music through the ages. Keita is an afro-pop singer and songwriter whose unique style of music has earned him the title and reputation as the “Golden Voice of Africa”. He is a direct descendant of the founder of the Mali Empire, Sundiata Keita. While this sounds interesting, it means that given his royal heritage, he should never have become a singer under the Malian caste system, which was deemed to be the role of a griot. Those who know Salif Keita regard him as a very humble man despite his riches. The acquired his private island and a number of real estates in France.
4. Koffi Olomide
Koffi Olomide whose real name is Antoine Christophe Agbepa Mumba was born on Friday, July 13, 1956. The DR Congolese music star is a soukous singer, dancer, producer, and composer and has up to 7 albums up his sleeves which are well patronized in the market. It is reported that Koffi Olomide charges up to 100,000 euros per show. His album Haut de Gamme: Koweït, Rive Gauche is among the listed 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. Koffi Olomide is widely accepted as one of Africa’s biggest and most successful musicians today and is among the Answers Africa list of richest musicians in African music.
Dapo Daniel Oyebanjo who is more popularly known as the Koko Master or D’banj (adopted from a combination of his first name Dapo and his surname Oyebanjo) was born June 9, 1980), is a Nigerian singer-songwriter and harmonica player. He has won quite a lot of awards including the MTV Europe Music Awards for Best African Act 2007, MTV Africa Music Awards 2009 Artist of the Year. BET Awards of 2011 for Best International Act; Africa. D’banj released an internatonal hit song in 2012 “Oliver Twist” which has brought more light along his way. Oliver Twist is an uptempo dance fusion of Afro-Beats and electronic dance music that topped the African charts 2011 and was a top 10 hit in the UK singles chart in 2012 reaching No 2 on the UK R&B chart.
D banj is the first African artist signed to Kanye west’s GOOD music label. He was as a campaigner for President Goodluck Jonathan and has a series of koko lounges; a high end club in Nigeria and other investments including Koko water. D banj also made $1 million dollars when he was paid by a T.V station to star on his own reality show called the Koko Mansion. He has a crib in Atlanta worth of $1.5 million and reportedly charges on the upside of $100000 per show currently.
The Nigerian R&B identical twin brother musicians are among the wealthiest musicians in Africa. Peter and Paul who go be the name P- Square produce and release their albums through Square Records. In December 2011, they joined Akon’s Konvict Muzik label and in the upper year, also signed with Universal Music South Africa in a record distribution deal. The duo currently make more than $150,000 per show. Square ville, P-Square’s crib which is located at Ikeja is worth $3 million and as part of their brand support, they also have a 3 years deal with Globalcom; a Nigerian telecommunication company as brand ambassadors where they are paid a million dollars a year.
1. Youssou N’dour
Youssou N’Dour is a Senegalese singer who was born on the 1st of October, 1959. He is a talented composer, percussionist, songwriter, actor, businessman and a politician. He was once described as “perhaps the most famous singer alive” in Senegal. Youssou N’Dour was among those that reshaped a style of music known in the Serer language as mbalax which is a popular Senegalese music type. It is attributed to him as the richest musician in Africa. He owns the biggest media house in Senegal with radio and TV stations with a lot of investments in real estate. He once also served as a Senegalese cultural ambassador. In April 2012, N’dour was appointed the tourism and culture minister in the cabinet of new Prime Minister Abdoul Mbaye.