Music is enjoyed by many for entertainment purposes. Like any other creatives who make art, musicians know how to connect with their fans and audiences. They say that music heals the soul. Africa is a hotbed of immense talent when it comes to making and producing music. The African sound is distinct and loved both at home and in the diaspora. This is why you will find the richest musician in Africa living in upscale houses, driving the latest cars, and leading the best lives.
African musicians who have made it often strive to put the continent on the global stage. Musicians in Africa have time and again been nominated and won in international musical awards like the BET Hip Hop Awards, MTV Video Music Awards, and Grammy Awards. The awards give artistes exposure and land them many corporate deals. Both male and female musicians have built empires off their talents.
Richest musician in Africa
Music pays well to those that know how to convert their talent to real cash. The richest musicians in the world have mastered the trick of partnering with huge brands to sell their merchandise once they open businesses. They form some sort of symbiotic relationship where they both benefit. Here are the ten richest musicians in Africa:
1. Youssou N'Dour - $140 million
Youssou N'Dour may not be as popular now as he was 20 years ago, but he remains a big name in Senegal. The one-time minister of tourism in Senegal began his musical career while he was a teen. He became a member of the Super Diamono de Dakar band in 1975 while 15 years old, and that is when his stars began to shine.
The music he made back then is still played across Africa. N'Dour's voice has been described by The New York Times as arresting tenor. The Rolling Stone described the singer, politician, businessman, and actor as "the most famous singer alive" in Senegal and the larger Africa.
2. DJ Black Coffee - $60 million
Black Coffee has been in the music industry for almost three decades now. The celebrated 44-year-old South African DJ, is also a record producer, singer, and songwriter. Black Coffee's breakthrough came in 2004 when he was a participant in the Red Bull Music Academy in Cape Town.
His stars kept on shining, and in 2015, the DJ won the Breakthrough DJ of the Year award at the DJ Awards in Ibiza. The DJ's other notable awards include BET Award for Best International Act: Africa in 2016 and Dance Music Awards South Africa Best International Producer, Best International DJ in 2018.
3. Don Jazzy - $30 million
Don Jazzy is one of Forbes richest musicians and one of the Nigerian music industry's most celebrated names. The singer, songwriter, record producer, and entrepreneur has wowed crowds worldwide with his energetic, engaging, and danceable music. The seasoned artiste partnered with D'Banj in 2004 to set up the Mo'Hits label, which saw significant projects production.
His partnership with D'Banj became a success, and people started to notice Don. In 2011, rapper Kanye West noticed Don and signed him to his GOOD Music label. He collaborated with Jay Z and Kanye West on producing the song Lift Off that featured Beyonce. Today, the CEO, founder, and resident producer of Mavin records has over 100 songs he has produced.
4. Wizkid - $20 million
The 30-year-old Nigerian star is known for his hits that are enjoyed in Nigeria and other African nations. Wizkid started writing music while 11. Wizkid's first album was with a church group that went by the name Glorious Five. His One Dance collaboration with rapper Drake increased his popularity in 2016.
The Lagos-born icon has three studio albums Superstar (2011), Ayo (2014), Sounds from the Other Side (2017), and two compilation albums and EPs. Wizkid's fame has not come without controversy. The star has been in online beef with Davido, Dammy Krane, Tonto Dike, and blogger Linda Ikeji.
5. Rudeboy - $16.1 million
Rudeboy has been a household name in Nigeria and Africa as far as music is the subject. Before the split with his brother, Rudeboy was one half of the musical duo, P-Square. The brothers took Africa by storm with their catchy tunes and excellent performances.
P-Square enjoyed success for decades before the groups got marred with controversies and disagreements between the brothers and the management. Rudeboy officially split from in 2017, but that did not mean the end of his career. He has released major hits since 2017 that continue to receive massive airplay across the world.
6. Davido - $16 million
Davido is one of the many megastars from Nigeria that put Africa music on the global map. The Nigerian artiste was born in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1992 and raised in Lagos. Davido started as a member of the group KB International before going solo.
Davido comes from a wealthy family. That, however, has not made him hustle any less. His father is a successful entrepreneur, and his mother was a university lecturer. She passed away in 2003. Davido is also a producer having produced for artistes like Tiwa Savage and Naeto C. The star has three studio albums Omo Baba Olowo (2012), Son of Mercy (2016), and A Good Time (2019).
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7. Mr P - $15.2 million
Peter Okoye, as his fans widely know him, is a Nigerian singer and songwriter. The second half of the now-defunct P-Square took on a solo career like his brother after the group split. Before the unfortunate break, P-Square had established itself as one of the most sought-after boy groups in Africa.
On and off internal conflicts and shortchanging by the elder brother Jude Okoye made the brothers go separate ways. Like his brother, Mr P is enjoying prosperity as he pursues music as a solo artist. His photos with expensive cars and going on cruises is proof enough that life is kind to him.
8. 2Face Idibia - $15 million
2Face, who now goes by the name 2Baba has, for the longest time, blessed his African and diaspora fans with beautiful music. The Nigerian record producer, singer, and songwriter embraced entrepreneurship and philanthropy thanks to his flourishing music career. He runs an NGO, The 2Baba Foundation, devoted to serving the vulnerable and needy in society.
2Face has worked with state and international organizations that offer humanitarian assistance. The 44-year-old star was appointed as ambassador by National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, got into a partnership with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and continues to work with the Nigerian Red Cross Society to offer philanthropic services.
9. D Banj - $11 million
D'Banj's name became a favourite among many radio and music show presenters when he released his banger Oliver Twist in 2012. The song was one of the highest-rated summer jams and received massive recognition worldwide.
The Nigerian musician became a big name in the industry in the early 2000s and has continued to rise thanks to his consistency. Some of the awards bagged by the musician include MTV Europe Music Award for Best African Act in 2007 and MTV Africa Music Award for MAMA Evolution in 2015.
10. Banky W - $8 million
Banky W has made a name for himself as an established musician, actor, and short term politician. Like many thriving artistes, Banky W started his career singing in church while he was a kid. He tried his political stance in 2018 after he stated that he wanted to vie for the Lagos' Eti-Osa Federal Constituency seat in Nigeria's House of Representatives.
He unfortunately, lost the seat to Babajide Obanikoro in 2019. Banky W has four studio albums, an EP, and one compilation album. His acting career has seen him act in films like The Wedding Party (2016), The Wedding Party 2 (2017), Up North (2018), and Sugar Rush (2019).
The beauty of music is that it comes in diverse forms. Every artist makes a unique sound that is appreciated by their fan bases. Most of the richest musician in Africa are from West Africa. Pop culture and the advancement of technology have helped in the growth and spread of West Africa music. West African musicians grab every opportunity presented to them and run with success. Their banging tunes and spectacular visuals also make them favourites among many.
The musicians have gained a lot of popularity and made a lot of money as well. They seem to have focused on producing music that aligns with what people want.
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