Who is Tiwa Savage? If you have an ear for the entertainment industry, you are already familiar with the name. From singer and songwriter to stage performer, actress, model, and TV personality, the "African bad girl" is famous for many things.
While Tiwa Savage is well-known for her music across the continent, not much is known about her personal life. In fact, it was only when her troubled marriage caught the attention of mainstream media that her love-life became public.
- Name: Tiwatope Savage
- Occupation: Singer-songwriter, actress
- Place of birth: Isale Eko, Lagos State, Nigeria
- Date of birth: February 5, 1980
- Husband: Tunji Balogun (Tee Billz) (married 2013, div 2016)
Tiwa Savage (stage name) was born on February 5, 1980. She took the name once she started her music career. So, what is Tiwa Savage's real name? Well, her full birth name is Tiwatope Savage.
Tiwa spent a good part of her childhood in London, but she was not born there – her parents emigrated to the U.K. when she was 11 years. So, where are Tiwa Savage parents from? Tiwa's parents are from Lagos State in Nigeria, with Tiwa's hometown being Isale Eko.
The musician pursued primary and secondary education in London. Her passion for music started at a young age; she used to play tambourine in her high school's orchestra band.
After completing her secondary education, Tiwa enrolled at the University of Kent, where she studied and graduated with a degree in Business Administration. Soon after, she got a job working at the Roya Bank of Scotland, where she put her degree to use.
Family, husband, and children
Tiwa Savage parents and siblings are not well known, with the artist keeping a tight lid on that information. Her parents are -
Cecilia Savage (mother) and her father, Mr Savage, whom little is known about. Tiwa also has three other siblings – two brothers and a younger sister.
Who is Tiwa Savage's husband? In 2013, she married talent manager Tee Billz (Tunji Ibrahim Balogun). The couple met in Los Angeles, U.S.A (where he was based), and they became friends. In 2010, Tee Billz moved to Nigeria, where together with Tiwa, they founded record label 323 Entertainment.
With time, the couple's friendship blossomed into romance, and later marriage. Tee Billz and Tiwa Savage's wedding was a glamorous two-event affair. The first was a traditional marriage in April 2013 in Lekki, Lagos. In 2014, they had another extravagant white wedding in Dubai, which drew the attendance of family, friends, and several celebrities.
Unfortunately, the lovebird's marriage did not last. In 2016, Tiwa Savage's husband accused her of infidelity. In return, Tiwa accused him of drug addiction, financial recklessness, cheating, and being an irresponsible husband and father.
Does Tiwa Savage have children? Yes! Following the marriage to her ex-husband, the couple conceived a son, Jamil "Jam Jam" Balogun. By the time their relationship went sour, there had not been any other children.
Following the split from her husband, Tiwatope Savage has been linked to several romantic interests, usually with other celebrities. Some of these names include Dr Sid, Flavour, and Naira Marley. However, the most notable has been with the Nigerian singer-songwriter, Wizkid.
Tiwa Savage and Wizkid relationship rumour started after the two appeared in several concerts, appearing chummy with each other. There were also suggestive social media posts of the couple that led many fans to believe the rumour was true.
The relationship was quite controversial due to their age difference – with Tiwa being 10 years older. However, it appears it did not work out as she recently confirmed she is single.
Tiwa has mastered many trades throughout her career in the entertainment scene. In some of these trades, she has managed to make a name for herself. Singing and songwriting are what she is mostly known for.
Savage started with professional music from a very young age. At just the age of 16, she was doing back vocals for George Michael. She has also done vocals for other artists such as Kelly Clarkson, Mary J. Blige, Emma Bunton (from Spice Girls), Chaka Khan, Blue Cantrell, and others.
Later on, after graduating from the University of Kent and working in a bank, Tiwa enrolled in the Berklee College of Music in Boston, where she pursued her second degree in music. In 2006, while still attending college, she participated in The X Factor (UK edition), where she managed to get into the final 24. However, she was eliminated from the show as the 12th person, barely failing to make it to the final 12.
Nonetheless, Savage did not let the disappointing experience bring her down. She graduated with a degree in music and joined the music industry. Initially, she did background vocals for various artists. One of her most notable gigs was on Whitney Houston's hit I Look to You in 2009.
However, it was not until 2010 that Tiwa Savage's career as a musician took off. Impressed by how the Nigerian music industry had grown, she moved back to her ancestral country. She released her first solo artist single Kele Kele Love in 2011, followed by another Love me (3X) in 2011.
In 2012, Tiwa signed with record label Marvin Records and became one of its lead acts in the compilation album, Solar Plexus. In 2013, she launched her debut album, Once Upon a Time, which thrust her into the international limelight.
Following the launch of her album, Tiwa was nominated for a MOBO Award for Best African Act. In 2014, she also won the Best Female award in the 2014 MTV Africa Music Awards. Following her success, she signed several endorsement deals such as with MTN Nigeria, Maggi, Forte Oil, and Pepsi. She also became heavily involved in community projects, especially those targeting youths.
Tiwa released her second album R.E.D (meaning romance, expression, and dance in 2015). The album was a huge success, becoming one of the most streamed on MTN's Music digital streaming platform.
It also featured guest appearances from other top artists such as Olamide, Dr SID, Don Jazzy, 2face Idiba, Busy Signal, and others. Some of the top Tiwa savage songs in the album include Standing Ovation, African Waist, Rewind, Kolobi, Love me Hard, to name a few.
Following the release of her second album, Savage's career continued to grow. In 2016, she signed a deal with Jay-Z's Roc Nation. In 2018, she released a debut song, Sugarcane, which was nominated for the Nigerian Entertainment Awards in Best Album of the Year. Just recently (August 2020) she released her third album, Celia.
Aside from singing, Tiwa Savage is also a songwriter. In 2009, she entered into a contract with Sony/ATV Music Publishing. Following the deal, she wrote songs for top artists such as Fantasia, Babyface, Kat Deluna, Mya, and others. She has also received credits for top other artists such as Jaicko and Snoop Dogg, Deluna and Akon, Beyoncé, and others.
Aside from singing and songwriting, Tiwa has also dubbed in acting. So far, she has three credits in T.V. shows for Coloured Girls (2011), Shuga (2013), and Jenifa's Diary (2016).
Net worth and earnings
How much is Tiwa Savage worth? She is one of the richest artists in Nigeria, thanks to her successful music career. She has also signed several deals with top brands such as Sony/ATV Music Publishing and Roc Nation. On top of that, Tiwa has several endorsement deals with big companies in Nigeria and the world.
Currently, Tiwa savage net worth is estimated to be around $4.85 million. And with her career still booming, you can expect her wealth to continue to grow.
Tiwa Savage, the African "bad girl", is the queen of African music. She is one of the most sensational music artists on the continent. Tiwa has also created huge waves on the international scene. On top of that, she has several other talents, including modelling, acting, and songwriting.
On the personal front, she is of the unlucky celebrities whose marriage has not worked out. However, she was blessed with a son, something that she is proud of. Despite having enjoyed several years in the entertainment industry, her star is still shining bright. Therefore, you can only expect huge things from her in the coming years.
Yen.com.gh has created a list of the richest musicians in Nigeria. One of the most populous countries in Africa, Nigeria is home to many musicians with a good number popular across the continent.
If this list is to go by, music seems to be paying well, at least for the top artistes in the country. The top-earners include P-Square, Don Jazzy, D’banj, and 2face Idibia, with both having their individual wealth at more than $20 million.