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Wizkid Biography; The Great Musical Icon of The 21st Century

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Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun popularly known as Wizkid, is a Nigerian singer and songwriter.  He is unarguable one of the Best and Most successful  Musicians of all times in Nigeria. The multiple talented singer rose to stardom in 2010 after the release of his first single “Holla at your boy” which became the first song on his debut Studio Album “Starboy” released in 2011 produced by E.M.E records.

Wizkid is a 4 times Grammy Award nominee (Winning 1), a 2 time Guinness record holder for his contribution to American Musician, Drake “One Dance”.

In 2016, Wizkid became the first Nigerian Artiste to be listed on Billboard Twitter last 24 hour chart. Wizkid was signed to RCA records in 2017 from where he released his third Studio Album “Sound from the otherside”.

In 2018, his song “Soco” was certified Gold in Canada. Wizkid has topped world music charts, including becoming No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 with the song “One Dance” by Drake on which he was featured. His song, Essence featuring Tems and Justin Bieber became the highest topping song by an African artiste reaching No.11 in the Billboard Hottest 100 in 2021.

Wizkid is indeed the most influential Africans Musician of our time as he enjoys over 30 million followers across all social media platforms and has gone to garner various awards including, 4 BET Award, 2 Soul train awards and a host of others both local and International. Wizkid has collaborated with various International artiste including Chris Brown, Akon, Drake, Beyonce, H.E.R and many others.

In this article I will be sharing the inside details about the Early life, Career, Collaborations, Networth, Personal life and Fun fact about Wizkid.

You can as well read about Simi here

WizKid’s Early Life

wizkid early life
wizkid early life

Ayodeji Balogun was born, on July 16 1990 in Shitta, Surulere Lagos State, Nigeria. To the Polygamous family of Alhaji Muniru Olatunji Balogun, a Muslim by religion and husband of three wives( of which Wizkid’s Mother is the last) and thirteen children, including one boy and 12 girls (So Wizkid has 12 sister!) but he originally has 2 sisters from his mother (Yowande and Lade) while the other 10 are his Stepsisters.

His mother, Mrs. Jane Dolapo is a devote Christian and has been his biggest supporter since he started his musical career (no wonder he usually sings about her in his songs), especially when his father was against him going into music.

Wizkid started his Education at Ijebu ode Grammer school, he later gained admission into Lagos State University to study International studies and diplomacy but was later transferred to Lead City University Ibadan. In his 200 level, he dropped out of school to pursue his Musical career fully in 2009.

Musical Career

Wizkid’s passion for music began at the early age of 11, as a boy from an interfaith home (his father Muslim and mother Christian) he often followed his mother to church and soon joined the church choir, he formed a group called the “Glorious Five” with some of his church friends and they released an Album in 2001. The group later disbanded.

In 2016 he adopted the name Lil Prinz and continued his career in music. He was greatly influenced by the likes of Fela, Sunny Ade, Bob Marley, 2baba and Sound sultan, whom he later (2baba &Sound sultan) got to work with in 2006 when he met OJB Jezreel, a record Producer who helped in recording his songs and producing a 7 track Album under the name Lil Prinz.

 Fortunately for Wizkid, the likes of 2baba and Sound sultan were regular visitors to OJB Jezreel Studio to record their songs, so Wizkid was physically present to watch these icons of Nigerian music record their albums and learn a lot from them (he was especially present during the recording of 2baba’s Album “Grass to Grace” in 2006)

In 2009, he ditched the name Lil Prinz and adopted the name Wizkid meaning, an unusually intelligent person, that same year, he got a record deal with renowned musician Banky W and was signed to Empire Mates Entertainment, E.M.E records along side “Skales”. He went on to release his first single “Holla at your boy” at the age of 19 in 2010 and his first studio Album “Starboy” in 2011.

Wizkid enjoyed massive success at E.M.E records releasing 2 Studio Albums with them and winning a plethora of awards including the prestigious Headies Next Rated Award for upcoming Artiste in 2011, the award came with Hyundai Sonata. He was also nominated as the Most Gifted Newcomer Video by Channel O Music award for the video of “Holla at your boy” in 2011 and went on to win the award. Other songs in the “Superstar” album included “Don’t dull” “Tease me” & “Bad guy”. The album in 2012 was nominated for Album of the year by The Headies award.

Starboy
wizkid | Starboy

Wizkid released his second studio  Album “Ayo” in 2014, the album’s lead single “Jaiye Jaiye” featured Grammy nominee and the son of the late Musical icon Femi Kuti; in the video, Femi Kuti played the Saxophone so beautifully to the tone of the songs beat, adding flavor and a touch of cultural richness to the song. The album also featured artiste like Banky W, Phyno, Seyi Shay, Tyga, Akon and others. Other songs from the Album includes, “Mummy Mi” “In my bed” “On top your matter” and “Ojuelegba”. Ojuelegba became a hit in 2015 after the release of it music video and later featured vocals from American Musicians “Drake and Skepta” in a remix.

Wizkid started going Global after his  International Collaboration with Drake on the hit single “One Dance” in 2016, the song hit No. 1 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and topped the charts in 14 countries including, Australia, Canada, France, New-zeland and the UK.   Wizkid was recognized as one of the contributors of “One dance” when it got the Guinea world record as the first song to reach 1billion streams on Spotify. Prior to that, he also Collaborated with Chris Brown on “African Bad Gyal” a single he revealed in an interview would be the hit song on his third Studio Album.

Wizkid released his third Studio Album “Sounds from the other side” on July 14 2017, it contained songs that were recorded between 2014 and 2017 and was produced by Star boy Entertainment,( a record label he launched after leaving E.M.E records in 2013) and RCA Records. The album featured Drake, Chris Brown, Ty Dolla, Efya, Bucie, Trey Songz and others. “Naughty Ride, Daddy you, Come closer, and Sweet love ” were the songs in the album. The Album was nominated for South Africa Music Award and The Headies Award as Best Album of the year in 2018. The album rated 107 on the US Billboard 200, and was debuted as number 58 on Canadian albums chart.

Wizkid went on to Produce more songs, and do more Collaborations including his featuring on Beyonce’s “Brown skin girl” in 2019 which later won him his first Grammy award for Best video in 2021. Also in 2019, Wizkid released his first Extented Play “Soundman vol 1”.

Wizkid’s fourth Studio Album “Made in Lagos” was released in October 2020, it featured Burna Boy, H.E.R, Skepta, Tems and Terri and contained songs like “Reckless”, ‘Piece of me,” “Ginger” ‘No stress,” “Essence” and others. Essence featuring The Nigerian sensational artiste “Tems” soon gained grounds and became the hit single of the album, it later featured Justin Bieber on it remix, Essence became the first Nigerian song to chart on the US Billboard Hot 100, was nominated at the South African music Awards for Rest of Africa, it also received a nomination for Best Global Music Album at the 64th Grammy Awards. 

Wizkid’s Career has skyrocketed since 2009 when he rose to stardom, he has amassed accolades in Wealth and Awards from his music career over the last 10 years.

Wizkid is set to release his 5th studio album “More Love, Less Ego” in 2022.

Collaborations

wizkid international collaboration
Wizkid international collaboration

Over the last 10 years Wizkid has Collaborated with a number of Artistes both local and International which includes:

  1. Wizkid featuring Akon in “Don’t dull”, remix “Roll it” remix and others
  2. Wizkid featuring Wales in “Murder”
  3. Wizkid featuring Chris Brown in “African Bad Gyal”, “Shabba” and more
  4. Wizkid featuring “Future”
  5. Wizkid in Gold link’s  “No lies”
  6. Wizkid in Skepta “Bad energy”
  7. Wizkid in Beyonce’s “Brown skin girl”
  8. Wizkid in Drake’s “One Dance”
  9. Wizkid featuring Drake in “Come closer”
  10. Wizkid’s in Lil Kleine’s “AAN JE ZITTEN”
  11. Wizkid featuring Trey song in “Gbese”.
    And many more

Wizkid has also Collaborated with Nigerian Music icons like, Wande coal, 2baba, Burna boy, and many others.

Davido is an Icon you will want to read about, click here

Awards

YearEventCategoryRecipient
2011The Headies AwardNext rated AwardWizkid
 City People EntertainmentBest New Make Artiste of the yearWizkid
2012Nigerian Entertainment AwardBest R&B/Pop Artiste of the yearWizkid
  Best Album of the yearWizkid
 BET AwardsBest international act of the yearWizkid
2015The HeadiesBest R&B/Pop Album of the yearWizkid
 BET AwardsBest international Artiste of the year for “Ayo”Wizkid
 Nigerian Entertainment AwardHottest single of the year for “Ojuelegba”Wizkid
 The HeadiesSong of the year for “Ojuelegba”Wizkid
2016Ghana music AwardAfrican artiste of the yearWizkid
 African Pride awardAfrican Artiste of the yearWizkid
2017BET AwardsBest International Artiste of the YearWizkid
2021The Grammy’s AwardBest Video of the year for his Feature in Beyonce’s “Brown skin girl”Wizkid

Wizkid’s Networth

Wizkid is one of the Top 10 Richest Musicians in Nigeria and according to clarified.com, he has a Networth of over $30 million. His major income source are his music release, sales of Album, International Collaborations, as well as Endorsement deals.

Wizkid has a clothing line called “Star boy collection”, series of mansion within and outside Nigeria and fleets of cars which includes;

  • A grey Lamborghini Urus which he bought for 101 million naira in 2019
  • A light blue Porsche Panamera Which cost 13 million naira but was crashed in an accident
  • A balck Mercedes Benz G63 AMG which cost 60 million naira
  • BMW X6 crossover which cost 11million naira
    And others

He also has a 13 million naira mansion in Surulere Lagos, which he got for his parents and a 68 million naira mansion in Lekki the most expensive neighborhood in Nigeria where he stays. Wizkid also has houses in Los Angeles which cost about $15 million.

Wizkid charges about $1million per show making him the First African Artiste to do so.

This report was confirmed after Wizkid was announced as one of the Stars headlining the 2022 Rolling Loud music festival in September He confirmed this in a post on his Instagram story.

He wrote; “Afro nigga! $1million to Pop out.

Wizkid’s Endorsement deals includes

  1. A $350 million deal with Pepsi in 2012.
  2. An Endorsement deal with MTN in 2013.
  3. In November 2013, Wizkid signed an Endorsement deal with Guinness for the “Guinness World of More” concert held in Eko Hotel and Suites VI.
  4. Wizkid sign a N128 million deal with Globacom in 2015
  5. A $10 million deal with Dolce and Gabbana
  6. Wizkid landed a $3 million deal with UBA 
  7. Endorsement deal with PUMA in 2020
    And a host of others

In fact, forget the figure of his Networth, Wizkid is a Rich and Talented young man reaping the harvest of his labour on a daily basis.

Personal Life

Wizkid father’s 3 children from 3 different women which includes

His first Son Boluwatife Balogun born on the 13th of May 2011 by his first baby mama Oluwanisola Ogudugu

Wizkid second son is Named after him Ajodeji Balogun was born January 18th 2016, his mother is the beautiful Guinean-American model Binta Diallo

His third child is Zion Balogun born October 28 2017, his mother is Jada Pallock, a brand consultant from Britain.

The 32 year old singer is still single and searching, he is yet to tie the knot with anyone.

Fun Facts About Wizkid

wizkid
Wizkid
  • In 2014, he we the first Nigerian Artiste to reach 1million followers on Twitter
  • Wizkid recently acquired 7 new Luxury cars on the 7th of September 2022 which includes a Royce Rolls Black Badge, a Lamborghini Aventador,  a Mercedez-Benz Maybach  and 3 others amount to over a Billion naira
  • Wizkid has won the BET Award for Best International Artiste more than any Nigerian musician, first in 2012, 2015, 2017, and 2021, as well as other BET Awards.
  • Wizkid was featured on the song “Checklist” by Normani and Calvin Harris, which reached number one on the Billboard World Digital Song Sales chart in 2018
  • In 2015, Wizkid joined Chris Brown on his world tour and together they performed, “African Bad Gyal” in Ghana.
  • As at 2021, Wizkid has 4 Soul train nominations winning 2.
  • Wizkid record label Star boy Entertainment has signed, Malik Berry, L.A.X, Efya, R2Bee, Terri, Mr Eazi and Legendary beatz and is presently managed by Jada P.
  • Starboy Entertainment has been nominated for Best record label by City people award and Beatz awards.
  • Wizkid is also a recipient of an ASCAP plaque for his songwriting contributions to Drake’s “One Dance”
  • Wizkid was voted as one of the Top 100 most influential Africans by New African magazine in 2019.
  • In November 2021, Apple Music Awarded Wizkid as the winner of Artist of the Year (Africa).

Wizkid is without doubt, one of the most influential, talented, and richest Nigerian musicians of all times, breaking the airways with his Afrobeat, R&B and Pop Sound. His Global recognition is increasing by the minute and he is going in time to be one of the Greatest African musicians with the likes of Fela, Sunny Ade and Bob Marley ( interestingly his mentors)

Comment with your favorite Wizkid song!

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