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Wizkid Biography: Afrobeats Legend Awards, Albums, Networth, Songs, Personal Life

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Born on July 16, 1990, Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun, Afrobeats star widely known as Wizkid or Starboy, stands as a prolific Nigerian singer, rapper, and businessman.

This multi-award-winning music superstar has played a pivotal role in shaping the Afrobeats genre, earning him recognition as one of the top three artists from the African continent.

Formerly identified as Lil Prince, Wizkid gained national acclaim with the release of “Holla At Your Boy,” the lead single from his debut album, Superstar.

His influence expanded globally when he collaborated with Drake on the hit song “One Dance” in 2016. Adopting monikers like Big Wiz and Machala, he further solidified his position as a musical force.

In October 2020, Wizkid unveiled his fourth studio album, “Made In Lagos,” a project that has garnered immense acclaim, winning several awards and breaking records.

The single “Essence,” featuring Tems, achieved the remarkable feat of being the first Nigerian song to chart on the prestigious Billboard Hot 100.

Wizkid’s journey to stardom began in 2009 when he signed with Empire Mates Entertainment (E.M.E) and released the breakout hit “Holla At Your Boy.”

Over the past twelve years, he has consistently delivered commercially successful albums, with “Made In Lagos” reaching number one on the Billboard World Album Chart.

The significance of Wizkid’s impact extends beyond album sales. In February 2021, he achieved the honor of being the most-streamed Nigerian artist on Spotify, accumulating over 3.4 billion streams across his body of work.

Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun continues to be a blessing to the Nigerian music industry, leaving an indelible mark with his talent and influence.

Educational Journey of Wizkid

Wizkid, born into a financially privileged family, enjoyed the benefits of attending esteemed private schools in Surulere for both his primary and secondary education.

His academic path led him to Lagos State University, where he gained admission. However, in 2009, Wizkid made the decision to discontinue his studies at the university.

Undeterred by this shift, he sought new academic horizons and applied to Lead City University in Ibadan.

Successfully securing admission, he dedicated himself to two academic sessions at the institution before opting to fully immerse himself in his musical pursuits.

The Baloguns, understanding the importance of a robust education, spared no effort in ensuring that Wizkid received a quality schooling experience.

His journey encompassed top private institutions in Surulere, laying the foundation for his academic endeavors.

Having earned his West African School Certificate, Wizkid’s pursuit of knowledge led him to Lagos State University, marking the initial chapter of his higher education.

Despite this, the vibrant world of music beckoned, prompting him to depart from university life.

Seeking a balance between education and his burgeoning music career, Wizkid enrolled at Lead City University in Ibadan.

However, his commitment to the world of music eventually led him to conclude his academic journey after completing two sessions at the university.

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Early Years and Musical Breakthrough of Wizkid

Wizkid, born Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun on July 16, 1990, entered the world into the embrace of an inter-faith family.

His father, Alhaji Muniru Olatunji Balogun, practiced Islam, while his mother, Jane Dolapo Balogun, adhered to the Christian faith.

The rich cultural tapestry of his native Ogun State in the South West region of Nigeria provided the backdrop for his upbringing.

In the vibrant city of Lagos, specifically the Ojuelegba district of Surulere, Wizkid spent his formative years in a polygamous household.

He was the only son among his twelve siblings, all of whom were females. His father, who had three wives, managed to maintain a harmonious family environment.

Despite the complexities of a polygamous setting, this upbringing provided a conducive space for Wizkid to explore and nurture his musical aspirations without familial discord.

From an early age, Wizkid found himself immersed in the pulsating rhythm of Nigerian music. Regular church attendance with his mother and active participation in the choir unit fueled his early connection with the world of music.

At the tender age of eleven, Wizkid, along with friends from his church, co-founded the music group Glorious Five.

Together, they released an album before eventually disbanding to pursue individual careers. During this period, Wizkid operated under the stage name Lil Prinz.

Wizkid’s passion for music was further fueled by the influence of legendary artists like Fela Anikulapo Kuti, Bob Marley, Lucky Dube, and King Sunny Ade.

His teenage years saw him frequenting the recording studio of iconic Nigerian producer OJB Jezreel.

OJB Jezreel assumed a mentorship role, advising Wizkid to wait for a year before officially recording, allowing time for honing his sound. At fifteen, he developed a mentor-mentee relationship with rapper Naeto C.

The turning point in Wizkid’s musical journey occurred when he caught the attention of music executive, talent manager, and singer Banky W.

His collaboration with Banky W led to a record deal with E.M.E Records in 2009, marking the formal commencement of his illustrious career in the Nigerian music industry.

Wizkid’s Prolific Musical Journey

In the dynamic landscape of the Nigerian music industry, Wizkid, born Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun on July 16, 1990, has carved an indelible mark, evolving from a promising talent to a global music icon.

His journey unfolds in distinct chapters, each marked by milestones that define his exceptional career.

Empire Mates Entertainment (2009-2013): A Star is Born

In 2009, Wizkid inked a record deal with Empire Mates Entertainment (EME), a label owned by the venerable Banky W.

His initial foray into the limelight showcased his prowess as a songwriter, co-writing “Omoge You Too Much” for Banky W’s album, “The W Experience.”

The dawn of 2010 witnessed the release of his debut album, “Superstar,” with the lead single “Holla At Your Boy” becoming an instant hit and earning him the prestigious Next Rated Artist award at The Headies in 2011.

“Superstar,” a fusion of Afrobeats, Dancehall, R&B, and Reggae, solidified Wizkid’s position in the music scene. The album’s success was celebrated with a tour in London alongside EME label mates.

Collaborating on the “Empire Mates State Of The Mind” album in 2012 further showcased his versatility.

Independence and “Ayo” (2013-2014): Establishing Starboy Entertainment

Wizkid embarked on a new chapter as he ventured into independence after the expiration of his EME contract. In 2013, he founded Starboy Entertainment, a platform where his creative vision could flourish.

The sophomore album, “Ayo,” released in 2014, featured collaborations with industry heavyweights like Femi Kuti, Seyi Shay, Phyno, Tyga, Akon, Wale, and more.

The album’s lead single, “Jaiye Jaiye,” featuring Afrobeat legend Femi Kuti, set the stage for its success.

Wizkid continued to make waves with hits like “On Top Your Matter,” solidifying his reputation as a force to be reckoned with in the music industry.

Global Recognition and “Sounds From The Other Side” (2016-2017): Breaking International Barriers

Wizkid’s musical journey reached new heights when he collaborated with Drake on the global hit “One Dance” in 2016.

The song catapulted him to international acclaim, reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

In 2017, Wizkid signed with RCA Records and released his third studio album, “Sounds From The Other Side,” featuring collaborations with artists like Chris Brown, Efya, and Drake.

Grammy Triumph and “Made In Lagos” (2019-2021): International Accolades of Wizkid

Wizkid’s influence transcended borders, leading to collaborations with renowned artists like Beyoncé.

His vocals on “Brown Skin Girl” from Beyoncé’s album “The Lion King: The Gift” earned him a Grammy Award for Best Music Video in 2021.

The release of his fourth studio album, “Made In Lagos,” in 2020 garnered global recognition. The single “Essence” made history as the first Nigerian song to chart on the Billboard Hot 100.

Wizkid’s Ongoing Legacy

Wizkid’s impact extends beyond music, positioning him as a cultural icon.

His entrepreneurial spirit, record label Starboy Entertainment, and continuous collaborations with international artists reaffirm his commitment to pushing boundaries.

With millions of streams and accolades, Wizkid remains an influential figure, shaping the narrative of Nigerian and global music.

Social Media Presence

In 2013, Wizkid achieved a milestone by becoming the first Nigerian artist to amass one million followers on Twitter. Presently, his Instagram account boasts an impressive following of over 13.1 million fans.

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Wizkid Personal Life and Achievements

Wizkid is a father to three sons – Boluwatife Balogun, Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun Jr., and Zion Ayo-Balogun – is often rumored to be single.

Speculations link him romantically to Jada Pollock, his manager and the mother of his youngest son, Zion.

Additionally, there are whispers of a possible relationship with Tems. Despite such speculations, Wizkid devotes quality time to his children, balancing his roles as a father with his music commitments.

Renowned for his musical success and financial prowess, Wizkid divides his time between residences in Lagos and Accra.

His diverse business investments and ownership of luxurious cars underscore his status as a prominent figure in the entertainment industry.

As a music executive, Wizkid launched Starboy Entertainment in 2013, signing artists like Maleek Berry and Legendury Beatz. The label’s current signee is the rising talent, Starboy Terri.

Wizkid’s ambassadorship extends beyond music, with brand partnership deals with Pepsi, MTN Nigeria, Guinness Nigeria Plc, and the United Bank Of Africa (UBA).

Managed by Mr. Sunday Are, Wizkid is affectionately known by various nicknames, including Starboy, Machala, Big Wiz, and Big W.

Often regarded as one of Africa’s top three artists alongside Burna Boy and Davido, Wizkid commands a massive fanbase known as Wizkid FC, solidifying his influence in the Nigerian music scene.

Now 33, the Lagos-born artist, though unmarried, embraces fatherhood with grace.

His three sons, Boluwatife, Ayodeji, and Zion, each have their respective mothers, including Shola Ogudu, Binta Diamond Diallo, and Jada Pollock.

Notably, Wizkid has had past relationships with Tonto Dikeh, Tiwa Savage, and Seyi Shay.

Wizkid’s Networth

Wizkid stands as one of Africa’s most influential artists and successful music executives, amassing significant wealth.

His substantial income is derived from song royalties, show organization, and performances at global events.

The estimated net worth of Wizkid is around US $30 million.

Wizkid Global Acclaim

Wizkid’s official international recognition materialized in 2016 with his collaboration with Drake on the chart-topping single “One Dance,” credited to him as the writer.

The successful partnership continued with another feature in “Come Closer.”

Worldwide Performances

Wizkid has graced numerous stages across the globe, participating in various concerts and tours.

His remarkable tours include the “One Hell of a Night Tour” alongside Chris Brown in 2016, the “Starboy Fest” tour in 2019, and the iconic Tottenham Stadium concert in 2023.

Accolades and Achievements

Throughout his illustrious career, Wizkid has garnered multiple accolades, highlighting his exceptional talent and impact on the music industry. Some of his noteworthy awards include:

EPS & Albums

  • Superstar (2011)
  • Ayo (2014)
  • Sounds from the Other Side (2017)
  • Made In Lagos (2020)
EPs and Compilations
  • Empire Mates State of Mind (with EME) (2012)
  • Soundman Vol. 1 (2019)
  • Soundman Vol. 2 (2023)

Discography

  • Made In Lagos
  • Made In Lagos Deluxe
  • Sounds From The Other Side
  • Ayo
  • Superstar
  • Soundman Vol. 1
  • More Love, Less Ego
  • Soundma Vol. 2

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