Yemi Alade, Angelique Kidjo, Burna Boy Others Make CNN’S List Of Africa’s Biggest Music Stars

CNN has created a list titled, Africa’s biggest music stars.

This list comprises of 10 musicians who have international presence and has won or been nominated for international awards. Out of the 10 musicians listed are five Nigerians.

Below is what you should know about these artistes:


Burna Boy came first on the list.

The Ye crooner rose to prominence in 2012 after releasing the lead single “Like to Party” from his debut studio album, L.I.F.E. He has released many hit songs after then.

In 2019, he won Best International Act at the 2019 BET Awards. He also became the first Afrobeats artiste to sell out the SSE Arena, Wembley in London this year. The singer has also been nominated for the Best World Music for Grammy awards.


Angélique Kidjo is a Beninese singer-songwriter, actress, and activist, who is noted for her diverse musical influences and creative music videos. In 2007, Time magazine called her “Africa’s premier diva.” She is one of Africa’s most respected performers and has won three Grammy Awards in her wide-ranging career.


Nasibu Abdul Juma popularly known as Diamond Platnumz, is a Tanzanian musician. He has had several hit songs including “Number One” which he featured Nigerian artist, Davido. Diamond is a multiple award-winning singer and is considered the most loved and decorated East and Central African artist. He also became the first African artist to accumulate as many as 2,520,778 subscribers on his YouTube channel.

In 2015, he won the MTV Europe Music Award for Best Africa, Middle East and India Act.


Nigerian born musician, Yemi Alade, gained prominence after winning a Talent Show in 2009, and is best known for her hit single ‘Johnny,’ which has become an international anthem.

This year, Alade became the first African female artist to reach one million subscribers on YouTube. She was also featured on “Don’t Jealous Me”, a track from Beyonce’s soundtrack album The Lion King: The Gift.


Tiwa Savage moved back from the UK to Nigeria and signed with Mavin Records in 2012. Her debut studio album, Once Upon a Time was nominated for Best Album of the Year at the 2014 Nigeria Entertainment Awards and for Best R&B/Pop Album at The Headies 2014.

In 2016, she signed a management and publishing deal with Roc Nation. In November 2018, Savage won Best African Act at the 2018 MTV Europe Music Awards, becoming the first woman to win the category. In May 2019, she announced her record deal with Universal Music Group.


Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun popularly known as Wizkid rose to prominence in 2010 with the release of the song “Holla at Your Boy.” In 2016, he achieved international recognition following his collaboration with Drake on the global hit, “One Dance”, which reached number one in 15 countries.

Wizkid has collaborated with multiple international artists including Drake, Wale, Skepta and Beyonce.


Oluwatosin Ajibade known as Mr Eazi, is a Nigerian singer, songwriter, and entrepreneur. He is the pioneer of Banku music, a fusion sound he describes as a mixture of Ghanaian highlife and Nigerian chord progressions and patterns.


South African singer, Sho Madjozi won the 2019 BET New International Act. In her acceptance speech, she said, ‘My story is a testament that you can come from any village, in any forgotten part of the world, and still be a superstar.”

Sho Madjozi is regarded as one of the best performers in Africa. She incorporates the Tsonga culture through her music and public image.


South African singer-songwriter and poet Busiswa Gqulu gained prominence after featuring on popular South Africa’s DJ Zinhle’s song, ‘My Name Is.’ Throughout her career, Gqulu has received numerous accolades. In 2014, she was named in the Mail & Guardian 200 Young South Africans.


Mwila Musonda, also known as Slapdee, is a Zambian hip rapper who uses his record label to raise donations for local orphanages and children’s hospitals.

Having won multiple awards since his debut in 2006, he is often regarded as one of the pioneers of Zambian Hip-hop. As of 2017, Slapdee was the most searched Zambian musician on Google and most viewed artist on zambianmusic.net.

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