At just 27, Wizkid has amassed enough achievements that will ring out his name for a lifetime. It’s being a tough journey but this Starboy has always kept his head high.
Worth over $11 million, the singer, songwriter and performer was ranked by Forbes as the 5th Richest/Bankable African Artistes far back in 2013.
Considered to be the most rapidly developing Nigerian musician and one of the richest too with his unique voice, let’s take a walk down the life of this youngster to see how it all began.
1. Wizkid, real name, Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun was born on 16 July 1990 in Surulere to a Christian mother and a Muslim father.
2. He grew up in an interfaith household with twelve female siblings and two step-mothers. His father had three wives.
3. Wizkid who got expelled from his Ijebu Ode Grammar School, Ijebu Ode, Ogun state, for stealing school property listened to King Sunny Ade, Fela Kuti, and Bob Marley, while growing up; little wonder the unique melody his songs follow.
4. Being a dancer and an usher in church, he started recording music at age 11 with the stage name, Lil Prinz and managed to release a collaborative album with the Glorious Five, a group he formed with a couple of his church friends.
5. At a young age, he always surrounded himself with artistes by sitting in the late OJB Jezreel studios. Wizkid also cited Naeto C as one of the people who mentored and coached him when he was 15 years old.
6. In 2009, he finally got his breakthrough when he signed a record deal with Banky W’s record label Empire Mates Entertainment (EME) and featured in MI’s fast cars, fast money. He rose to prominence in 2010 with the release of the song “Holla at Your Boy” from his debut studio album, Superstar (2011). He later left to launch his own label, Starboy Entertainment in March 2013.
7. In mid-2009, he dropped out of Lagos State University (LASU) to focus on his craft. He later attended Lead City University to study international relations but dropped out after completing two sessions to focus on his musical career.
8. Wizkid’s first International Collaboration was with Akon on Don’t Dull (Remix), and since then, he has featured with many foreign artistes, ranging from Chris Brown to Jidenna, Tinie Temper, Zara Larsson, Justin Skye, Tinashe, Vybz kartel, Tyga to Drake. He has also collaborated with a host of African artists.
9. In February 2014, Wizkid made history by becoming the first Nigerian musician to have over 1 million followers on Twitter.
10. In 2016, Wizkid achieved international recognition following his collaboration with Drake on the global hit, “One Dance”, which reached number one in 15 countries and eventually etched his name in the 2018 Guinness book of World records for the most streamed song online.
11. On April 5, 2016, Wizkid became Nigeria’s first artist to emerge on Billboard’s Twitter Last 24 hours chart following his guest feature on Drake’s afrobeat-infused “One Dance” single.
12. As of June 2017, Wizkid has received a total of 44 awards from 157 nominations. With over 100 songs released by him, he never let his background discourage him from following his dreams.
12. In October 2010, Wizkid welcomed a son, Boluwatife Balogun with Oluwanishola Ogudugu and later in 2016, he welcomed another son, King Ayo with Guinean model, Binta Diamond.
13. Wizkid’s contribution to the Nigerian Music Industry has earned him several achievements, the latest being the first African artiste to sell out a concert in the Royal Albert Hall, one of the most prestigious halls in London.
Despite being one of the most controversial artistes in Nigeria, Wizkid has never lost focus on chasing his dreams which has greatly contributed to his success.
Besides several endorsement deals and a huge following from fans both home and abroad, Starboy has proven indeed he is a star and there is no stopping him.