The Nigerian gospel industry has never been short of talent. Both male and female artists have shown their talents through songwriting, singing, and live performances. Nigerian gospel artists fuse different elements in their music to bring out the best in the art. Household names like Joe Praize, Dunsin Oyekan, TY Bello, and Prospa Ochimana have kept the industry strong through their amazing releases that bless their fans.
Gospel musicians sing about God's love, the grace that comes with being a Christian, living a righteous life, and loving those around you. Some gospel songs are energetic, while others sound easy going. Worship songs sound melodious and bring joy and peace to those that listen to them.
Top 10 gospel artists in Nigeria
Gospel artists' beautiful vocals fused with the instrumentals bring one the energy needed. The following are the biggest Nigerian gospel artists.
Sinach's I Know Who I Am made her a sensation in Africa when the song was released. The song was massively played in churches, homes, on radio, and even in clubs. The song boosted her popularity in the continent as much as she was doing okay in Nigeria.
Osinachi Kalu is a singer, songwriter, and senior worship leader in Loveworld, a megachurch in Nigeria. Other popular songs by the worship leader include The Name of Jesus, Great Are You Lord, Way Maker, Precious Jesus, and Simply Devoted. The 47-year-old started singing for her family in 1989 and has never stopped.
2. Frank Edwards
Frank Edwards has established himself as one of the most sought after Nigeria gospel artists and also one of the best in the entire West African region. The gospel musician also produces and plays several musical instruments.
He has been playing the piano since he was 7. His high pitched voice sets him apart from other contemporary gospel singers. Frank Edwards is known for songs like Eze Ndi Eze, I Lift My Voice, Mighty warrior, and You Are Good.
Frank Edwards owns the record label Rocktown Records and has signed artistes like Micah Heavens, Dudu, Nkya, King BAS, and Divine.
3. Nathaniel Bassey
42-year-old Nathaniel Bassey is one of the most respected voices in the Nigerian gospel industry. His career has seen him grow from a young and little known artist to a celebrated musician across Africa.
Three of his most popular songs are Imela, Onise Iyanu, and Olowogbogboro. His love for worship has seen him get involved in various ministry projects at home and online.
Nathaniel Bassey is credited with starting the HallelujahChallenge on Instagram, where the singer worships God for an hour, 12:00 am to 1:00 am. The challenge has been gaining more traction since it was started and has garnered over 600,000 views. 2020's HallelujahChallenge happened between 4th and 24th February.
4. Mercy Chinwo
Who is the best Nigerian gospel singer? Mercy is one of the best singers. She first came into the limelight in 2012 when she won season 2 of Nigerian Idol. The victory at the contest opened a few doors for her in the entertainment industry.
A year after her win, Mercy Chinwo got a role in Yvonne Nelson's House of Gold movie. She acted alongside other big names in the industry like Omawumi and Majid Michel.
Mercy Chinwo has been singing since she was a kid, but she officially released her first single in 2015. The song Testimony was well received. She later released Igwe in 2016 and got signed to gospel music label EeZee Conceptz a year later. She has two studio albums.
5. Tope Alabi
Tope Alabi is a singer, film music composer, and actress. Before she was a gospel artist, Tope was massively into acting.
She is a former member of the Jesters International comedy group and has worked with various traveling and stage theater groups in different parts of Nigeria. Even with a background in mass communication, Tope Alabi's love for music and drama was evident.
Most of her popular films are in Yoruba. Since becoming a musician professionally, Tope has worked with many young gospel groups and released singles that are widely enjoyed. The mixtape Best of Tope Alabi DJ Mixtape contains her most popular songs.
6. Tim Godfery
Many people who listen to Tim Godfrey compare him to Kirk Franklin. His voice and style of performance are so similar to the American gospel star that he is often referred to as the Nigerian Kirk Franklin.
Tim Godfrey also works as a music teacher, producer, music director, songwriter, and vocal instructor. He has been professionally singing since 2003.
One of his most famous songs is Nara, in which he features singer Travis Greene. Other known songs by the gospel artist include Na You Be God, Victory, Miracles Everywhere, Iyo, and Hallelujah. Tim owns the record label Rox Nation.
7. Ada Ehi
Who is the best female gospel singer in Nigeria? Ada is one of the best female singers. She started singing when she was ten as a backup singer for child star Tosin Jegede.
The 36-year-old began her professional career in 2009, and her music has been getting massive airplay since then. She is a member of the Christ Embassy choir and has been performing at Christ Embassy events across Europe, America, and Africa.
Ada has two albums under her name, Undenied released in 2009, and Lifted & So Fly released in 2013. Popular singles by Ada Ehi include Our God Reigns, Only You Jesus, I Overcame, Jesus (You Are Able), and Fix My Eyes on You, where she featured Sinach.
8. Nikki Laoye
Nikki Laoye's energy on stage is one of the incredible things about the Nigerian singer, dancer, humanitarian, songwriter, and actress. Her live performances are engaging and touching to everyone who watches her.
Nikki started singing professionally in 2005. Her style can be described as an urban contemporary sound with a blend of alternative rock, gospel, and soul.
Her rise to fame started in 2006 when she released the song Never Felt This Way Before. Her work in philanthropy has earned her recognition by the Nigerian government. Nikki Laoye is the founder of Angel 4 Life Foundation, an NGO where she mentors talented youth who are differently-abled.
Eben was born Emmanuel Benjamin. The 40-year-old vocalist, singer, and songwriter started as a rapper when he was young before switching to being a gospel singer.
His appearance at a youth conference organized by Pastor Chris Oyakhilome in 2005 marked the beginning of his popularity. Eben performed the single Imaranma, which was loved by everyone at the conference.
He released his debut album two years later, which featured the popular Imaranma, God Dey, Iwo Nikan, and I Don Hammer, among other songs. He dropped his second album in 2010 and released his third in 2013.
Samson Uche Mogekwu started singing while in high school, and that is where he got the stage name Samsong. Before going into a solo career, Samsong was a member of the quartet known as Praise Creation, formed in 1991.
The quartet's first album, Best of Life, was released in 1996. As a solo artist, Samsong's first major project was his debut CD titled Count Your Blessings, which was released in 2002. He has since released four other major collections in 2004, 2007, 2010, and 2015. Samsong is signed to the label Boogie Down Concept.
The top Nigerian gospel artists have a massive following because of the consistency in their work and the fantastic projects they put out. Their albums, EPs, CDs, and even shows get sold out because they give their fans what they need. A majority of the gospel singers are also involved with community outreach programs where they help the disadvantaged.
READ ALSO: Who is the best musician in Nigeria?
These people are household names in the Nigerian music industry, and all of them deserve the fame they already possess.