Mohbad, Dagrin and 5 Popular Nigerian Artists Who Died at the Kick of Their Career

Mohbad, Dagrin and 5 Popular Nigerian Artists Who Died at the Kick of Their Career

  • As the Nigerian music industry and music lovers mourn the death of upcoming star Mohbad, takes you down memory lane with a list of some of the popular musicians who died early
  • Interestingly, some of these famous musicians' works have been celebrated more in recent times than when they were alive

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The sudden death of Nigerian singer Ilerioluwa Oladimeji Aloba, popularly known as Mohbad, left many Nigerians sad.

The singer died on September 12, 2023, at the age of 27.

As the day passes, different reports on the circumstances surrounding his tragic departure have continued to unfold and generate different questions online.

Mohbad, Dagrin, Rico Swavey
Mohbad, Dagrin, Rico Swavey and other talented Nigerian artist who died at a young age Credit: @iammohbad, @dagrin_official, @ricoswavey_official
Source: Instagram

Many could attest to Mohbad's talent. After the viral feud with his former music boss Naira Marley, he ventured into establishing his record label, "Imolenization," in November 2022.

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It was a bold move that reflects his determination to assert his independence.

On June 30, 2023, he released his sophomore studio project, Blessed, which consists of 8 tracks featuring Zlatan & Bella Shmurda.

He was best known for his hit singles Ponmo, Feel Good, and Ko Por Ke with Rexxie, which was nominated three times for the Headies Awards in 2022. reported that a few hours after the Ko Por Ke crooner was pronounced dead, his recent album Blessed hit the number-one spot on Apple Music Nigeria.

Popular Nigerian musicians who died early

Amid the reactions trailing Mohbad's death, examines other talented artists who passed away in their prime.

Dagrin, known for his 2009 hit track Pon Pon Pon

Oladapo Olaitan Olaonipekun, better known by his stage name Dagrin, was a well-known entertainer in Nigeria. Dagrin shot to fame after the release of his single smash hit Pon Pon Pon.

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His street-pop music was popular among the young and old. On April 22, 2010, Dagrin was declared dead after he was involved in a car accident. 

He was reportedly rushed to two hospitals after bashing his new Nissan Maxima into a stalled truck at night in front of the Alakara Police Station in Mushin, Lagos State, on April 14, 2010.

After eight days in a coma from the car accident, he died. Dagrin was about to reach the zenith of his profession at 25, until the sad incident.

Kefee, known for her 2009 hit track Kokoroko

Kefee Obareki Don-Momoh, popularly known by her stage name Kefee, was a fast-rising Nigerian gospel singer whose death shook the music industry.

She was born in Sapele, Delta State, on February 5, 1980, and died on February 12, 2014. She died after being in a coma for weeks in an undisclosed American hospital.

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The musician reportedly went into coma after collapsing in a 14-hour flight on her way to Chicago for an event. She died at the age of 34.

In 2009, the singer received the International Young Ambassador for Peace award. She also received a Headies Award for Best Collaboration with Timaya for "Kokoroko" in 2010.

Goldie, known for her hit single "You Know It" featuring Eldee

Susan Oluwabimpe Harvey, popularly known by the stage name Goldie, was a Nigerian singer and a Big Brother Africa star.

Goldie appeared on Big Brother Africa in 2012.

Some reports claimed she died of hypertension others linked her death to heavy intake of hard substances -- a claim debunked by her husband.

According to an autopsy conducted by the Department of Pathology and Forensic Medicine at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Harvey died of hypertensive heart disease, which triggered an intracerebral hemorrhage.

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She passed away at the age of 31.

MC Loph, known for his single "Osondi Owendi" remix featuring Flavour

Obiajulu Nwaozor, popularly known by his stage name, MC Loph, was a famous Nigerian rapper known for using his indigenous Igbo sound.

It was gathered that the Osondi Owendi Remix crooner died in an auto crash along the Benin-Ore road on September 14, 2011.

He was reportedly travelling to Anambra State to conclude preparations for his traditional marriage scheduled for Saturday, September 17, 2011 when the incident occurred.

Eric Arubayi, popular for appearing on West African Idol

Eric Arubayi was a fast-rising gospel singer who became known in 2007 after he appeared on the popular West African Idols music event.

He made it to the grand finale of the show's fourth position.

The singer died in February 2017 as a result of complications from an expired malaria drug which affected her liver.

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He died at the age of 34.

Eric was survived by his wife, Chinonso, and a child.

Rico Swavey, rose to from Big Brother Naija reality TV show

Patrick Fakoya, popularly known as Rico Swavey, was a Nigerian actor and singer.

He rose to fame after featuring on Big Brother Naija season three tagged Double Wahala edition.

The actor was involved in a car crash and was placed on life support thereafter.

He, however, died two days after the accident on Thursday, October 13, 2022.

A tribute night and candlelight service was held by his colleagues at Retro Citi, Victoria Island, Lagos, On Wednesday, October 19, 2022.

Sound Sultan’s wife Farida remembers singer on father’s day

in another related news, reported that Nigerian legendary Afropop star Sound Sultan was celebrated by his beautiful wife, Farida Fasasi, on Father's Day, June 18, 2023.

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The grieving wife shared an adorable picture of her husband to mark his impact on this special day for fathers.

The mother of three appreciated all the love and care he showed her and the children during his lifetime and prayed for God's eternal peace as he rests in His bosom.


Chinasa Afigbo avatar

Chinasa Afigbo (Editor) Chinasa Afigbo is a pop culture/music journalist and content writer with over four years of experience in other mainstream media organisations, including Vanguard Media and Guardian Life. She holds a degree in Information Management Technology from the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO). She also moved on to pursue courses in writing & media communications. Chinasa has also been published in other Intl journals, like The African Report. Reach her at:

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