The growth of Nigeria's music, especially Afrobeat, is, at the moment, an unprecedented place never happened before. Yes, we have those who pushed the boundaries in the past, but what is happening now, particularly on the global scale, you just can't help but fall in love with it.
Watching young Nigerian musicians like Davido, Wizkid, Burna Boy, Rema, Tems and other Afrobeat artists fill up arenas in Europe, America, and even India is the peak of things.
In this article, Legit.ng has compiled a list of Nigeria's top 10 most popular Afrobeat artists.
1. Wizkid Balogun has the largest fan base
Of all the artists on this list, Ayodeji Balogun, aka Wizkid, is the most popular Afrobeat singer on this index.
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Wizkid is the first official Afrobeat singer to perform in India and headline a concert. He is the first amongst his contemporaries to win a Grammy award, even though it was a shared gong between himself, Beyonce and Blue Ivy.
His song with Drake One Dance to date is still the first and highest charting Afrobeat song on the U.S. official top 100 music chart.
Ojuelegba's started the breakthrough movement for contemporary Afrobeat recognition; Popsy did it first and started it all.
2. Burna Boy won the first individual Grammy Accolade:
Love or hate him, Damini Ogulu, better known as Burna Boy's place in the history of Afrobeat, is already carved in Gold.
He broke the shackles of several Nigerian artists, getting recognition and Grammy nominations but never winning it along with Wizkid in 2021 when they became the first entirely homegrown talents to win the prestigious Music Academy Awards.
This came after he was nominated a year earlier and lost to Angelique Kidjo. Burna returned and gave us something magical in Twice as Tall, and his place in the history of Afrobeat got sealed after that.
To date, he is the most watched and listened to Afrobeat artist on YouTube and Spotify, with over 15 billion plays, which is incredible. Please give Burna his accolades.
3. Davido is the 30BG king
David Adeleke is a Nigerian-American, born abroad and grew up in Atlanta, but he embodies the new school Afrobeat culture.
His the third force and completes the list of Nigeria's top three. He has yet to win the Grammy, but his influence within the Afrobeat space is not understated or undermined.
Davido recent album 'Timeless', which came after the loss of his son, has been amazing, shattering several records in its path.
The OBO has had great outings, but this current one seems set to register his name in history forever.
4. Tems is the first homegrown female artist to win a Grammy
Tems, also known as Temilade Openiyi, is the leader of the Rebel gang and is regarded as the biggest female Afrobeat artist in Africa.
She recently won a Grammy award after sharing a nomination a year before that with Wizkid. Tems achievements put her in a completely different mode than her other female colleagues.
And the beautiful thing is she's just starting.
5. Rema has the biggest Afrobeat song of 2023
Divine Ikubor, aka Rema's growth, has been incredible. His song Calm Down the remix with Selena Gomez has recorded some unimaginable feats, from being played at stadiums and appearing on the Insta-story of Ronaldo as his kids danced to it to debut on the UK and American music top 100 music charts. Rema is the new wonder kid.
These accolades are coming after repeatedly appearing on the yearly playlist of former U.S. president Barack Obama.
Rema is the now and future of Afrobeat.
6. Patoranking is Afrobeat's biggest reggae artist
Patrick Nnaemeka Okorie, better known as Patoranking, is one of the great artists to grace the Afrobeat stage with his unique style of music.
Patoranking's influence outside of Nigeria is so huge that Nigerians always get shocked by the recognition he enjoys on the international plane.
In 2018 and 2019, he was nominated for the International German music awards. Pato and Kizz Daniel were the two artists from Nigeria that were invited to the fan festival for the 2022 world cup in Qatar, and this is without even having a recent mega hit music.
7. Kizz Daniel is the king of viral music and dance moves
Nigerian singer Oluwatobiloba Anidugbe, better known as Kizz Daniel, has cemented his place amongst his pairs over the last two years.
Kiss Daniel isn't one of the loudest but one of the most consistent. 2022 was a massive year for the singer as he proved with a couple of monsters hit singles Buga and Odo, that he was born to do what he does.
He was recognised for his 2022 success with a chance to perform at the 2022 Qatar World Cup fan fest. His songs were so huge that they became the national anthem for several Nigerian politicians during the recently completed election circle.
8. Mr Eazi is the smart businessman:
Nigerian singer and Ghana-bred Mr Eazi is the embodiment of the West-African entertainment salad who knows how to maximise the business side of music.
Introduced into the music scene by Wizkid in 2013, he has since then grabbed the Konto Afrobeat mantle by the scruff of its neck and ran with it.
Eazi has one of the biggest record labels in Africa emPawa. He opened several other businesses across Africa. His influence on the business side of music is tremendous.
9. CKay has the most streamed Afrobeat single to date:
He might not be one of the biggest per se on this list, but Chukwuka Ekweani, aka CKay, has one of the biggest songs ever done by an African artist.
CKay's hit single, released in 2020, Love Nwantiti, shattered all social media and streaming records held by a Nigerian Afrobeat singer and created history for himself.
Love Nwantiti is the only Nigerian song with over a billion streams on Spotify, over a billion plays on TikTok and a quarter of a billion views on YouTube. Those are outrageous numbers, and Ckay holds this record which is why he made it on this list.
Bukola Elemide is probably one of the most gifted Nigerian singers ever to grace this country's music scene, and her immense talent is just unassailable.
She once saw made a French and German woman cry at different concerts with her incredible vocals and soft musical touch, and finesse.
Meet 8 Nigerian singers that got big breaks as International artists 2022
The growth of the Nigerian music industry globally is untenable, and leading that charge globally is Afrobeat.
The Nigerian sounds have gradually displaced Reggae, reggaeton, and dancehall as the party starters and club music across the globe.
And to reinforce that growth in 2022, eight new Nigerian singers made a substantial global berth.