#ManCrushMonday: The Original Starboy, Wizkid

The  Starboy Himself Wizkid

Wizkid though young is an award-winning and sensational Nigerian Afrobeat recording artist and owner of the record label Starboy. He is an entertainment giant and a superstar if there is ever any who came shining to the scene since 2001. He was born Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun on 16 July 1990, in Surulere Lagos, one of the 12 children in his family.

The singer and songwriter, known in his early days as Lil Prinz until 2006, began recording music at age 11 and managed to release a collaborative album with the Glorious Five (a group he had formed with a couple of his friends).  In 2009 he signed a record deal with Banky W’s record label Empire Mates Entertainment  (E.M.E) and quickly rose to stardom with the release of the song Holla at Your Boy, a song from his debut album Superstar (2011).

His stardom ewas sealed following the  release of other songs on the album like Tease Me/Bad Guys“, “Don’t Dull“, “Love My Baby”, “Pakurumo” and “Oluwa Lo Ni”. He followed these with the self-titled second studio album, Ayo that was released in September 2014 after which he has worked with other labels like the RCA Records, Disturbing London and his own label Starboy.

In mid-2009, he dropped out of Lagos State University(LASU) to focus on his craft and made another attempt at Lead City University but dropped out after completing two sessions afterward he focused on his music instead.

In 2016, Wizkid achieved international recognition following his collaboration with Drake on the global hit, “One Dance”, which reached number one in 15 countries, including the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia. Wizkid has since then worked with countless other song artistes both in Nigeria and Internationally some of which include Femi Kuti, Banky W., Seyi Shay, Phyno, Tyga, Akon, Wale, Lynxxx, Iyanya, R2Bees, Maleek Berry, Tiwa Savage, Rihanna and so many more others.

As a part of his career, he has gone on tour to several states of many countries including the USA and Britain where he has held notable concerts and had performance and sharing the stage with people like Trey Songz, Tulisa, Kendrick Lamar, Chris Brown.

In 2013 talented and hardworking young star established his own label imprint Starboy Entertainment and in the same year, he was ranked on Forbes and Channel  O’s list of Top 10 Richest/Bankable African Artist. Again in 2018, he still made the Forbes’ list of Africa Under 30 achievers. Wizkid became the first ever Nigerian musician to have over 1 million followers on Twitter in 2014 and the first Afrobeats artist ever to appear in the 2018 Guinness World Records for his contribution to Drake’s hit song “One Dance”.

Wizkid has had endorsement deals with Pepsi, MTN, Globacom and Guiness while his contribution to the Nigerian Music Industry has gotten him notable achievements such as winning the award for Next Rated at The Headies 2011 (and being awarded a 2012 Hyundai Sonata courtesy of The Headies and its affiliates) two BET Awards, three Billboard Music Awards, two iHeartRadio Music Awards, one MTV Europe Music Award, four MTV Africa Music Awards, two SoundCity MVP Awards, three MOBO Awards, six The Headies Awards, two Channel O Music Video Awards, six Nigeria Entertainment Awards, two Ghana Music Awards, two Dynamix All Youth Awards, two City People Entertainment Awards, and a Future Award.

Apart from all those, he’s had nominations for five times at the MTV Europe Music Awards, three times at the American Music Awards, four times at the World Music Awards, and once at the Grammy Awards. Moreover, he received an ASCAP plaque for his songwriting contributions to Drake’s “One Dance” and he got nominated in six (6) categories of the 2017 Sound city award where he won the ‘Digital Artiste of the Year’.

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