In Hollywood, there are Nigerians who are quite skilled in their craft too.
Stargist.com has listed 12 foreign musicians you probably had no idea were of Nigerian descent.
Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones, who is the son of popular Jazz musician, Olu Dara blues musician of Yoruba descent, is an internationally known American Rapper, producer and more. He began his musical career in 1991 and released his debut album Illmatic, in 1994.
Popular for tracks like “Hate Me Now” and “Ether”, Nas’ 2002 album God’s Son peaked at number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number one on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. Time Magazine named it the best hip-hop album of the year. Nas visited Nigeria when he attended the 2008 edition of the Soundcity Music Video Awards (SMVA) to present the award for the “Best Hip-Hop Video”.
Grammy Award-winning rapper was born Hakeem Seriki in Washington DC to a Muslim father and a Christian mother, both of Nigerian extraction.
At a very tender age, the family relocated to a rough neighborhood in Houston, Texas. It was a move that would go on to shape the rest of his life. While in Houston, he was influenced by hardcore acts such as The Geto Boys and Public Enemy.
His first solo album, The Sound of Revenge, peaked at number 10 in the Billboard 200 US chart following its release in November 2005. He is best known for his 2007 Grammy Award-winning rap single, “Ridin’”, which featured Krayzie Bone of the Bone Thugs-n-Harmony.
3. Sade Adu
The singer’s full name is Helen Folasade Adu was born on 16 January 1959 in Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria.Her middle name, Folasade, means “honour confers a crown”. Her parents, Adebisi Adu, a Nigerian lecturer in economics of Yoruba background, and Anne Hayes, an English district nurse, met in London, married in 1955 and moved to Nigeria.
Her parents separated, however, and Anne Hayes returned to England, taking four-year-old Sade and older brother Banji with her to live with their grandparents near Colchester, Essex. When Sade was 11 years old, she moved to Holland-on-Sea, Essex, to live with her mother
Seal was born on February 19, 1963 to Nigerian father, Francis Samuel and mother, Adebisi Ogundeji. His real name is Henry Olusegun Olumide Adelo Samuel.
He married model/TV personality, Heidi Klum, for seven years with three kids together before they separated in 2012.
The award winning R n B singer has won four Grammy Awards and an MTV Video Music Award amongst others. Seal has several hit songs which include ‘Kiss from the rose’, ‘Crazy, ‘Killer’, “Lips Like Sugar”.
English R&B singer and song-writer, Lemar Obika, was born on April 4, 1978, to Nigerian parents of Enugu State.
Adenuga released his debut studio album Greatest Hits in late 2007 and his second, Microphone Champion in 2009, both independently, while his third studio album Doin’ It Again was released in 2011 by AATW, His fourth studio album, Konnichiwa, was released on May 6, 2016 to critical acclaim, winning the year’s Mercury Prize.
7. Tinie Tempah
He was born to Nigerian parents from Ibusa, Delta State, but has spent all his life in London. He is one of UK’s hottest rappers at the moment, with two of his singles peaking at number 1 (“Pass Out” and “Written in the Stars”) in the UK Singles Chart of 2010.
Tinie Tempah’s real name is Chukwuemeka Patrick Okogwu.
He has collaborated with the best of the best in the music world including Rihanna, Rita Ora, Eric Turner, the defunct Swedish House Mafia, J Cole and Snoop Dogg. His most popular track till date, “Written in the Stars”, was the official theme song for WWE’s Wrestlemania 27 and was also used to usher in the New York Giants for Super Bowl 46. He has performed at various top events in the world including the closing ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics where he performed “Written in the Stars”. The performance was watched by an estimated global television audience of 750 million.
Olubowale Victor Akintimehin, popularly known by his stage name Wale (Wah-lay), is an American rapper best known for his single “Pretty Girls”.
He has rubbed shoulders with the very best in the American music industry including the likes of Lady Gaga, Wiz Khalifa and Pharrell Williams. He has two BET awards in his kitty.
He’s currently signed to Maybach music, a record label owned by rapper Rick Ross.
9. Taio Cruz
Taio Cruz was born in London, to a Nigerian father and a Brazilian mother. He attended Bilton Grange, a private prep school in Rugby, Warwickshire, and Christ’s Hospital, a private boarding school in Horsham, West Sussex.
Cruz’s songwriting career began as part of Tricky Stewart’s writing collective, RedZone Entertainment and achieved notability in 2005 when he was awarded a Brit Award for co-writing Will Young’s 2004 single, “Your Game”.
Cruz is the founder and chief executive of Rokstarr Music London, which in 2006 released his debut single “I Just Wanna Know”.
Popularly known for his February 2015 single, “Classic Man”, Jidenna blends African Ankara prints into his outfit, a move that gives him up as an African.
Jidenna Theodore Mobisson, who is signed to Janelle Monae’s Wondaland Records label, was born in Wisconsin to a Nigerian father and a white mother and grew up in Nigeria. In 1995 his family moved back to Boston Massachusetts. His song “Classic Man” was nominated for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration at the 58th Grammy Awards.
11. Parker Ighile
Parker Ighile was born in London where he lived with his mother and sister Asabe Ighile. His father and mother are Nigerian, from Benin and Kaduna, respectively. He began composing and producing at the age of 11 when he and numerous church friends formed a rap group. In his teens made grime music under the name Piztol.
The church his family attended was instrumental in Parker’s early musical ventures and he studied music in college and university where he began learning music theory. Parker’s music is influenced by a dynamic range of genres but more noticeably R&B, rap, garage and Bollywood music – due to frequent exposure to his grandmother’s diverse tastes in music and cinema.
Rotimi Akinosho was born in Maplewood, New Jersey, to Nigerian parents– his father an investment banker of Yoruba origin and his mother of Igbo origin, working for the government.
He attended Columbia High School, where he was a standout on both the varsity basketball team and the honors choir. He continued his studies at Northwestern University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Communications with a minor in Business in 2010.