Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun, professionally known as Wizkid was born on 16 of July, 1990 in Surulere, Lagos State, Nigeria. He grew up in a home with a Muslim father and a Christian mother. Wizkid is a singer, songwriter and producer.
He is the first African Musician to win seven billboard nominations, the youngest African to get a Grammy nomination, and the first Nigerian to win three Billboard Music Awards. Wizkid is credited for popularizing Afrobeat during the 2010s, regarded as one of the biggest and most influential African artists of all time.
|Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun
|Date of Birth
|16 July, 1990
|Place of Birth
|Surulere, Lagos State
|Singer, songwriter and producer
Early Life and Music Journey
Wizkid had a tough life growing up, He wasn’t fortunate to grow up from a wealthy family. He completed his primary and secondary schools and still tried furthering his studies but couldn’t graduate from the university. He grew up in an extended family where his father married three wives, resulting in a total of twelve siblings, with him being the only male child in the family.
During his formative years, WIZKID immersed himself in music, nurturing a profound passion for the art form and aspiring to become a musician. Initially known as Li’l Prince, he adopted the nickname “Wizkid” in 2006. He began recording music at the age of 11 and managed to release a collaborative album with the Glorious Five, a group he and a couple of his church friends formed. Wizkid signed a record deal with Empire Mates Entertainment (E.M.E) in 2009.
He rose to fame after releasing “Holla at Your Boy”, the lead single from his debut studio album Superstar (2011). “Tease Me/Bad Guys”, “Don’t Dull”, “Love My Baby”, “Pakurumo” and “Oluwa Lo Ni” were also released as singles from the Superstar album. Ayo, his self-titled second studio album, was released in September 2014. It was supported by six singles: “Jaiye Jaiye”, “On Top Your Matter”, “One Question”, “Joy”, “Bombay” and “Show You the Money”. Wizkid left E.M.E after his contract expired.
Wizkid signed a one year contract deal with Pepsi which was worth $350,000 U.S in 2012. He traveled to Beirut, Lebanon, with Tiwa Savage for a Pepsi commercial shoot. Premium Times reported that Wizkid had signed a one year deal with MTN Nigeria in 2013. The newspaper also reported that Wizkid’s Pepsi contract was renewed for two more years.
In November 2013, Wizkid inked a partnership agreement with Guinness for the Guinness World of More concert, hosted at the Eko Convention Centre within the Eko Hotel and Suites on Victoria Island, Lagos. By June 2015, Pulse Nigeria announced Wizkid’s departure from MTN, highlighting his move to secure a staggering 128 million deal with GLO.
In August 2011, Nigerian Entertainment Today reported that Wizkid became a father at his early age of 21. He is a father of three male children but the kids are from different women. His first son’s name is Boluwatife Balogun, born on May 13, 2011, Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun Jr, his second son, born on January 15, 2016 and Zion Ayo Balogun his last son, born on October 28, 2017.
Alex Frank of Vogue magazine interviewed Wizkid in February 2015. He revealed to the media that he wears a mixture of street wears and traditional Nigerian clothes.
He also cited Pharrell Williams as one of his fashion style icons. Wizkid lastly said he has plans of establishing a clothing line following the release of Sounds from the other side.
Awards and Nominations
Wizkid’s significant contributions to the Nigerian music scene have earned him numerous prestigious honors. Notably, he clinched the Grammy Award for Best Music Video as the lead artist on Beyoncé’s “Brown Skin Girl,” marking his maiden Grammy win. He holds the distinction of being the most decorated African artist at esteemed ceremonies such as the Soul Train Awards (3), Billboard Awards (3), iHeartRadio Music Awards (2), and MOBO Awards (6).
Additionally, Wizkid was honored with an ASCAP plaque for his songwriting prowess on Drake’s “One Dance.” This track set two Guinness World Records, becoming the first song to amass a billion streams on Spotify and, at the time, held the record for the most streamed song on the platform.
Acknowledged for his influence, Wizkid was recognized among the Top 100 most influential Africans by New African magazine in 2019. Moreover, he holds the record for the most awards received by an artist in The Headies award history.
His outstanding work on the Made in Lagos Deluxe Edition and the track “Essence” earned nominations in the Best Global Music Album and Best Global Music Performance categories, respectively, at the 64th Annual Grammy Awards.
In a recent achievement, the Apple Music Awards crowned Wizkid as the 2021 Artist of the Year for Africa in November.
Current Net worth
Wizkid’s actual net worth isn’t disclosed but according to Forbes, he is being declared as the richest musician in Nigeria with the net worth of $30 million in 2023.