2013 was a very big year for Nigerian music and quite a number of artistes lived up to expectation. We’re talking sold-out shows, monster singles, European tours and endorsement deals.
NET presents the 12 biggest artistes of 2013.
After battling his label EME for a few months and setting up his StarBoy Entertainment, Wizkid quieted label exit rumours and released a number of chart-topping singles. He bagged a multi-million Naira endorsement deal with MTN and performed in Europe and several African countries.
O.B.O cemented his position as an A-list act covering the gap between him and friendly rival Wizkid. Extending his endorsement deal with MTN, the 21-year-old went on a 13-country European tour, performed in 5 African countries and dropped two of the biggest singles of 2013.
No album release this year, but Psquare dominated with two powerful singles ‘Alingo’ and ‘Personally’. The twins went on a US tour and visited quite a number of African countries. They also made big news as they both proposed to their baby mamas with Peter tying the knot in November.
4. Tiwa Savage
Definitely the biggest female artiste in Nigeria in the last three years, Ms Savage released her hugely anticipated debut ‘Once Upon a Time’, extended her Pepsi endorsement deal, picked up a MOBO nomination and got married to her manager Tunji ‘Tee-Billz’ Balogun.
Banga Lee with his newly setup DB Records/DKM Media continued his reign as king this year – releasing the label’s first LP, bagging endorsement deals with Bank of Industry and re-kindling his romance with GLO.
The Pop singer released his highly commercial and successful second album ‘Iyanya VS Desire’, embarked on a very successful US tour, returned and bagged an endorsement deal with MTN, Solo Phones, Zinox Computers. He was named artiste of the year at the 2013 Headies, amongst many other decorations this year.
If all Olamide gained in 2012 was fame, in 2013 he added money and the power of influence to it. The Yoruba-lingo rapper broke into the commercial market with a few power singles and later dropped his third album ‘Baddest Guy Ever Liveth’. He grabbed an Etisalat endorsement deal, dozens of awards – including three from The Headies. Add to that, the viral Gunman pose.
Mr N’abania also went on a US tour as he continued to dominate the Highlife music genre in Nigeria and elsewhere. He increased his frontiers in South Africa and also bagged an endorsement deal with GLO.
2013 saw KCEE perform at almost every event we attended. He has cemented his place in the A-list zone with hit singles ‘Limpopo’ and ‘Pullover’ feat Wizkid. He signed a multi-million Naira deal with MTN and then released his debut solo album ‘Take Over’.
10. Femi Kuti
Getting his fourth Grammy Awards nomination is enough for Afrobeat great Femi Kuti to be listed here. But we’ll still tell you that ‘Shoki Shoki’ finally warmed up to mainstream media, performing at quite a number of upscale events including ‘Night of the Masters’ and ‘Music Meets Runway’.
11. Ice Prince
It was a fantastic year for Ice Prince, following his successful 2012 run. Dropping new singles, performing in several African countries, releasing his second album ‘Fire of Zamani’ and bagging a telecoms deal with Etisalat are what made him the hottest rapper in 2013.
12. 2face Idibia
No new music this year but we couldn’t help but keep a tab on 2face Idibia, thanks to his N100m grand wedding. The artiste kept it smoking hot, going on a ‘2face Campus Tour’ and signing on for the Star Trek concert tour. Idibia made a power move few weeks back when he announced his rebranded label Hypertek Digital, with the legendary Victor Uwaifo as one of his signings.