Wizkid is being celebrated globally today as he clocks 30 years old. NAIJA NEWS NG brings you 30 important events that has shaped the Wizkid brand.
1. Wizkid was born on the 16th of July 1990 in Surulere, Lagos . He father, Alhaji M.O Balogun a Muslim married Mrs Balogun, a Christian so he is religious cross breed . He is the only son with 12 sisters. Hmmm a jesus and twelve disciples.
2. He was not known as Wizkid from the beginning of his musical career, he was known as Lil Prinz with a band he formed at the age of 11 called Glorious Five. The Glorious Five released a gospel album in the church, it sold 10,000 copies.
3. Wizkid is a two times dropout , he attended Ijebu Ode Grammar School, then dropped out from Lagos State University, LASU. He later gained admission into Lead City University to study ‘International Relations’ but dropped out again.
4. He met late music producer OJB Jezreel at the age of 11. This enabled him to learn from big stars like 2baba, Sound Sultan and Naeto C. At 15 he was being taught by Naeto C and had started writing songs.
5. Wizzy changed his stage name from Lil Prinz to Wizkid in 2006.
6. “Mami Water” was Wizkid’s first single title. From church to woman wrapper, LOL.
7. Nigerians fell in love with him in 2009 after M.I Abaga featured him in his single “Fast Money, Fast Cars”
8. Banky W signed him on to his record label E.M.E in 2009 then the rise of the Ojuelegba crooner began.
9. “Holla At Your Boy” the monster hit was released on 2010, a year after he inked the E.M.E contract.
10. Wizkid won the Headies’ ‘Next Rated’ award . He was established as the artist to watch out for.
11. Wizkid became a father in 2011 at the age of 21. His first son is Boluwatife , he now has three Ayodeji, Binta Diallo and Zion .
12. Honda Accord was his first car. He bought a black Honda Accord i-VTEC in 2011. A first son and a first car all in 2011? Boluwatife really came with some goodie bags.
13. In the same 2011 he dropped his first album with E.M.E- ‘Superstar’. The album was loaded with 17 tracks that unraveled the Wizzy package.
14. The E.M.E joint deal on Wizkid and Akon’s Konvict happened in April 2012.
15. He executed his first International Collaboration with Akon with the remix of ‘Don’t Dull’ .
16. ‘Ayo’ is his second album. Ayo gave us the evergreen ‘Jaiye Jaiye’ with Femi Kuti. It also had other great artistes on it.
17. He was paid an eye popping N1 billion to endorse United Bank for Africa, UBA, it is the biggest endorsement so far. Endorsement deals are a huge chunk of his wealth . He has endorsed brands like Pepsi, MTN, Glo, Tecno and also Ciroc.
18. Wizkid is ranked as one of the highest paid performing artistes in the world. 2018 he was paid 50 million Rupees ($681,200, N245. 9 million) to perform at a Royal Wedding at the world’s top private residences, Umaid Bhawan Palace in India.
19. Wizkid is on record as the musician with the highest number of award nominations. He has the most international award nominations in Nigeria.
20. He holds the record of the youngest African to get Grammy nomination for his part in Drake’s hit single ‘One Dance’. He is also the the only Nigerian artiste to remain at the number one spot on iTunes World Chart for more than a week.
21. Wizkid is the first African pop star to perform/sell out Royal Albert Hall in London. He is also the first African artiste to sell out 20,000 capacity o2 Arena in UK twice.
22. He is the first Nigerian artiste to win an award from the American Society of Composers Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).
23. If you don’t know, October 6, is set aside as Wizkid Day in Minnesota(United State) for Wizkid because the last time he performed there, he had a sold-out concert at the Skyway Theater.
24. Wizkid is the first afro-pop artiste to appear in the Guinness Book of World Records.
25. He is the first African to bag seven Billboard nominations. He is the first Nigerian artiste to win three Billboard awards.
26. In 2018 hit the runway with fashion icon and model, Naomi Campbell for Dolce and Gabbana and the Internet went into a frenzy.
27. In 2018, one of Wizkid’s hit singles, ‘Soco’ became the most searched words on Google for the year.
28. In 2019, Wizkid featured in Beyonce’s ‘Lion King’ album . Wizkid was featured on a song titled, ‘Brown Skin Girl,’ alongside Beyonce’s first child, Blue Ivy Carter, Beyonce, and Saint Jhn. The song later won The Soul Train Award. Starboy Wizkid is now the first Nigerian artiste to win the Soul Train Award in history
29. 24 hours after its release, Wizkid’s “Come Closer” on which he featured Drake got up to a million views on YouTube. This makes Wizkid the first African artiste whose video hit the million mark within the first 24 hours of its release. He broke his own record with the music video for “Fever”. The video features Nigerian superstar, Tiwa Savage who plays his love interest.
30. Wizkid has three albums to his credit; Superstar (2011), Ayo (2014) and Sounds from the Other Side (2017). He also released Sound Man EP (2019) and one of the most anticipated album is on the way “Made In Lagos”.