African Music Culture

14 Most Popular Nigerian Artists in 2023

popular nigerian musicians
Written by Jesca

The most popular Nigerian artists have achieved incredible music industry success and created a global presence. From the legendary Fela Kuti and his Afrobeat to modern Afrobeats superstars, Nigerian music has proven to be an important part of the music world. Nigerian artists constantly push boundaries and create new sounds, styles, and genres that influence the music industry.

Some of these most popular Nigerian artists are Burna Boy, Wizkid, Ruger, among other great artists. These artists have all achieved remarkable success with their music. Most of them have collaborated with the most renowned international artists and labels with massive success in the Nigerian music industry.

Who is the Number 1 Artist in Nigeria?

Wizkid, Starboy is the number 1 artist in Nigeria and one of the most sought-after African artists in the world. Wizkid has released numerous chart-topping hits such as “Ojuelegba” and “Come Closer,” among others. He continues to inspire fans with his innovative, genre-bending sound. Wizkid has collaborated with numerous international artists, including Drake and Ty Doll $ign. He is one of the most popular Nigerian artists and continues to be an inspiration for up-and-coming African talent.

Who is Nigeria Top 10 Musicians?

1. Davido

The most popular Nigerian artists

Davido. Photo/The Guardian.

David Adedeji Adeleke is one of the most popular Nigerian artists. Better known as Davido, is a great Nigerian singer, songwriter and record producer. His 2011 single “Dami Duro” was a massive hit, and since then, Davido has had numerous hits, including “Fall”, “If “, and “Assurance”. International artists such as Meek Mill, Tinashe and Nicki Minaj, have all featured Davido in their songs.

As one of the most acclaimed African performers, Davido is an iconic figure in Nigerian pop music and culture. Not only does he have a solid online presence, but as of December 2022, his Instagram and Twitter accounts were the most followed by any African artist.

2. Burna Boy

The most popular Nigerian artists

Burna Boy. Photo/The Guardian News Nigeria

Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu M.F.R., also known as Burna Boy, is One of the most popular Nigerian artists, songwriter and record producers. He catapulted to stardom in 2012 with the release of “Like to Party” from his debut album L.I.F.E. (2013). Later that year, he signed a deal with Bad Habit/Atlantic Records for the United States and Warner Music Group internationally, culminating in his major-label launch Outside (2018).

Burna Boy made history in 2020 when he became the first Nigerian artist to be nominated at back-to-back Grammy Awards with his fifth studio album, Twice as Tall. This milestone was further cemented by winning Best International Act at B.E.T. Awards that same year.

Burna Boy’s influence is undeniable, and his music has earned him millions of fans worldwide. In July 2022, Burna Boy released his sixth studio album, Love, Damini, which also became the highest debut of an African album on Billboard 200, as well as charts in the Netherlands, United Kingdom and France.

3. Wizkid

Most famous African celebrities

Nigerian artist Wizkid. Photo.Vanguard News

Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun is a Nigerian singer and songwriter better known by his stage name Wizkid. In 2018, Wizkid had a significant breakthrough when he featured on the number-one hit “Checklist” by Normani and Calvin Harris. His success continued to skyrocket the following year when he featured in Beyoncé’s single “Brown Skin Girl,”.

This song topped the Billboard World Digital Song Sales chart and earned him a coveted Grammy Award for Best Music Video. In October 2020, Wizkid further solidified himself as an international superstar with his fourth studio album, Made in Lagos, hitting number one on Billboard’s World Album Chart.

The album includes the groundbreaking single “Essence” featuring Tems, which made history by becoming the first Nigerian song to make it onto the Billboard Hot 100. The song skyrocketed into top ten rankings when Justin Bieber released a remix. By February 2021, Wizkid had earned over 3.4 billion streams on Spotify alone – proving himself as one of Nigeria’s most-streamed artists ever.

4. Ruger

Ruger

Ruger. Photo/Rosbena.

Michael Adebayo Olayinka (better known by his stage name Ruger) is one of the most popular Nigerian artists. After signing to Jonzing World, a Nigerian record label, in 2022, Ruger has had a fantastic year of music releases. His EP, “The Second Wave”, was followed up with the deluxe version, which included breakout hits such as “Girlfriend,” “Wewe,” and “Warning.” Both tracks quickly went viral and earned him massive popularity.

Ruger is most known for his ability to mix Afrobeats, Trap and Dancehall into hard-hitting anthems. He’s currently ranked as the most popular Nigerian artist on Spotify with over 1 billion streams, and he’s only just getting started.

5. Ayra Starr

Ayra Star

Ayra Star. Photo/Vanguard News.

At sixteen, Oyinkansola Sarah Aderibigbe (better known as Ayra Starr) is a Nigerian artist. After covering several songs from other popular artists on Instagram, Ayra Star posted her first song on her page in 2019. This brought her to the attention of Don Jazzy, and signed her to Mavin Records. Ayra Starr’s rose to fame in early 2021 with her debut E.P. and the massively popular single “Away”.

This song was number four on the TurnTable Top 50 of Nigeria and seventeen on the U.S. Billboard’s Triller Global chart. In August 2020, Ayra released 19 & Dangerous – a mixtape predominantly classified into Afropop and R’nB categories. This album was met by glowing reviews from critics worldwide.

6. Tiwa Savage

Tiwa Savage

Tiwa Savage. Photo by Thuis Day Live

Another popular Nigerian artist is Tiwa Savage. Born in Lagos, Tiwa started her music career at the tender age of fifteen. She later became the first female artist signed by Don Jazzy’s Mavin Records in 2012 and managed to secure a recording deal with Jay-Z’s label Roc Nation in 2016.

Tiwa Savage became the most streamed female artist from Nigeria and the most viewed Nigerian artist on YouTube. Her most successful single, “Kele Kele Love”, was the first song to be certified twice platinum in Nigeria and reached over 5 million streams on Spotify. Tiwa Savage’s recent album, Celia, featured collaborations with Naira Marley, Stefflon Don and Sam Smith.

7. Tekno Miles

Tekno Miles

Tekno Miles. Photo/Naija Biography.

Augustine Miles Kelechi, commonly known as Tekno Miles, is one of the most popular Nigerian artists.  His most popular single, “Pana” was released in 2016 and quickly became the most successful single of its time – streaming over 100 million times on YouTube, Spotify, Deezer and Apple Music.

Thanks to his unique sound, Tekno has become one of the most recognizable names in Nigerian music. After the release of his single, “Sudden”, it quickly became a nationwide smash hit.

8. Olamide

Olamide

Olamide. Photo/The Guardian Nigeria.

Olamide Adedeji is a Grammy-nominated artist and one of the most popular Nigerian artists. He began making music in 2010 and quickly gained traction with the success of his debut album, Rapsodi. His fourth studio album, Baddest Guy Ever Liveth (BGEL), was a hit and a success, earning him an international audience.

His most successful albums have been YBNL and Street OT, which have generated over 20 million streams on Spotify. Olamide’s aggressive and unique flow fuses with contemporary afrobeat, trap and hip-hop to create a sound that has made him one of the most popular Nigerian artists internationally. He is known for fusing the Yoruba language into his lyrics and often touches on social issues in his music.

9. Yemi Alade

why Nigerian music is interesting and unique

Yemi Alade. Photo/The Guardian Nigeria News

Yemi Alade is Nigeria’s multiple award-winning artist and songwriter. In 2013, she released her debut studio album and became an internationally recognized artist with the success of her song “Johnny”.

Yemi is known for her unique blend of Afropop, R’nB and Reggae. Her most recent album, Woman of Steel, earned her a Grammy Award nomination for Best World Music Album in 2020. With over 300 million views on YouTube, Yemi Alade is the most-viewed female artist in Africa and continues to be among the most popular Nigerian artists worldwide.

10. Kizz Daniel

Kizz Daniel

Kizz Daniel. Photo/VistaNaij.

Anietie Daniel, known as Kizz Daniel, is one of the most popular Nigerian artists. He began his music career in 2013, and released his debut studio album, New Era, the following year. This established Kizz Daniel as a commercial force in the Nigerian music industry and earned him multiple awards.

Kizz Daniel’s most famous single, “Woju”, was released in 2014 and quickly became a nationwide smash hit. Since then, he has released four studio albums and earned awards for Album of the Year, Afrobeat Song of the Year and Male Artiste of the Year. His most recent single, “cough”, was released in December 2020 and is currently the most streamed Nigerian song on Apple Music, with over 11 million streams.

11. Rema

When he released ‘Calm Down’ in 2022, no one thought about the magical American R&B singer Selena Gomez. Yet, she is the other force in ‘Calm Down’ remix which is the most streamed song in Nigerian history. It has 574 million YouTube views so far and it opened new doors of success for 22-year-old Rema.

With ‘Charm’ his new single of 2022, Rema is in a different musical game no one ever imagined of. He is just getting ready for another round of ecstatic music.

12. Adenkule Gold

He is a star in his own right and he is back with yet another thrilling album Tequila Ever After. The 18-track album is a hot stop for a blend of musical genres. This fifth album by Adekunle Gold comes shortly after his signing with Def Jam Recordings earlier in March. He employs a variety of sonic persuasions, including R&B, highlife, Afropop, and amapiano throughout the album which sort of reincarnates him.

13. Johnny Drille

You probably know about him from ‘How Are You My Friend’ which is a big sensation hitherto. He then came back with Believe Me and Feran Mi and The Best Part. His live performance of this song made him a darling for Africans.

14. Asake

The Nigerian Amapiano sensation is incredibly running the airwaves with his second album Work of Art which comes barely a year after releasing his debut album Mr Money With The Vibes.  His theme for this album is succinctly incredible as he celebrates global icons in the world of art.

About the author

Jesca

Besigye is a Ugandan writer and a teacher by profession. She loves adventure and travelling that's why she loves writing travel blogs.

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