BusinessDay
NigeriaDecides2023

Wizkid becomes first African to hit 1 billion streams on Apple music

The Nigerian Afrobeats singer Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun popularly known as Wizkid has hit over one billion streams as a lead artist on Apple Music, making him the first African to achieve it.

The artist hit 1.3 billion YouTube views, 1.16 billion Spotify Lead streams, and 4.6 billion Spotify total streams.

He also has 349 million total Audiomack streams, 183 million Pandora streams, and 126 million Boomplay streams.

Weeks after ‘Made In Lagos’ hit 500 million streams on the same global music streaming platform.

The album ‘Made In Lagos’, was premiered on October 30, 2020, with its deluxe edition released on August 27, 2021.

Wizkid was sold out in 12 minutes at the 02 Arena in London, the United Kingdom over 20,000-capacity in 2021.

Read also: Music business is about strategy, growth – Olayeni

Recently, at the headies award lists, became the first artist to bag ten nominations.

Balogun began his career in music when he was just 11 years old. His first record, Lil Prinz, was recorded in 2001 in collaboration with Glorious Five, a group consisting of Balogun and his friends from church.

In 2006, he started pursuing music full-time, at first collaborating with various Nigerian pop acts including OJB Jezreel, Naeto C, and Banky W.

In March 2017, Wizkid signed a major deal with RCA and Sony International, which would release his third LP, Sounds from the Other Side, later that year. A handful of singles appeared in advance of the album, including “Sweet Love” and the Drake-assisted “Come Closer.”

October 2018, Wizkid issued a pair of singles, “Master Groove” and “Fever,” to mark Nigeria’s Independence Day.

The following year, he joined Beyoncé and Saint John for The Lion King: The Gift track “Brown Skin Girl” and released his own single, “Joro.”

Wizkid’s fourth album, Made In Lagos, features collaborations with H.E.R., Damian Marley, Burna Boy, and several others.

The fifth single, the Grammy-nominated “Essence” (featuring Tems), became a worldwide hit, reaching number 17 in the U.K. and even becoming the first Nigerian song to chart in the Billboard Hot 100. After the track became a hit, a remix featuring Justin Bieber was released.

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