Akon

Akon is an American-Senegalese singer, songwriter, record producer, entrepreneur, philanthropist and actor.

The artist really rose to fame after releasing his debut album ‘Trouble’ in 2004 and the single ‘locked up’ from the album did particularly well internationally. Akon spent a lot of his early life in between Senegal and the USA; he was born in to a Muslim household and his early musical influence stemmed from his family; his mother was a dancer and father a percussionist. Akon learned how to play five instruments by the age of 7 including the guitar, djembe and the drums. He also spent a period of time in jail and a lot of his music and affiliated influences actually stem from this time inside as the Trouble album is a hybrid of Akon's silky, West African-styled vocals mixed with East Coast and Southern beats.

He has also founded two successful record labels, Konvict Muzik and Kon Live Distribution. The labels have provided the stepping stone platform to success for artists such as Lady Gaga, T-Pain, Kardinall Offishall and Red Café, among others. Akon is renowned for his vocals and has provided featured vocals to many international artists; he is currently credited with over 300 appearances and more than 35 billboard Hot 100 songs.

Akon’s second album; Konvicted went 3x platinum and included collaborations from global artists such as Styles P, Snoop Dogg & Eminem. The single ‘I Wanna Love You’ (Featuring Snoop Dogg) was Akon’s first number one on the Hot Billboard official charts followed shortly after by his second solo single ‘Don’t Matter’ which also took the number one spot consecutively. Akon received three nominations for the Grammy Awards in two categories, Best Contemporary R&B Album for the Konvicted album and Best Rap/Song Collaboration for singles "Smack That" and "I Wanna Love You". Akon has had five Grammy nominations in total and has also worked with and produced records for international phenomena’s such as Leona Lewis, Michael Jackson and Lady Gaga. He co-wrote Kon Live artist Lady Gaga's hit "Just Dance"; which earned a Grammy nomination for Best Dance Recording at the 51st Grammy Awards. Akon also collaborated with Michael Jackson for the icons last song ‘Hold My Hand’ which was released in November 2010. Akon also gained another number one hit with his first house single featuring David Guetta titled “Sexy Bitch”. The song reached number 1 in more than six countries as well as charting at number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100. He also produced and recorded "Oh Africa" for the 2010 World Cup with Pepsi.

Akon is also the first individual artist to hold both the number one and two spots simultaneously on the Billboard Hot 100 charts twice. Akon has had four songs certified as 3× platinum, three songs certified as 2× platinum, more than ten songs certified as 1× platinum and more than ten songs certified as gold in digital sales. The icon has also sung songs in other languages including Tamil, Hindi, and Spanish. He’s also listed by the Guinness Book of World Records as the #1 selling artist for master ringtones in the world.

Forbes ranked Akon 80th (Power Rank) in Forbes Celebrity 100 in 2010 and 5th in 40 Most Powerful Celebrities in Africa list, in 2011. Billboard ranked Akon No. 6 on the list of Top Digital Songs Artists of the decade.

As well as music Akon has indulged in various other ventures including the film industry across Hollywood and even Bollywood. He has also created his own project in Africa called ‘Lighting Up Africa’. Electricity is provided to 15 countries across Africa through this platform Akon has provided. Similarly, Akon has his own charity set up in Africa for underprivileged children called Konfidence foundation; As well as owning a diamond mine in South Africa and regularly donating profits from the mine to local communities.

Discography

  • Trouble (2004)
  • Konvicted (2006)
  • Freedom (2008)

Filmography

  • Black November (2012)
  • American Heist (2014)
  • Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (2016)

Tours

  • Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania One-off Concert (2006)
  • Konvicted Tour (July to September 2007, then additional dates in 2008)
  • The Sweet Escape Tour with Gwen Stefani (April to July 2007)
  • Good Girl Gone Bad Tour with Rihanna (Canadian-leg only, September – December 2008)
  • Konvict Muzik Tour with T-Pain (Australia only, October 26–27, 2009)
  • Summer Tour, (Brazil-leg only, January to February 2010)
  • OMG Tour with Usher (North America Second Leg, April – June 2011)