Let the music play on
KINGS OF AFRO JUJU MUSIC
Afro-juju and highlife were hugely praised in Nigeria from the early 1950s until the late 1990s before hip-hop arrived and took over the entire nation. Hip-hop music has received a lot of airplay recently and seems to be dominating Nigeria's electronic media. The 1930s saw the expansion of this musical genre from Ghana, where it was thought to have originated, to other West African nations like Sierra Leone, Liberia, Gambia, and Nigeria via Ghanaian laborers. The music is frequently played live by bands, which are collections of vocalists and musicians.
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However, a large generation of other Nigerian and African musicians and music enthusiasts who support the big band musical structure—for which artists like Osita Osadebe, Sunny Adé, and the late Fela Kuti were renowned—have continued to be inspired by Sunny Adé's creative output.
1. TUNDE KING
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The creator of Jùjú music in Nigeria has been named Tunde King. He was born on Lagos Island on August 24, 1910.
He and a few of his pals created the musical group "Palm Wine," which fused Yoruba folk music with musical styles from Brazil and Cuba. Juju, on the other hand, was a subgenre of music that descended from "Palm Wine." Additionally, Prince Adekunle and other well-known Nigerian juju stars were trained by King.
According to Tunde, the juju beat first appeared when he acquired a tambourine. He then began incorporating other musical elements before putting them together into a polished song.
2. EBENEZER OBEY
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On April 3, 1942, Obey-Fabiyi Ebenezer was born in Idogo L.G.A., Ogun State.He is also one of the first Juju musicians in Nigeria, going by the moniker "Chief Commander." In the middle of the 1950s, he too relocated to Lagos to start his music career.
After receiving instruction from Fatai Rolling group, Dollar founded The International Brothers in 1964, a highlife-jùj fusion band. In the early 1970s, the band later entered the inter-Reformers.
He has a long number of albums, some of which are well-known, such as "Ota Mi Dehin Lehin Mi," that are accompanied by accolades and honors. Additionally, he has a strong reputation and has performed both inside and outside of Nigeria.
3. KING SUNNY ADE
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Born to a royal Yoruba family on September 22, 1946, born Sunday Adeniyi in Oshogbo. The source of any artist's talent and artistic prowess can always be found in their upbringing. This was the situation with our well-known "Merciful God" vocalist, whose father played the organ in churches.He showed an early passion for music and was fortunate to have a lovely voice to make up for it. He traveled to Lagos from Ondo to further his singing career under the pretense of enrolling in the University of Lagos.
He performed admirably considering that he started his musical career in Victor Olaiya's highlife band. After serving his time there, he went on to start his band in 1967, which they called The Green Spots. In particular, Tunde Nightingale had an impact on the transition of his highlife style to Juju music. He took inspiration for his stylistic aspects from his 'So wa mbe' juju style.
King Sunny made history by being the first African to receive two Grammy nominations for his Afro-style music. He has also published a ton of songs and albums, with the timeless Syncro System standing out. He is one artist who, broadly speaking, has exported Nigerian music abroad.
4. FATAI ROLLING DOLLAR
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On July 22, 1927, Prince Olayiwola Fatai Olagunju, commonly known as Fatai Rolling Dollar, was born. He is a well-known Nigerian highlife and juju artist whose music is distinguished by the usage of the guitar. Around the middle of the 1950s, Rolling Dollar began his career. In 1957, he created an 8-man band.
He served as a baseline for Ebenezer Obey and the late Orlando Owoh's success in Juju music, which is another important factor. The legendary song "Won Kere Si Number Wa" is one of the big hits he left behind. He passed away peacefully at the age of 86, leaving behind his three marriages, 16 children, and a large number of grandchildren.
5. IK DAIRO
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Western Nigeria's Kwara State is home to Offa, where Isaiah Kehinde Dairo was born in 1930. Shortly after he created his musical group named the Morning Star Orchestra in 1957, he catapulted to stardom. His ensemble included a variety of instruments, including a Hakuba, samba, and accordion. He put out the tune "Salome" on Decca records in 1962.
Finally, throughout the period leading up to independence, his stature and performance abroad significantly increased. He exhorted his superior Afro-Juju music to other parts of the continent. He belongs to the top 6 Afro Juju musicians because of the enormous influence he has had in his brief time in power and his contribution to the genre.
6. GENERAL PRINCE ADEKUNLE
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General Prince Adekunle was from Abeokuta in Ogun State and descended from the Egba people. He is a significant inventor when categorizing the Nigerian pioneers of juju music, which is also noteworthy. Like Rolling Dollar, he helped shape many of the legends we see today, including Segun Adewale and Sir Shina Peters.Even though he made a tour of England in the early 1970s, he didn't get much notoriety outside of Nigeria. Before his passing in 2017, he had a successful career and published several albums, including Aye Nreti Eleya and many others.