Wizkid seems to be putting the Afrobeats GOAT argument to rest with his latest O2 Arena feat putting him ahead of counterparts Davido and Burna Boy, here are his top achievements that set him apart from others.
Nigeria is undoubtedly the African continent’s entertainment capital, and its music industry is one of its greatest exports. It is made more intriguing by how competitive the industry is, churning out massive talents at every turn. Truth be told, the talent is so surplus that it is hard to separate the artists based only on quality. However, an irrefutable fact is that the successes and achievements either slightly or greatly outweigh one another’s as the case may be.
Names like Wizkid, Davido, Olamide, and Burna Boy have headlined the Nigerian music industry domestically and globally for the longest time. For lack of a better word, these guys have revolutionized the music industry and pushed the boundaries as we knew it. With giant strides after giant strides, they have crossed the continent’s shores and established themselves as forces to be reckoned with worldwide. It is, therefore, not a surprise that there are nonstop debates about who is the biggest of the best Nigeria has to offer.
While this article is not particularly one of such materials, it is centred on the highly decorated Ayodeji Balogun, popularly known as Wizkid. One of the greatest to ever come out of Nigeria’s illustrious music industry. The Afro-beat star has stayed on top for over a decade and keeps reaching even greater heights. In the wake of his latest achievement, which saw him join a league of artists who have sold out the O2 Arena the fastest, we take a quick look at some of the most significant achievements in his decorated career.
11 significant Wizkid career achievements
Billboard Music Awards nominations
Wizkid is the first African artiste to bag seven Billboard nominations. In the 2016 edition of the awards, he was nominated for Top Hot 100 Song, Top Selling Song, Top Radio Song, Top Streaming Song, Top Collaboration, Top R&B Song, and Top R&B Collaboration, winning in three categories. These wins came from his guest vocal feature on Drake’s hit song “One Dance”. Wizkid also has songwriting credits as well.
In 2016, Wizkid became the youngest African artist ever to get a Grammy nomination. He earned the nomination as a featured artist on Drake’s album “Views”, nominated in the Album of The Year category. Five years later, he won the Grammys for Best Music Video alongside Beyoncé for “Brown Skin Girl”.
iTunes World Chart
The “One Dance” song was a stroke of genius and a massive breakthrough for all involved. It topped every chart at one point or the other after its release. One of such was the iTunes World Chart which it topped for many weeks. By this, Wizkid set yet another record and became the first Nigerian Musician to top the iTunes World Chart.
Sold out Royal Albert Hall
The Royal Albert Hall is arguably London’s most iconic venue. In 2017, Ayo Balogun set two records as he became the first African artist to headline at the Royal Albert Hall and sell out the event centre. Wizkid’s tickets were sold out within 72 hours, and on 29 September 2017, he gave a stellar 2-hour performance in front of over 5000 fans. The show was also broadcast live on his official Facebook page to the delight of fans who couldn’t be at the venue.
Sold out O2 Arena under 15 minutes
Following his hugely successful “Made In Lagos” album and the record-breaking single “Essence” climbing and topping charts worldwide, Wizkid added another feather to his cap by selling out the O2 Arena in just 15 minutes, and unsurprisingly so.
Artists who have sold out the O2 Arena in 15 minutes
- The Spice Girls, 2007: 38 seconds
- Monty Python Live, 2014: 43 seconds
- Gary Barlow, 2014: 6 minutes
- The Rolling Stones, 2012: 7 minutes
- Rihanna, 2011: 10 minutes
- Beyoncé, 2014: 12 minutes
- Wizkid Ayo, 2021: 12 minutes
Overall career awards/nominations
Wizkid is the most nominated Nigerian artist in overall career awards. With a total of 223 award nominations and 85 wins, he surpasses Davido, Burna Boy, Olamide, and TuFace Idibia (2Baba), to mention a few. As far as awards go, he holds the spot as Nigeria’s most decorated artiste. Only six other artists have ever achieved that feat in the country’s history of entertainment.
The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) is an American not-for-profit performance-rights organization (PRO) that protects its members’ musical copyrights by monitoring public performances of their music. The organization hosts an award show dedicated to Songwriters and composers. Wizkid became the first African artiste to win an ASCAP plague for Drake’s “One Dance”.
NAACP Image Award
The NAACP Image Award is an annual awards ceremony presented by the US-based National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) to honour outstanding film, television, theatre, music, and literature performances. In 2020, Wizkid became the first Nigerian to win an NAACP Image Award. He won the Outstanding Duo category alongside Beyoncé for their joint, “Brown Skin Girl”. The pair also won the award in the Outstanding Music Video category during the 2021 edition.
Guinness World Records
Wizkid is the first Afro-pop artiste to appear in the Guinness Book of World Records. This record came as one of the many achievements from Drake’s smash hit “One Dance”, where Wizkid featured as a guest vocal. The song holds the Guinness World Record as the most played song on Spotify with over 1 billion streams.
After clinching yet another BET Award in 2020 for his contribution the Beyoncé’s smash hit “Brown Skin Girl”, Wizkid became the most awarded African artiste in the history of BET. Prior to the 2020 win, Wizkid had already won the Best International Act category in the 2012 and 2017 editions.
Dolce & Gabbana runway
In 2018, Wizkid not only became the first African musician to walk on a Dolce and Gabbana runway, but he got to do it to his own music and alongside supermodel Naomi Campbell. He added his star power to a line-up that consisted of fashion icon Naomi Campbell and musician Tinie Tempah, and he did this to the sound of his hit song “Soco” playing in the background.
It is not a debate that Wizkid has been Nigeria’s biggest music star in the last decade. He has blended music with fashion so well that his reputation as an showbiz icon is all but cemented. Forbes once named him the best earning African artiste, and Vogue magazine has called him “the hottest African pop Star in the world”. He is a good amount of miles ahead of his peers, and like it is said in urban culture, put some respeckk on his name!
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