Meet the top 10 best musicians in Nigeria and read about what made them the best artistes in Nigeria. Music is a huge trend in Nigerian culture; thus, we compiled this list of the top 10 best musicians in Nigeria 2021.
The topic ‘Top 10 best musicians in Nigeria’ is a controversial one. This is because their is usually a problem with tracking the top best musicians in Nigeria without being bias.
There are different music genres in Nigeria; each has its unique audience; thus, it will be challenging to reach a consensus about the top 10 best musicians in Nigeria if an objective metric is not used.
People will always want to know the metric used in assembling a list of the top 10 best musicians in Nigeria in 2021.
Clacified has authored a list of the top 10 musicians in Nigeria 20121. We recognize that many factors are in motion while discussing the top 10 best musicians in Nigeria, but we wish to use only one metric – Awards.
The top 10 best musicians in Nigeria were assembled using each artist’s total Number of Awards.
The conclusion about who is the best musician in Nigeria will always be subjective. Still, an artist’s number of awards is an objective fact devoid of sentiment or bias.
The top 10 best musicians in Nigeria will also be artists in contemporary music genres like Afro-pop, Afro-fusion, RnB, blues, Rap, etc.
1. Wizkid – No of Awards is 68
Wizkid has been dubbed a music legend for taking after Fela Kuti and contributing immensely to the African sound’s global acceptance (Afrobeats).
The Afrobeats singer has always been compared to his colleague, Davido – another big Nigerian music industry player.
Wizkid tops the top 10 best musicians in Nigeria in 2021 with a total of 65 awards.
Wizkid has recorded four studio albums with one EP:
- Sound from the other side (SFTOS)
- Made in Lagos
- Soundman Vol 1 (EP)
Superstar was the debut album that introduced Wizkid to Nigeria; it was highly anticipated and later won the best album under Nigeria Entertainment Awards.
Wizkid’s album, Sound from the other side (SFTOS), was also a success; the album made Wizkid the Ojuelegba coroner.
SFTOS and Made in Lagos peaked at Number 2 (billboard chart) in US World Albums while gaining favourable positions in many other foreign Billboard charts.
In 2018, Wizkid became the first Afrobeats musician to make the 2018 Guinness World Records contribute to “One Dance” – Drake’s song.
Wizkid is the most awarded African artist in BET history; in 2012 and 2017, Wizkid won the Best International Act category.
In 2020 Wizkid was also among the recipients of the BET Her Award due to his collaboration with Beyonce in the Brown skin Girl track.
2. Burna Boy – No of Awards is 36
Burna Boy is a Nigerian Afro-fusion singer. Afro-fusion slightly differs from Afrobeats; the former has a mix of the Afrobeats sound, dancehall, reggae, American rap and R&B music genre.
Burna Boy is on Clacified’s list of top 10 best musicians in Nigeria 2021. As stated earlier, the list of the top 10 best musicians in Nigeria is based on the total number of awards at this publication.
Burna boy ranks as the 2nd best musician in Nigeria with 22 awards to his name. Burna Boy is also the first contemporary Nigerian musician to win the Grammy award in recent times.
Burna Boy’s hit single “Like to Party” brought him to fame in 2012. “Like to party” was part of his first album release titled L.I.F.E.; Burna Boy released the album in 2013.
Burna Boy has shattered many glass ceilings on his way to the top; Burna Boy won Best International Act during the 2019 B.E.T. Awards.
Burna Boy was also nominated for Best World Music Album at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards following his 4th studio album, “The African Giant”. However, he didn’t win the award.
Burna Boy is the first Nigerian to be nominated back to back in Grammy.
Albums by Burna Boy:
- L.I.F.E. (2013)
- On a Spaceship (2015)
- Outside (2018)
- The African Giant (2019)
- Twice as Tall (2020)
Burna Boy’s E.P.s:
- Redemption (2016)
- Steel & Copper (2019)
3. D’banj – No of Awards is 29
Oladapo Daniel Oyebanjo, popularly known as D’banj, is a name to reckon with in Nigerian mainstream entertainment.
D’banj, also known as the Kokomaster, made our list of the top 10 best musicians in Nigeria in 2021 because of his number of awards. D’banj is acclaimed to have accepted a total of 29 awards while in the music industry.
With the above basis, D’banj ranks as the 3rd best musician in Nigeria. The fact that D’banj ranks as the 2nd best musician in Nigeria based on Clacified’s criteria shows you that he is not a novice in the game.
D’banj was recognized internationally after releasing his 2012 hit single “Oliver Twist”. Oliver twist topped many international charts after initial release; Oliver Twist
- topped the African charts in 2011 and
- was a top 10 hit in the UK singles chart in 2012
- reached No. 2 on the UK R&B chart.
D’banj has won several international and local awards. D’banj won the
- Best African Act at the MTV Europe Music Awards 2007,
- Artist of the Year at the MTV Africa Music Awards 2009,
- Best International Act: Africa at the 2011 BET Awards, and
- Best-selling African Artist at the 2014 World Music Awards, he also won the
- Evolution award at the 2015 MTV Africa Music awards
D’banj worked as a security guard in a UK studio where Don Jazzy was working. Don Jazzy saw the talent in D’Banji and proceeded to produce a single “Tongolo”; with him after the duo returned to Lagos in 2005.
The single later became a hit, giving D’banji his first endorsement deal.
4. Davido – No of Awards is 29
Davido is another Nigerian music legend. Davido was born into a billionaire family, but hard work seems to have paved the way for the Nigerian singer.
Davido made Clacified’s top 10 best musicians in Nigeria in 2021 due to his numerous awards. Davido ranks as the 4th best musician in Nigeria with a total award of 29.
Davido’s second single, “Dami Duro”, brought the singer to fame. “Dami Duro” was part of his first album ‘Omo Baba Olowo’ released in 2012.
One of Davido’s early awards that recognized how far he would go was Headies’ ‘Next Rated’ award (2012).
Davido has authored many hit singles like:
- One of a kind
- Owo Ni Koko
- Fall etc.
Davido is also known for being active on social media and engaging more often with his fans. Davido is accredited with at least 3 studio albums and 1 EP:
- Omo Baba Olowo (2012)
- Son of Mercy – EP (2016)
- A Good Time (2019)
- A Better Time (2020)
Davido’s EP ‘Son of Mercy’ was recorded when he was with Sony’s RCA Records; Davido later renegotiated the Sony deal to have more control over his sound and lyrics. It was after this that Davido released the two hit singles ‘If’ and ‘fall’.
Davido’s “Fall” later made the Billboard and became the longest-charting Nigerian pop song in Billboard history, “If”, on the other hand, garnered lots of airplay in Nigeria.
Allegedly, Davido was involved in a Bar fight with Nigerian Afro-fusion Singer Burna Boy.
Clacified took out time to explain more about the beef between Davido and Burna Boy.
5. Olamide – No of Awards is 22
Olamide, also known as Baddo or BaddoSneh, is the first Nigerian to sign an endorsement deal with Cîroc.
Olamide is on Clacified’s list of top 10 best Musicians in Nigeria 2021. Olamide ranks as the 5th best musician in Nigeria with a total award of 22.
The fact that Olamide has raked a total of 22 awards shows you he manages his music niche quite alright.
Olamide is known to steer the wheel on the Nigerian hip-hop genre.
Olamide’s first album was titled “Rapsodi” and was released in 2011; its lead single “Omo To Shan” brought Olamide into prominence.
Olamide has won many awards from The headies, Nigerian entertainment Awards, Nigerian Music video awards etc.
Olamide has released at least 11 studio works throughout his music career.
6. 2Baba – No of Awards is 21
2Baba is a household name that breeds music, quality and Africanism.
2Face, or 2baba as he popularly called, is one of the most celebrated Nigerian artists. In 2015 2Baba became the first winner of MTV Europe, Best African Act Award.
2Baba ranks as the 6th Best musician in Nigeria 2021 based on the singer’s number of awards.
The Afro-pop singer formally changed his name from Tuface to 2baba in 2016.
2Baba, Faze, and Blackface was part of a trio music group known as the Plantashun Boiz, the trio later disbanded in 2004.
Following the group’s disbandment in 2004, 2Baba later released a solo album, “Face 2 Face”, a hit record that solidified his viability as a single artist.
2Baba’s 2006 single, “African Queen,” received favourable reviews internationally.
2Baba has received
- 1 MTV Europe Music Award
- 1 World Music Award
- 5 Headies Awards(Hip-hop award),
- 4 Channel O Music Video Awards
- 1 BET award
- 4 MTV Africa Music Awards
- 1 MOBO award
- 1 KORA award and
- 3 Afrima Awards.
The Nigerian Stock Exchange awarded 2Baba as a Good cause Ambassador in 2019.
7. Tiwa Savage – No of Awards is 20
Tiwatope Savage is a Nigerian singer and musician. Tiwa Savage ranks as the 7th best musician in Nigeria with a total of 20 awards.
Tiwa Savage’s first album, “Once Upon a Time”, was released in 2013 under Don Jazzy’s Marvin record label.
Tiwa Savage is the first woman to win the Best African Act category during the 2018 MTV Europe Music Awards.
Tiwa Savage later exited Marvin Record in 2019. Tiwa savage has released:
- Once Upon a Time (2013)
- R.E.D (2015)
- Sugarcane (2017)
- Celia (2020) as albums.
Tiwa Savage has also appeared in notable TV shows like Shuga and Jenifar’s diary.
8. Falz – No of Awards is 12
Folarin Falana, AKA Falz, ranks as the 8th best musician in Nigeria. Falz made the list of top 10 best musicians in Nigerian 2021 based on the number of awards.
Falz tops his fellow artists like Patoranking and Simi as the 8th best musician in Nigeria based on alphabetical order.
Falz’s single “Marry Me” brought him to prominence. He later released his first album in 2014. Falz graduated with an LLB honours degree in Law from the University of Reading, England.
Falz won the Viewer’s Choice Best New International Act for the 2016 BET Awards. Falz is known to participate in social issues and has used his music to highlight social ills bordering Nigeria.
Falz was active during the EndSars protest; he beckoned on his fellow celebrities to join the fight to end police brutality in Nigeria.
9. Patoranking – No of Awards is 12
Patoranking, whose real name is Patrick Nnaemeka Okorie, ranks as the 9th best musician in Nigeria for 2021.
The reggae-dancehall musician hails from Ebonyi state but was raised in Lagos state. Patoranking made the airwaves in Nigeria after signing a record deal with Foston Musik and released his hit single “Girlie O.”
The hit single charted at No. 9 on MTV Base’s Official Naija Top 10 chart. Patoranking’s “Daniella Whine” and “My Woman, My Everything” also topped at MTV Base Official Naija Top 10 chart.
In 2015, Patoranking won the Best New Act on MTV Africa Music Awards. Patoranking has also added 11 more awards to his collections.
10. Simisola – No of Awards is 12
Last but not least of the top 10 best musicians in Nigeria is Simisola Kosoko. Simi ranks as the 10th best musician in Nigeria.
Simi is married to Nigerian Afro singer Adekunle Gold, and they both share a daughter.
Simi started his music career as a gospel singer. Simi gained an audience in Nigeria after releasing her hit single “Tiff” in 2014.
Simi has released 4 studio albums and 1 Ep.
- Ogaju (2008)
- Chemistry (with Falz) (2016)
- Simisola (2017)
- Omo Charlie Champagne, Vol. 1 (2019)
- Restless II (2020) – EP
Simi won the 2016 Headies award for Best Collaboration and Best Vocal Performance (Female).
Simi has also received awards from
- Nigerian Entertainment Awards,
- AFRIMA Awards,
- Soundcity MVP Awards Festival, etc.