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5 ‘Afrobeats’ Artists who have successfully sold out the 02 Arena in the UK

Photo by Jack Gittoes for

Afrobeat originated as a musical genre in the 1960s and 1970s, fusing jazz, funk, West African music (such as Highlife and Fuji), and traditional Yoruba music. The Nigerian icon Fela Kuti, who gained recognition for both his musical prowess and his engagement in post-colonial African politics, is credited with creating afrobeat.

In the 2000s, the genre became well-known and well-liked throughout the world, led by musicians such as Tiwa Savage, Burna Boy, Davido, and Wizkid. Afrobeats’ sound has influenced popular music and musicians all over the world, causing it to become a global phenomenon. Its lively speed promotes dance forms like the Azonto, Shaku Shaku, and Gwara Gwara, which is why it is frequently linked to dance culture.

In addition to supporting African culture and identity on the international scene and promoting a sense of pride among Africans and the diaspora, afrobeats has been instrumental in cultivating cultural diplomacy on the continent.

Located in London, United Kingdom, The O2 Arena, also commonly known as The O2, is a sizable entertainment complex. Southeast of London is where it is located on the Greenwich Peninsula. Known for holding a diverse range of events like as concerts, sports events, comedic acts, and exhibitions, the O2 Arena is among the biggest and busiest indoor arenas globally.

With 20,000 seats, the arena is a well-liked location for important performances by bands and artists from throughout the world. The O2 has hosted a number of well-known artists’ concerts over the years, including Beyoncé, Adele, Drake, Justin Bieber, and numerous others.

As a center for live events and entertainment, The O2 Arena is a well-known landmark in London’s entertainment landscape.

Here are five Afrobeats artists who successfully sold out the 02 Arena

1. Wizkid

Afrobeats music brought Nigerian singer-songwriter Wizkid to stardom. Wizkid’s real name is Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun. Wizkid started his musical career at an early age, gaining popularity with his debut single “Holla at Your Boy” in 2010. Wizkid was born on July 16, 1990, in Surulere, Lagos, Nigeria.

Ever since, Wizkid has emerged as one of the most prosperous musicians in Africa, renowned for his distinct fusion of Afrobeats, reggae, dancehall, and R&B elements. Including “Superstar” (2011), “Ayo” (2014), and “Made in Lagos” (2020), he has put out a number of successful singles and albums.

International praise for Wizkid’s music has brought him multiple accolades, including multiple MOBO, BET, and MTV Africa Music Awards and Grammy award winner. In addition, he is the first African musician to get a Billboard Music Award for his role on Drake’s smash hit song “One Dance.”

Wizkid’s global influence has been further expanded by collaborations with various foreign musicians, in addition to his solo career. Among the artists he has collaborated with are Drake, Beyoncé, Chris Brown, Major Lazer, and Skepta.

Wizkid is regarded as a cultural icon and a representation of modern African music on a worldwide scale, so his influence goes beyond only music. His contributions to the Afrobeats genre have gained him a devoted following in Africa and beyond and helped popularize African music on a global scale.

2. Burna Boy

Born Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu, Burna Boy is a Grammy Award-winning Nigerian singer-songwriter who is well-known for fusing hip-hop, dancehall, reggae, and Afrobeat in a unique way. On July 2, 1991, he was born in Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

The breakthrough hit “Like to Party” from Burna Boy’s debut studio album “L.I.F.E.” (2013) helped him become well-known in the Nigerian music industry. His career took off after that, with albums like “On a Spaceship” (2015) and “Outside” (2018), which had hits like “Ye,” “Gbona,” and “Anybody.”

His 2019 album “African Giant” was critically acclaimed and brought him international exposure, marking a major turning point in his career. Due to the album’s success, Burna Boy received his first Grammy nomination for Best World Music Album in 2020, thus establishing his stature as one of the industry’s most important figures.

Awarded the Grammy for Best Global Music Album in 2021 for his album “Twice as Tall,” Burna Boy solidified his place among the continent’s most notable musicians. He frequently covers social and political problems in his music, which is a reflection of his viewpoints and experiences.

Beyond just his songs, Burna Boy is known for his support for African empowerment and togetherness as well as his sense of style and outspoken nature. His ongoing collaborations with African and foreign musicians help to close cultural divides and promote African music internationally.

3. Davido

Davido, whose real name is David Adedeji Adeleke, is a Nigerian singer, songwriter, and record producer. He was born on November 21, 1992, in Atlanta, Georgia, United States, but he was raised in Lagos, Nigeria. Davido is one of the most prominent figures in the Nigerian and African music industry.

His breakthrough song, “Dami Duro,” from his debut studio album “Omo Baba Olowo” (2012), helped him become well-known in 2011. Other well-known hits from the album included “Back When” and “Ekuro.” Davido has since put out a number of well-received albums, such as “The Baddest” (2015), “A Good Time” (2019), and “A Better Time” (2020).

Davido’s songs appeal to a wide range of listeners because of his unique musical style, which combines Afrobeats with pop, R&B, and hip hop components. His compelling stage presence, lively performances, and catchy melodies are well-known.

Throughout his career, Davido has won numerous awards, including several BET Awards, MTV Africa Music Awards, and The Headies Awards and three Grammy awards nominations. He has collaborated with various international artists and producers, further expanding his global reach and influence.

In addition to his musical endeavors, Davido is also active in philanthropy and business. In addition to his ventures into real estate, fashion, and record label ownership, he has backed numerous charity organizations and activities in Nigeria and abroad.

Davido has had a huge influence on the African music landscape, and he still plays a major role in defining the modern Afrobeats style and promoting Nigerian music internationally.

4. Tiwa Savage

Nigerian singer-songwriter-actress Tiwa Savage has had a big influence on the African music scene. Tiwa Savage started her musical career as a backup vocalist for musicians like George Michael and Mary J. Blige. She was born on February 5, 1980, in Lagos, Nigeria. Later, in order to advance her musical career, she relocated to the US.

Following the signing of a recording contract with the Nigerian record label Mavin Records in 2010, Tiwa Savage released her debut track, “Kele Kele Love,” which went on to become a commercial hit. Hits include “Love Me (3x)” and “Without My Heart” were her follow-up hits.

“Once Upon a Time,” Tiwa Savage’s 2013 debut studio album, cemented her place as one of Nigeria’s top female performers. Well-known singles from the album included “If I Start to Talk” and “Eminado.”
Davido has had a tremendous influence on the African music landscape, and he still plays a major role in defining the modern Afrobeats style and promoting Nigerian music internationally.

Tiwa Savage has received various honors and recognitions over her career in addition to releasing successful songs and working with both international and African musicians. She is renowned for her ability to move between many musical genres, incorporating pop, hip hop, R&B, and Afrobeats into her songs.

Tiwa Savage is most known for her singing, but she has also dabbled in acting, making appearances in a number of Nigerian TV shows and movies. She rose to prominence in the African entertainment industry and is well-known for her sense of style, charm, and support of women’s rights and empowerment.

Outside of Nigeria, Tiwa Savage is a powerful force that has helped to elevate African music internationally. She has a devoted fan base and broad recognition for her services to the music industry, making her one of Africa’s most significant female musicians.

5. Asake

Born in Nigeria, Asake is a singer-songwriter best known for his breakthrough hit song “Lady.” Asake was born in Ogun State, Nigeria, as Ahmed Ololade. He began his musical career in the underground world, but after releasing “Lady,” which went viral right away, he became well-known.

The captivating tune, addictive pace, and accessible lyrics of “Lady” won the song a lot of praise. Due to the song’s popularity, Asake gained notoriety both inside and outside of the Nigerian music scene.

Afrobeats, highlife, and modern Nigerian pop sounds are all blended together in Asake’s soundscape. With the popularity of “Lady,” he collaborated with other musicians and producers in the business and kept putting out music.

Despite being relatively new to the scene, Asake’s talent and promise have drawn the attention of music enthusiasts, and in the years to come, he is expected to have a big impact on the Nigerian music scene.

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