Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun popularly known by his stage name as Wizkid is a famous Nigerian Afropop singer, songwriter, recording artiste, stage performer, model and a music executive. He is the CEO of Starboy Records. He was born on 16th July 1990 in Surulere, Lagos State in the south western part of Nigeria. He is currently 32 years old. It may interest you to know that his family never supported his musical career from the beginning, not until he became a worldwide celebrity.
Wizkid completed both his primary and secondary school education in Surulere, Lagos, Nigeria. While still in school, Wizkid started pursuing his music career at the age of 11 with the stage name of Lil Prinz and released his first studio album in 2001 but it was not successful.
In 2009, Wizkid decided to further his studies. He got admitted to Lagos State University (LASU), but he couldn’t concentrate in his studies and later drop out from school to focus on his craft. His parents later admitted him into a private university known as Lead City University in Lagos, but he dropped out after completing two sessions and decided to focus full time on his music career.
Wizkid grew up in an average rich family and an interfaith household with twelve female siblings and being the only male child and last baby in the family. His mother is a Pentecostal Christian and his father practices Islamic religion. His parents wanted the best for him and planned to sponsor him to any level of his career in education, but his view was different to that of his parents. He wanted to become a famous musician after admiring the likes of Fela Kuti, King Sunny Ade and Bob Marley, but his parents never supported his music ambition.
According to him, 2Face Idibia and Sound Sultan where his source of inspiration. Wizkid later cited Naeto C as one of the people who mentored and coached him when he was 15 years old. He started working with Naeto C, OJB Jezreel, Ikechukwu, and M.I as a Backup singer while developing his craft back then as a teenager.
In 2009, Wizkid met with Banky W and signed a record endorsement contract deal with Banky W, the chairman of Empire Mates Entertainment [EME] and started recording his debut studio album “Superstar” in 2009.
In 2010, Wizkid rose to prominence and became a famous celebrity with the release of his album hit single “Holla at Your Boy.” In 2011, the song “Holla at Your Boy” won him the award for Next Rated at the 2011 Headies Awards and was also nominated for Best Pop Single at the Headies Awards.
On 14th February 2011, Wizkid finally released his first debut studio album. On 12th June 2011, Wizkid hosted his album launch party at the Expo Hall of the Eko Hotel and Suites in Victory Island, Lagos, Nigeria. The album’s launch party featured performances from Banky W, Skales, 2Face Idibia, Samklef, Wande Coal, D’Prince, Olamide, Ice Prince, Seyi Shay and Lynxx.
In 2011, the music video of his hit single “Holla at Your Boy” was nominated for Most Gifted Newcomer Video at the 2011 Channel O Music Video Awards. It was also nominated for Best Afro Pop Video at the 2011 Nigeria Music Video Awards (NMVA).
In 2012, his first studio album “Superstar” won him the Best Album of the Year at the 2012 Nigeria Entertainment Awards and was also nominated for the Album of the Year at the 2012 Headies Awards. In 2012, Wizkid signed a one year international endorsement deal with Pepsi reportedly worth $350,000.
On 5th March 2013 Wizkid left EME records label and established his own records label named “Star Boy Entertainment”. On 28th May 2013 Wizkid signed a one year endorsement deal with MTN Nigeria worth millions of naira. In 2014, Wizkid released his second studio album “Ayo” and it features guest appearances from Femi Kuti, Banky W, Seyi Shay, Phyno, Tyga, Akon and Wale. On 23rd October 2013 Wizkid signed a multimillion endorsement deal with Guinness.
In 2016, Wizkid had a controversial misunderstanding with Nigerian top female blogger Linda Ikeji over publication of malicious content. Especially for publishing that Wizkid was ejected out from the house he was living in by his landlord, which Wizkid believes to be malicious. The case was later settled in Lagos police station and handled by the Lagos state commissioner of police.
On 18th June 2015 Wizkid signed an endorsement deal with Globacom Nigeria worth #128 million. Wizkid has won many awards such as Headies awards, MTV awards, Nigeria Entertainment awards and City People Entertainment awards.
Wizkid’s contribution to the Nigerian Music Industry has won him several Grammy awards and lifetime achievements which include two BET Awards, three Billboard Music Awards, Two iHeartRadio Music Awards, one MTV Europe Music Award, four MTV Africa Music Awards, two SoundCity MVP Awards, three MOBO Awards, six Headies Awards, two Channel O Music Video Awards, six Nigeria Entertainment Awards, two Ghana Music Awards, two Dynamix All Youth Awards, two City People Entertainment Awards and one Future Award.
Wizkid is currently single but has been faced with lots of controversial issues with women who claimed he is fathering their babies. However, Wizkid during an interview has admitted that he has a son with his babymama who look exactly like him. The child has been on the spotlight alongside with Wizkid ever since. It may interest you to know that Wizkid treasures his son so much.
In addition to the awards which he won, Wizkid has also been nominated five times at the MTV Europe Music Awards, three times at the American Music Awards, four times at the World Music Awards, and once at the Grammy Awards. Wizkid also contributed to the songwriting of Drake popular hit single “One Dance”. Wizkid is currently one of the richest and most influential artiste in Nigeria with an estimated net worth of $25.5 million.
In 2017, Wizkid created history by becoming the first Nigerian celebrity to win the prestigious awards of Best International Act at the MOBO Awards in New York City in the United States of America, beating the likes of Jay Z, Drake, Rihanna, Chris Brown, Justin Bieber, Beyonce, Akon, Nicki Minaj and a host of other world class celebrities. Wizkid has been described as the second most influential and richest musician in Nigeria after Davido.
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