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...Known professionally as the “Chief Commander,” Ebenezer Obey’s career trajectory mixed innovative musical performance with traditional music and lyrics and song structure. Obey was born in the Nigerian state of Ogun in 1943 to Egba-Yoruba...
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...As the principal interpreter of Nigerian juju music, King Sunny Adé was one of the first African artists to reach a global audience. Born into a royal family of the Yoruba people in Ondo State, Nigeria in 1946, Adé began his musical career...

Rex Lawson

Artist Pages

...Nicknamed “Cardinal Rex,” the Nigerian bandleader and trumpet player Rex Lawson died tragically at the height of his career as the country’s most popular highlife musician. Born in 1935, Lawson became afflicted with smallpox at a young age...

E.T. Mensah

Artist Pages

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...Dubbed the “King of Highlife,” horn player and vocalist E. T. Mensah nurtured the form in the 1940s and 1950s. Born in 1919 in the Gold Coast, now Ghana, Mensah learned to play flute while at the Accra Government School. He went on to play...

Fela Kuti

Artist Pages

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...The Nigerian multi-instrumentalist, Afro-beat bandleader, and activist Fela Kuti brought the sound of radical African jazz to a global audience. He was born in Nigeria in 1938 to an upper middle-class, politically active family. His mother,...

Southeastern Nigeria

Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World Volume VI : Locations: Africa and the Middle East

Continuum, 2016

Encyclopedia Articles

...Southeastern Nigeria is a densely populated region bordering on the Atlantic Ocean to the south and Cameroon to the east. It has dense tropical forests and its most important products are cocoa, palm oil and petroleum oil, Nigeria’s most...

Paul Anka

Artist Pages

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...The Canadian singer and songwriter Paul Anka turned his teen-idol fame of the late 1950s into a multi-decade career that saw him work in myriad arenas of the music and entertainment business. Born in Ottawa in 1941, Anka sang and studied...

Cape Coast

Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World Volume VI : Locations: Africa and the Middle East

Continuum, 2016

Encyclopedia Articles

...Population: 61,000 (1990) Cape Coast is the regional capital of the coastal Fanti region of southern Ghana where the Europeans first established their forts-cum-ports. Consequently, various transcultural forms...

Benin

Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World Volume VI : Locations: Africa and the Middle East

Continuum, 2016

Encyclopedia Articles

...Population: 6,629,000 (2002) The People’s Republic of Benin is a West African country of 43,211 sq miles (110,620 sq km), bordered on the west by Togo and by Nigeria to the east. The largest city, Cotonou...