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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...
...One of the pioneering figures in Nigerian apala music, Haruna Ishola helped popularize the genre and aid in its transition from religious to secular music throughout his long career. Born in the town of Ijebu-Igbo, Ogun State, Nigeria...

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,...

Funkees

Artist Pages

...Despite a short career, the Afro-rock group the Funkees helped to establish a global audience for Nigerian music. The group was formed initially as an army band during the Nigerian Civil War (1967–1970), when Igbo nationalist interests...
...Victor Uwaifo (M.O.N.) (artistically known as Sir Victor Uwaifo) is a Nigerian musician, famous for his “joromi” music (now also a fashion term that is named after Uwaifo’s stylistic high-life music). He is the inventor of the double neck...

Onitsha

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

Continuum, 2016

Encyclopedia Articles

...Population: 296,004 (1996)Hugging the eastern bank of the Niger River, the Nigerian city of Onitsha is reputed to have the largest popular music market in Africa. Before the Nigerian civil war (1967–70), popular music bands playing live...

Sákárà

Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World Volume XII : Genres: Sub-Saharan Africa

Bloomsbury Academic, 2019

Encyclopedia Articles

...Sákárà is a contemplative Islamic-influenced Yorùbá popular musical genre. The dominant stylistic characteristics of sákárà music include recitative/declamation, the drone-like melody of the gòjé (fiddle), instrumental preludes...

Highlife, Igbo

Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World Volume XII : Genres: Sub-Saharan Africa

Bloomsbury Academic, 2019

Encyclopedia Articles

...Igbo highlife is a popular music style with lyrics in the Igbo language (including its various dialects) as well as in Pidgin English. Themes of songs are drawn from a rich reservoir of Igbo folklore, native philosophies and social...