Nigerian Afrobeats star Wizkid has been adjudged the first African artist to receive the coveted BRIT Billion Award. This follows his historic accomplishment of hitting more than one billion digital streams in the United Kingdom.
Known in private life as Ayodeji Balogun, Wizkid was awarded by the British Phonographic Industry music award body for his contribution to the industry. Wizkid recently sold out his show at the 62,850-capacity Tottenham Stadium in London, where he became the first and only African artist to headline and stage a performance there. This feat cements his position as a global music giant, with a strong following internationally.
Wizkid is among the few African artists who command a strong appeal in the U.K. with his music generating millions of sales and numerous platinum and gold certifications. His song “One Dance” in which he featured Drake and Kyla made six-times platinum status, garnering 3.6 million units in sales. In addition, his work with Skepta and Tems on the song “Energy” has also been certified platinum. Several of his songs, including “Essence,” “Brown Skin Girl,” and “Made in Lagos,” have collectively garnered over one billion streams in the UK.
The Brit Awards congratulated Wizkid for his groundbreaking achievement during his time in London, following his show at the Tottenham Stadium.
January 2, 2010, saw the birth of Wizkid with the release of his first single Holla At Your Boy. The video was released in 2011 and received massive TV play across Africa making him a household name. The song, Holla at Your Boy was the first single off his first album Superstar; the first of many songs to put the young musician at an untouchable level.