Top 10 Richest African Musicians
The list of musicians who rake in millions of dollars are usually reserved for international megastars like Beyonce or Kanye West, and largely hail from the Western world. However, there are artists across Africa whose stars are rapidly rising and they are able to command larger and larger paychecks around the world. Highly influential and each bringing their own unique sound, these artists represent the richest African musicians, according to Answers Africa.
By ifeteleola Hephzibah
1. Manu Dibango
African music legend, Manu Dibango is arguably the most successful and richest African musician. The Cameroon-born musician wealth and success comes from concerts, record sales and other investments.
2 Youssou N’dour
This Senegalese singer is widely considered the most famous singer alive in Senegal and much of Africa. His style of music is known as mbalax, a mix of Senegalese traditional music in the Serer language and various styles from around the world including Cuban rumba, hip hop, jazz, and soul. With millions around the world in his fan base, he is now the owner of the biggest media house in Senegal (complete with radio and TV stations) and was appointed tourism and culture minister in 2012. N’dour was responsible for the 1998 FIFA World Cup national anthem, “La Cour des Grands,” along with Axelle Red.
P-Square is made up of identical twins, Peter and Paul Okoye, who began singing and dancing together back in their small Catholic high school in Jos, Nigeria. After forming the group in 2005, their music developed a devoted following, particularly in South Africa, and each album outsold the previous one. They were named Artists of the Year at the 2010 Kora Awards and now bring in more than $150,000 per show. Best of all, their shared home is worth more than $3 million and has been dubbed “Squareville.” Talk about product placement!
The recipient of countless awards, D’banj is known for his unique sound of dance music and Afro beats. He is involved in a variety of investments including a nightclub in Nigeria, brands such as Koko water, and was given his own reality show, “Koko Mansion.” The Koko Master, was the first African artist who signed with the music label GOOD, owned by Kanye West.
- Koffi Olomidé
Dubbing his style of music as tcha tcho, a blend of soukous music (dance music that originated from African rumba music). He’s notorious for taking on controversial subjects in his lyrics, which has led him to be widely praised and criticized worldwide. Raking in over 100,000 euros per show, Olomidé is extremely popular across Africa and the world. One of his albums is listed in Robert Dimery’s book, “1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.”
- Salif Keita
Salif Keita is oftentimes referred to as the “Golden Voice of Africa,” with his original take on Afro-pop music. Despite his royal heritage (he’s directly descended from Sundiata Keita, the founder of the Mali Empire), he chose a path of music, bucking the Malian caste system. But this means that he was loaded even before his music career took off, explaining his private island and properties across Europe.
- Fally Ipupa
Winner of MTV Africa Music and Kora Awards, he’s racked up clothing endorsement deals in Paris as well as high commissions for his shows across the world, which are almost always sold-out. Fally is very popular in his native DRcongo and internationally.
- 2 Face Idibia
Tu Baba as he prefers to be called came to limelight with his solo, My African Queen and has never looked back. The multiple award winner is one of the most sought after African musician. His wealth comes from various real estate investments across Nigeria, as well as the $80,000 he commands per show.
- Hugh Masekela
The South African artist is a multitalented instrumentalist, songwriter and performer. He has been highly praised for his work, with everything from a Grammy nomination to the Order of the Ikhamanga by President Jacob Zuma (for achievements in arts, culture, literature, music, journalism, and sports in South Africa). He has graced prestigious festivals across the world.
- Banky W
Born Olubankole Wellington in the U.S., Banky W moved back to Nigeria and grew up in Lagos, where he began singing at an early age. Finding success early in singing competitions, most of his wealth has come from endorsement deals with companies such as Estisalat mobile and Samsung in Nigeria. He also started the Mr. Capable Foundation, an education charity that provides tuition scholarships for disadvantaged children.