It is said that what we now know today as blues, jazz, salsa, zouk, and rumba were all derived to an extent from musical traditions from Africa that were taken out of the continent by slaves. In recent times, however, the contemporary genres of African music like Kwaito, Palm-wine music, and Afrobeat most significantly, have begun to rival these other sounds as African music is now becoming a big deal in all the major markets across the world, with many music artists from the continent now ranking amongst the most bankable you can find anywhere.
This is evident for everyone to see as musicians like Angelique Kidjo, Burna Boy, Black Coffee, Davido, and Wizkid, to name a few, have headlined or at least been among the notable performers at huge music festivals and concerts in Europe and the United States.
Net Worth: $80 Million
Akon is a Senegalese-American singer, songwriter, and record producer who is best known for songs like “Locked Up,” “Lonely,” “Smack That,” “I Wanna Love You,” “Don’t Matter,” and “Sorry, Blame It on Me.” The Konvict Music CEO and five-time Grammy Award nominee, who learned his trade after having been raised by parents who were in the music business; his mother was a dancer while his father is famed percussionist Mor Thiam, is in the record books as the first solo artist to hold both the number one and two spots simultaneously on the Billboard Hot 100 charts twice.
Thanks to his success, Akon has been able to help quite a few other artists from Africa. He has further been able to put his huge wealth to good use by embarking on a lot of philanthropic activities, such as the Akon Lighting Africa project.
Net Worth: $60 Million
Black Coffee is a South African DJ, record producer, singer, and songwriter who launched his career in 1994 with a remix of Hugh Masekela’s 1972 hit “Stimela.” Other songs that helped him make a name for himself are “Wathula Nje,” a remix of Victor Ntoni’s 2004 jazz ballad “Thetha,” “Drive” with David Guetta, and “LaLaLa” with American R&B singer Usher.
Unarguably the biggest African DJ, Black Coffee rose to prominence after participating in the 2004 Red Bull Music Academy in Cape Town. In 2015, he took home the “Breakthrough DJ of the Year” award at the DJ Awards in Ibiza. He has since then played in different concerts and festivals across the world, including the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and the Ultra Music Festival.
Net Worth: $16 Million
Davido is a Nigerian singer, songwriter, and record producer. His journey to becoming an internationally known musician began when he dropped out of Oakwood University to make beats and record vocal references. He gained prominence following the release of his debut studio album Omo Baba Olowo in 2012 which featured songs like “Dami Duro”, “Back When”, and “Ekuro”. Other hit singles he released in the 2010s include “Gobe”, “Skelewu”, “Tchelete (Goodlife)”, “The Sound” and “The Money” which helped him sign a record deal with Sony Music.
Davido has since that deal released songs that brought him international recognition, specifically “If” and “Fall” which has been certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) and became the longest-charting Nigerian pop song in Billboard history.
Net Worth: $10 Million
Don Jazzy is a Nigerian record producer, singer, and songwriter who rose to prominence after co-founding the now defunct Mo’ Hits Records in the early 2000s. He currently serves as the CEO of Mavin Records which is home to recording artists such as Rema, Korede Bello, Dr. SID, D’Prince, Di’Ja, Johnny Drille, and Ladipoe among others. Tiwa Savage, Wande Coal, Reekado Banks, and Iyanya are notable past signees to the label. Don Jazzy is worth $10 million according to Celebrity net worth
While Don Jazzy is known all around the world for his production skills, as he worked with Jay-Z and Kanye West on the production of the song “Lift Off” featuring Beyonce from the Watch The Throne album, and was the brain behind some of the most popular African songs of the 2000s and 2010s, he also sings but rarely takes credit as a singer. His vocals can be heard on songs by African music artists like D’Banj, P-Square, Dr. SID, Ikechukwu, Kween, and D’Prince. His vocals can also be heard on “Lift Off.”
Net Worth: $7 Million
Sarkodie is a Ghanaian rapper who is widely considered as one of the major proponents of the Azonto genre and dance. The music artist is known for often rapping in his native language of Twi although he has proven to be able to hold his own when doing it in English, which is why he is also considered as one of Africa’s greatest hip hop artists.
Net Worth: $6 Million
Another American born musician with African roots to feature on this bankable music artists list is Tinashe, a singer, songwriter, dancer, record producer, and actress whose father is Zimbabwean and mother is of Danish, Italian, Norwegian, Irish and English descent. The former member of the girl group The Stunners is best known for songs like “2 On” which reached number one on the Rhythmic airplay chart and peaked at number 24 on the Billboard Hot 100, “All Hands on Deck” featuring Iggy Azalea, “Player” featuring Chris Brown, and Kid Ink’s “Body Language” which featured her alongside Usher.
Net Worth: $5 Million
Angelique Kidjo is a multiple Grammy Award-winning Beninese singer and songwriter of Nigerian descent who is noted for her diverse musical influences and creative music videos that earned her the title of “Africa’s Premier Diva” from Time magazine.
Kidjo, who has performed at almost every corner of the globe, has collaborated with a wide range of musicians, including Dave Matthews and the Dave Matthews Band, Carlos Santana, Alicia Keys, Ziggy Marley, John Legend, Kelly Price, Bono, and Indonesia’s pop star Anggun. Some of her very famous hit songs include “Agolo”, “Wombo Lombo”, “We We”, “Adouma”, her version of “Malaika”, “Afirika”, and “Batonga”.
Net Worth: $4 Million
Wizkid is one of the hottest music artists out of Africa. The Nigerian singer and songwriter began recording music at a young age in the early 2000s but only managed to gain prominence about a decade later following the release of his debut studio album Superstar (2011) which had tracks like “Holla at Your Boy,” “Tease Me/Bad Guys,” and “Don’t Dull” among others.
Wizkid maintained his presence at the top of the charts for many years with songs like “Jaiye Jaiye” and “Ojuelegba” but it was not until he collaborated with Drake in 2016 on the global hit, “One Dance“, which reached number one in 15 countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom, that he achieved international recognition.
Net Worth: $3.5 Million
Burna Boy is a Grammy Award-nominated Nigerian singer and songwriter who has managed to successfully blend Afrobeat, dancehall riddims, reggae, American rap, and R&B into a genre he calls Afro-fusion. Having risen to prominence in 2013 following the release of his debut studio album titled L.I.F.E which featured the track “Like to Party”, Burna Boy has produced chart-topping songs like “Heaven’s Gate” featuring Lily Allen, “Ye,” “Gbona,” “Killin Dem” featuring Zlatan, and “Anybody” among others.
In 2019, he was announced as one of the artists performing at the 2019 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. He subsequently featured on Beyonce’s The Lion King: The Gift soundtrack album with the song “Ja Ara E”, making him the only guest artist with their own track on it.
Net Worth: $1 Million
If there is anybody on this list of bankable African music artists that is certainly able to make the ladies go wild and fill up arenas anywhere on the continent, it is the Grammy Award-nominated Jidenna. The Nigerian-American rapper, singer, songwriter and record producer, who fuses hip-hop with the Nigerian highlife music genre, rose to prominence in 2015 following the release of two songs; the RIAA platinum-certified “Classic Man” and “Yoga” with singer Janelle Monáe.