The Nigerian music industry at the moment is gaining a lot of traction globally and followership all over Africa and beyond. Artistes like Wizkid, Davido and Tekno amongst others are doing their utmost best to place Nigeria on the map and in return, it is doing a lot of good for their bank accounts. The money bandied about in the music industry is truly enviable, little wonder you can find upcoming artistes in every nook and crannies of the country working hard to get good record deals. Beyond the facade – the “fake lives” some would have you believe that Nigerian musicians are living – most of them are living pretty comfortably.
The bottom line is that a lot of Nigerian musician are millionaires and apart from the songs that are churned out on a daily basis, the intelligent and most hardworking among them go on to earn additional income from their concerts, endorsement deals, investments and merchandising.
Today at the site, we’ll take a close look at the 20 richest musicians in Nigeria for the year 2018; their net worth, how much they take per-show and the story behind their rise to fortune and fame.
The Starboy CEO has been topping the game for quite some time now, and there is no doubt who is in charge. Wizkid made a name for himself as a recording artiste under EME boss Banky W. Coming up with the likes of Skales and later, Shaydee. Ever since he left EME though, Wizkid has climbed to the top of the music ladder in Africa. He has gone on to record billboard topping collaborations with the likes of Drake, and his hit songs have accorded him respect and financial success in the music industry. “Starboy” as he is popularly called has a lot of mansions, cars and assets in various countries. He charges an average of 7 million naira per show and has endorsements with the likes of Pepsi and Mike Adenuga’s owned Globacom. Wizkid is estimated by forbes to be worth around $40 million.
The CEO of Mavins records in undoubtedly the biggest producer on the continent. He co-founded Mo’hits back in 2004 with artiste like D’banj, Wande Coal, D’Prince and K-switch in the label. After the disintegration of Mo’hits, Don jazzy went ahead to set up Mavins and stepped it up a notch bringing artistes like Reekado Banks and Korede Bello into the limelight and the ever talented Tiwa Savage blossoming into the biggest female artiste the country has seen in a while. Don Jazzy has left a major impact on the industry and till today earns as high as N1 million naira for a song production. Most of his money though is made from his label, endorsements and music production. He is ranked by forbes to be among the top 5 wealthiest entertainers in Nigeria and is estimated to be worth $20 million.
Peter and Paul Okoye (P Square)
When we are talking about these two, we are talking about legends in the music industry. P-Square have come a long way since the days of “Temptation” and african chart-topping hits like “Do Me” and “Chop my money”. That is not the case anymore though because they have seperated like chicken and chips in a food pack. Still though, they are still bringing in the bread individually, reigning on their previous success as P-Square to land sizeable endorsement deals and shows. Both Peter and Paul have a considerable amount of undisclosed investments and properties all over the country. Years ago it was said that P-Square earn as high as N10 million for a show but the figure right now will be around a quarter of that sum individually. P-Square is ranked among the top richest artistes in Africa by forbes and they are estimated to be worth $20 million.
David Adeleke blew up in the twinkle of an eye with the release of “back when” back in 20.. and since then, he has showed no signs of slowing down. The DMW boss came into the game at a time when it was impossible to find an upcoming artiste with personal management and a label but he pulled it off. The road to success has been topsy turvy, but trust OBO is someone that always finds a way to weather the storm. Davido is a wealthy guy with lots of mansions and expensive rides. He makes a lot of money from streaming of his songs, shows – for which he charges an average of 7 million per show – concerts like the “30 billion concert” and a few endorsements here and there. Davido’s net worth is estimated to be around $16 million.
Innocent ‘2 baba’ Idibia
2 baba is unarguably the greatest living legend in Nigerian music industry presently. He started his career singing as a member of the Plantashun Boiz alongside Faze and Blackface. After Plantashun Boiz went their ways, 2 face signed with Kennis music. Back when Kenny and D1 were the big ones, the talented 2 face Idibia was thrust into the african limelight, and not too long, had the whole continent spellbound with his midas touch in composing melodious tunes that always had a huge socio-political impact. Something reminiscent of the late Fela Anikulapo-Kuti. 2 baba has released a lot of internationally aclaimed ‘hit tracks’. Among them, “African queen” which was released in 2004 and is still his greatest single ever till date. 2 baba has won a lot of international awards and he is estimated by forbes to be worth $15.5 million.
Born Oladapo Daniel Oebanjo on 9 June 1980, the Kokomaster as he is popularly called is a popular Nigerian entertainer and entrepreneur. He co-founded Mo’hits with Don Jazzy back in 2003 and when it split, he went on to set up DB records. When the kokomaster was at the peak of his career, he was churning hits like “Fall in love” and “Mr Endowned”. D’Banj is known internationally for his 2012 summer smash hit “Oliver Twist” which saw Kanye in a cameo role in the video. Although his popularity has taken a dip since he left Mo’hits, D’Banj is still raking in the paper and is still one of the richest celebrities in Nigeria. D’Banj endorses brands like SLOT – which came with a brand new Porsche, and CIROC vodka to the tune of millions of naira. Apart from that, he also has considerable investments in Agriculture, Manufacturing and Technology. D’Banj is estimated by Forbes to be worth $15 million.
Chinedu ‘Flavour’ Okoli has it all when it comes to the full package that most women desire in a man. He is not only one of the richest celebrities in Nigeria, but he is also one of the hottest male singers on the continent. Flavour is not shy of his humble beginnings and he has said it a number of times that he began his music journey playing drums in his local church. Flavor released his first album “N’abania” in 2010 and has released four more in the space of 8 years. His 2014 african chart-toppin single “ada ada” won the MTV MAMAs for video of the year. Flavor has a couple of endorsements here and there and he is known to charge an average of N3 million per shows. Flavour is estimated to be worth $14 million.
Olamide Adedeji is one of the most hardworking musicians in Nigeria no doubt. Since his breakout in 2011 he hasnt failed to release a music project every year. The CEO of popular record label YBNL is an award-winning artiste and a good businessman too with his investments littered around Lagos State, Nigeria. Apart from his songs for which he has sold over 30 million copies since he came into limelight, Olamide has major revenue streams like shows – he charges an average of N3 million – and concerts, and also brand endorsement from companies like Etisalat which was around N50 million, the deal with Guinness which was rumored to be N80 million among others. Olamide is estimated to be worth $6.5 million.
Phyno along with Olamide are Nigeria’s best indigenous rappers. Phyno did start out as a producer, making beats for the likes of Timaya, M.I and Ill bliss in Enugu. Phyno started rapping in 2010 and moved to Lagos to continue his career and the released his first major single “Multiply”. He didn’t become a force to be reckoned with until his 2013 smash hit “Ghostmode” which featured the dynamic Olamide. Phyno is testament to the fact that you can be real in the industry and still blow up. He is the model for all Igbo indigenous rappers today. He is also a very wealthy guy, and he made his money investing in businesses and real-estate. Phyno charges an average of N2 million per show and is estimated to be worth $6 million.
Timaya is one of Nigeria’s undisputed music heavyweights. Timaya began his career back in 2005 churning out hits like “dem mama” and “ogologoma” which shot him to reckoning and he has stayed on top for all these while, nevertheless, Timaya has aquired a lot of assets and investments throughout this career that gives him a spot among the top 20 richest musicians in Nigeria. In 2018, Timaya moved into his new home in Lekki worth $1.5 million. The CEO of Dem Mam records earns an average of N2 million naira per show and is estimated to be worth $6 million.
Bankole Wellington is a Nigerian musician, entrepreneur and label executive. He released his first album titled “Mr Capable” in 2008 and in hit had the hit single “Ebute Metta” which shot him to prominence. He has been a mentor in the industry to some artiste who are at the peak of their careers today. Artistes such as Wizkid, Skales and Shaydee all shot into the limelight under his management. In 2017, Banky W married his sweetheart, Adesuwa Etomi who is also a top Nigerian actress. Banky W charges N1.5 million per show, and has endorsement running into hundreds of millions with companies like Coca Cola and Etisalat. It was rumored that Banky W and a few other artistes collected N200 million naira from the Buhari election campaign organisation but he has long denied collecting money from any politician. Banky W is estimated to be worth $6 million.
Tekno is a very talented Nigerian singer, songwriter and producer. His entry into the music industry came after he signed with Made Men Music which was owned by Ubi Franklin and Iyanya at the time. Since then, Augustine Kelechi has made a big impact in the industry dishing out hits after hits. His “Pana” record has gained over 60 million views on Youtube and he still isn’t showing signs of cooling off anytime soon. He has also written and produced for artistes like Davido and Flavour. Tekno signed a music deal worth $4 million dollars with SONY music in 2017 and is estimated to be worth $4.5 million dollars.
Tiwa Savage is widely known as the most influential female artiste in the country. The first lady of Mavins record began her music career singing as a back up singer for American musicians like Mary J Blige, George Michael, Ms. Dynamite, just to name a few. Tiwa Savage studied music at the Bekerly College in the United Kingdom. She came back to Nigeria and linked up with Mavins boss Don Jazzy to dish out scintillating hits like “Eminado” and “kele kele love” and ever since, she has found her way to the top of the music industry. Tiwa Savage earns about N5 million per show and she is estimated to be worth $4 million.
Jude Abaga popularly known as M.I (Mr Incredible) is Nigeria’s undisputed king of rap. M.I took the Nigerian music industry by storm with the release of his debut album “talk about it” in 2008 and caused a nation that wasn’t into rap music to have a rethink. Songs like “safe”, “crowd mentality” and “teaser” became household anthems and soon made him the toast of the music industry. Till now though, nobody has really shown the impetus or willingness to take the rap crown from him. In his prime, M.I is believed to earn an average of N2.5 million per show and is estimated to be worth $3.9 million.
Formerly a member of the singing duo ‘Kc Presh’ before they parted ways after 12 years together. Kcee re-invented himself in the music industry with the release of “now I know” in which he let his heart out about the break up and followed it up with smash hits like ‘limpopo’ which won him the song of the year at the 2013 Headies. Kcee has a couple of endorsement deals with global corporations like MTN and Peace Airways. He also has lots of investments which he handles with the help of his millonaire brother E-money. Kcee earns N2.5 million naira per show and is estimated to be worth $2.5 million.
Yemi Alade blew up with the release of her debut single “Johnny”. The song had rave reviews and shot her into relevance in the music scene. It has over 60 million Youtube views till date. Yemi Alade is a typical african woman and her personality and type of music makes her an attractive brand. She has landed endorsements going into hundreds of millions of naira with companies like Close-up, ABC relaxer and Gandour – an international cosmetics manufacturing company. Yemi Alade charges an average of N2 million per show. She is estimated to be worth $2 million dollars.
Jidenna was born in the United States to a Nigerian father and an American mother. His father was a proffessor at the Enugu State University in Southeast Nigeria. After a kidnap attempt on his father, Jidenna and his family moved back to the United States and he ws just seven (7) at the time. Jidenna released his “classic man” record in 2016, and the video of the song has over 60 million views on Youtube. Jidenna is worth $2 million.
The Port Harcourt born singer has released 5 music albums over a period of 12 years in the music industry. He has had a sort of resurgence lately after the success of his collaboration with Wizkid on “fake love”. Before the resurgence though, he had a couple of political engagements and investments that has brought his some fortune over the years. Duncan mighty is estimated to be worth $1.5 million.
Patrick Nnaemeka Okorie is a Nigerian dancehall singer. He was brought into public consciousness with the release of his official debut single “alubarika” under Timaya owned dem mama records. He later left the label unceremoniously and joined Foston where he released “girlie o” which topped charts and won him various awards. Patoranking has a couple of endorsements running into millions of naira and is estimated to be worth $1 million.
Born Oluwatosin Ajibade on July 19 1991, Mr Eazi is an afrobeat and highlife singer affiliated with Wizkids starboy label. He started his music career in Ghana and gained global recognition with the release of “skin tight” with Ghanaian singer Efya. Mr Eazi has a couple of endorsements and awards and is said to be worth $1 million.