Celebrating Ayo Balogun, The Nigerian Musician And Potential Grammy Winner

Wizkid was born on 16 July 1990 in Surulere, a residential and
commercial area of Lagos. He grew up in an interfaith household with
twelve female siblings. His mother is a Pentecostal Christian and his
father practices Islam. His father has three wives. growing up, he
listened to songs recorded by King Sunny Ade, Fela Kuti, and Bob Marley. 
Wizkid started singing at age 11 and went by the stage name Lil Prinz until 2006.
He formed a group called the Glorious Five with a couple of his church
friends. The group managed to release an album prior to disbanding.
Wizkid later met OJB Jezreel, a record producer who prevented him from
recording for a year. While visiting OJB’s PointBeat Studios frequently,
he watched 2 Face Idibia record songs for his Grass 2 Grace album. He
was also present during the recording sessions for Sound Sultan’s debut
album, Jagbajantis. Wizkid cited Naeto C as one of the people who
mentored and coached him when he was 15 years old. His parents weren’t
receptive of his musical career at first. In order to gain his father’s
trust, he had to work hard and spend lots of time in the studio.  Wizkid co-wrote Banky W’s “Omoge You Too Much”, a song off The W
Experience album. He also worked with Naeto C, OJB Jezreel, Ikechukwu,
and M.I while developing his craft. In 2009, Wizkid inked a record deal
with Banky W’s Empire Mates Entertainment. In mid-2009, he dropped out
of Lagos State University (LASU) to focus on his craft. He later
attended Lead City University, but dropped out after completing two
sessions.
Wizkid began recording his debut studio album,
Superstar, in 2009. On 2 January 2010, he released “Holla at Your Boy”
as the album’s lead single. The song earned him the Next Rated award at
The Headies 2011, and was nominated for Best Pop Single at the
aforementioned awards show. The music video for “Holla at Your Boy” was
nominated for Most Gifted Newcomer Video at the 2011 Channel O Music
Video Awards. It was also nominated for Best Afro Pop Video at the 2011
Nigeria Music Video Awards (NMVA). 
On 2 April 2010, Wizkid
released “Tease Me/Bad Guys” as the album’s second single. The song was
initially released as a freestyle.
Superstar garnered Best
Album of the Year at the 2012 Nigeria Entertainment Awards, and was
nominated for Album of the Year at The Headies 2012.

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On
April 5, 2016, Wizkid became Nigeria’s first artist to emerge on
Billboard’s Twitter Last 24 hours chart following his guest feature on
Drake’s afrobeat-infused
“One Dance ” single, which charted at number 21 and in May 12, 2016,
the song reached number-one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, a position
it kept for 10 non-consecutive
weeks. The single went on to become an international smash hit, topping
the charts in 15 different countries, including the United Kingdom,
Canada, Australia, France and Germany. The single thereby became
Wizkid’s first number-one single as a featured artist in these
territories.
In 2012, Wizkid signed a one-year endorsement
deal with Pepsi reportedly worth 350,000 U.S dollars. He travelled to
Beirut, Lebanon with Tiwa Savage for a Pepsi commercial shoot. On 28 May
2013, Premium Times reported that Wizkid signed a one-year deal with
MTN Nigeria. Moreover, the news source reported that Wizkid’s Pepsi
contract was renewed for another two years.
On 22 August 2011,
Nigerian Entertainment Today reported that Wizkid fathered his first
child at age 21. After a thorough investigation, the news source
concluded that Wizkid impregnated then undergraduate student Sola
Ogudugu. Moreover, the news source added that multiple sources familiar
with the “baby mama” and her family told them that they knew about the
relationship between both parties. When the story broke out, close
friends and associates of Wizkid didn’t confirm the story due to DNA
results that were pending at the time. Wizkid broke his silence on the
story in several interviews. In an interview with a Nigeria
Entertainment Today editor, Wizkid denied having a child. In another
interview held at Ogudu-GRA in Lagos, Wizkid said he really doesn’t want
to find himself in that peculiar situation. A week before denying the
aforementioned allegations, Wizkid tweeted from his official Twitter
handle. In December 2012, he denied the baby scandal during an interview
with Nonye Ben-Nwankwo of The Punch. In October 2013, Wizkid uploaded a
picture of he and his 2-year-old son, Boluwatife Balogun, onto his
Instagram account. The photo confirmed the alleged rumours and
allegations that were harboured for 2 years. The photo also vindicated
Nigerian Entertainment Today, the news source that first covered the
story. He also has two other boys from two different women, making him a
Father of Three boys..
We are proud to celebrate this Nigeria Star Musician!

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