9 Nigerian musicians who smiled to the bank in 2016

Everyone agrees that 2016 was indeed a good year for Nigerian music. A majority of our musicians put out songs and made moves that made Nigerians all over the world proud.


But how many of them were successful in the true sense of the word? Given that the peculiar structure of the Nigerian music industry makes it hard to track the finances of our musicians. However, i was able to come up with this list of musicians whose success cannot come under doubt.

  1. Yemi Alade


Forget what anyone says, Yemi Alade is now the new queen of Afrobeats, taking the crown from the more popular Tiwa Savage. In fact, Fader Magazine published a story on her with the title:  How Yemi Alade Hustled Her Way to Become the Queen of Afrobeats. This couldn’t be truer. Her album Mama Africa hit No.1 on Africa’s iTunes chart, and she also won the award for Best Female at the 2016 MTV MAMA awards making her the first artist to win the award for Best Female twice (2015 and 2016). She was recently named as the official face of ABC relaxers in Africa.

  1. Wizkid


Wizzy’s success in 2016 is so obvious that one really doesn’t need to break it down. One Dance, the song in which he was featured by Drake got to number one in 10 countries. It was also listed as the most played song on streaming media service Spotify, with over 950 million individual streams. Consider the fact that he has songwriting and producing credit on that song, the money will not stop flowing for a long time. Then there is that rumored seven-figure deal he has signed with Sony Music…

  1. Davido


Even though Davido was silent most of the year, choosing instead to release an EP in October, Obo kept performing at shows all over the world. His rumored $1 million deal with Sony music should not be forgotten. Also, he Tekno, Olamide, and Wizkid according to Trace TV are said to be responsible for a large share of the over N73.2 billion made by telecommunications companies from caller ring back tunes.

  1. Simi


Some may say Simi does not deserve to be on this list but I beg to differ. This was the year that she came into her own as a musician and surprisingly as an audio engineer. She performed at shows regularly and was even one of the headline acts at Star Trek Lagos. Davido also chose her as the only female act on his EP Son of Mercy. And remember that she singlehandedly mixed Adekunle Gold’s album. You can see that she is indeed a jack of all trades. Her debut album is also set to be released in 2017.



  1. Falz


Very few musicians can match Falz’s level of success this year. I mean, how many musicians do you know that have won an AMVCA (Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards)? Falz picked up the Best Actor in a Comedy award at this year’s version of the ceremnony. The number of shows he performed at increased and he became an official brand ambassador for telecommunications giant MTN this year.

  1. Tekno


All the hit songs he released this year are enough to judge Tekno’s success. Factor in his Sony Deal, his announcement as an MTN ambassador his many performances abroad and his part in the N73.2 billion made by telecommunications companies from caller ring back tunes, you will see that Mr. Big Cassava indeed smiled to the bank in 2016.

  1. Olamide


Some say he didn’t have a hit song this year but notwithstanding, Baddo made the best of 2016. He focused more on his touring. Performing at shows in Malaysia, the U.K, U.S, Italy and many other countries.

  1. Phyno


Nairabet and Airtel are some of the companies that Phyno is an ambassador of. While we don’t know how much those deals are worth, consider the fact that he filled up a 25,000 capacity stadium in Enugu. If tickets were sold at N200, do the calculation of how much he would have made in your head.

  1. Mr Eazi


It is on record that Mr. Eazi was the most featured artiste in the music industry this year. Now imagine he charges N200, 000 per feature…



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