King of the 30 Billion Gang

Davido: The Music Oracle

No. It’s not even a Friday. And double No!! It’s nothing close to the weekend. Just an otherwise cool Tuesday afternoon, hijacked by the unrelenting Lagos traffic. From left to right, even all the ‘Kings of The Road’ can tell there is no getting around this one. No escape. This is one of those “we die here” episodes, and any little ‘pim!’ can easily burst open the anger and frustration already bubbling within many. On days like this, the radio becomes one of the best resort, whether for the traffic drive-time shows or simply for the cool music it offers. However, there are certain inexplicable, energy giving voices that save the presenter the stress of chanting the weary phrase, “Don’t touch that dial.”

We really cannot tell if some kind of magnetic forces are attached to these voices, but we sure know they get one stuck to their flow, from start to finish. With this, when buzzed with the question of mentioning just the ‘Top 3’ of these wonder voices in the Nigerian Afrobeats Music Industry, a top fan wouldn’t merely be bragging by screaming “Davido!!!” 

Davido: The Voice

At Afrobeats360 it’s our legacy to tell the untold and retell ‘the told’ in ways that come with new dimensions. We go the extra mile to dig out those nuggets about Afrobeats Stars, that make up for the milestones we celebrate in these personalities today. In his very peculiar case, it will be an error to tell the story of the Afrobeats icon, Davido, without proper highlight on his voice. The voice. One of the core ingredient of the Davido we know.

Need we mention that this voice was the same very one used as an object of mockery, especially in the earlier days of his music career, as far back as 2011. However, just eight years down memory lane, this very voice has become not just the major selling point for Davido, but also the unique and distinguishing factor about him, within and even beyond the African music industry.

“Cracky”, people called it back in the days, perhaps they weren’t wrong after all, as Davido’s voice stands as a hard nut that cracks all the high walls of top music countdowns, always climbing to the very top of the chart. In duality, it serves as a hard nut to crack in the business of imitation paramount in the music industry. Seemingly, being the only one of it’s kind, the voice has become a feat and we are yet to see any other, closely related.

Have you noticed that these days, there’s a little confusion building in the airwaves as most artistes now sound alike? Still, we are yet to find an identical to Davido’s voice. Nothing really close yet. Even when stumbling over a new tune on radio or any other outlet without visuals, one needs no prophet to tell when its the OBO baddest on the beat. Funny as it may seem, the truth remains that with the way things are currently, anyone who finally succeeds in imitating the voice will only be building more to Davido’s account.

The American born Nigerian singer, songwriter and record producer, David Adedeji Adeleke, professionally known as Davido, was born on November 21st 1992 in Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia, United States. His siblings include: his elder brother, Adewale Adedeji and sisters, Sharon and Ashely who are both married. Having come from a super wealthy home, with a billionaire business tycoon father, Prince Adedeji Adeleke and university lecturer beautiful mother, Dr. Vero Imade Adeleke; one could easily be swept away with the belief that Davido’s life journey even beyond music has been a rosy sphere.

However, at a more indepth look, one would find passion, pure hardwork and perseverance as some of the qualities that have brought the popstar thus far.

Davido’s Mother

 “LOVE U MOMMY!! I KNOW ITS YOU THAT IS PROTECTING ME!!!!! I KNOW!! I LOVE U!!!…”- Davido

One of the most darkest moment of Davido’s life remains the demise of his mother on March 3rd, 2003. Her departure left an irreplaceable spot in his heart, as she stood as not just his mother, but also his primary music influencer and inspiration. Davido’s mother was a huge lover of music, and reports by P.M. News Nigeria reflects that in the 90s , she ‘had a brilliant music career, and was owner of a record label.’ Also, findings here has it that she was part of a band named after her son- ‘David’s Band, which gives us more hints on the lingering music connection between mother and son.

“…she’s the reason I do what I do. ..she loved to entertain, and I plan on carrying that legacy.”- Davido

No doubt, although now in death, Davido regards his mother as a guardian angel, time and again. One of the biggest tattoos on Davido’s arm is the inscription – ‘Sweet Mother’.

After studies at the The British International School in Victoria Island, Lagos, Davido proceeded to study  Business Administration at Oakwood University in Huntsville, Alabama, USA. Here, his music journey started to take shape as he started buying various musical instruments, and began making his own beat. While still in the United States, Davido was a member of a musical group called KB International. Along the line, the music drive became a call Davido couldn’t resist answering. He finally dropped out of the university to dive fully into his music career which evolved in the year 2011, after moving back to the shores of Nigeria.

Of course the journey at the beginning wasn’t a smooth one. Davido had to struggle to make his father understand that the thing called music is his essence. This was indeed one of his greatest hurdles in life, trying to convince his father into accepting his music career, especially in a family were the children are expected to join the family business business after school.

Despite family scrimmages, including getting detained in the police cell by his father, due to his love for music, Davido’s drive barely declined as he moved on with his passion against all odds. Davido’s love for music can therefore be described as one that is fierce, unstoppable and written all over his heart, including his arm, in the literal sense where he has tattoos of  various musical notes.

Davido and Father

The rest is history tody, as both father and son have come to mutual understanding, especially after Davido honoured his father by going back to his education, and graduated as the pioneer student of the music department at Babcock University, Ilishan- Remo, Ogun State, Nigeria. 

Speaking about history, let’s glide into the past years of Davido’s music career till date.

The Early Days

Remember we mentioned it all started in 2011, after the release of his first single- ‘Back When’ featuring Naeto C, like wild fire, the fame of Davido rapidly began to spread in addition to the release of ‘Dami Duro’ in October 2011. This served as his second single from his debut studio album ‘Omo Baba Olowo’ in 2012. With songs like ‘Ekuro’, ‘All of You’, ‘Overseas’ ‘Gbon Gbon’ and feel alright, the album became an instant hit, making Davido become the new sweetheart to many music lovers all over Africa.

Then came the banger- Skelewu, which ranked num 1 on Afribiz’s Top 100 Chart in 2013. All these didn’t go unrewarded, as Davido bagged the following prominent awards amongst others:

-Song of the Year, ‘Back When’ Dynamix All Youth Awards, 2011

– Promising Youth Artiste, Dynamix All Youth Awards 2011

-Hottest Single of the Year, ‘Dami Duro’, Nigerian Entertainment Awards 2012

-Best New Comer Award, Kora Awards 2012

-Best Collabo of the Year ‘Carolina’ Sauce Kid featuring Davido

-Most Gifted Newcomer Video of the Year, ‘Dami Duro’, Channel O Music Video Awards, 2012

-Next Rated Artiste, The Headies, 2012

-Hip Hop World Revelation, The Headies, 2013

-Best R & B/ Pop Album ‘Omo Baba Olowo’, The Headies, 2013

– Best Pop/ R & B Artiste of the Year, Nigerian Entertainment Awards, 2013

Least we forget to add that Davido also has a tattoo of HKN, a record label he co-founded with his elder brother, Adewale Adeleke.

To crown the years of 2012 and 2013 respectively, Davido signed an endorsement deal with MTN Nigeria, April 6th, 2012. According to reports from the Nigerian Entertainment Today, this endorsement entailed a NGN 30 million deal with MTN, with Davido as the face of MTN Pulse, a marketing campaign for Nigerian Youths. The year 2013 in turn unleashed another endorsement, as Davido signed a deal with Guinness Nigeria.

DAVIDO: OTHER BIG MOMENTS

We cannot fail to mention the song ‘Aye’, released on February 1st, 2014. The song, from its beat to the music video worked the magic of rekindling the ‘love glow’ in many. Being released in the very ‘month of love’, it wasn’t spared in becoming the new ringtone of many. The video of the song ‘Aye’, also portrayed Davido as “that ajebo” music star who stars true to his roots, representing the Yoruba African culture in all resplendence, irrespective of the fact that his growing up days were shuffled between Nigeria and the U.S. With this, we weren’t surprised when this song alone bagged various awards across Africa, including:

– Hottest Singe of the Year, ‘Aye’ Nigerian Entertainment Awards 2014

-Music Video of the Year, ‘Aye’ Ben TV Awards 2014

-Best Afro Pop Video ‘Aye’ Nigeria Music Video Awards 2014

-Song of the Year, ‘Aye’ The Headies 2014

Streaming Down To:

-Artiste of the Year, ‘Davido’, The Headies 2014

– Best Male West African, African Music Magazine Awards 2014

– Artiste of the Year, African Music Magazine Awards 2014

-Male Artiste of the Year, MTV Africa Music Awards 2014

– African Artiste  of the Year, Ghana Music Awards, 2014

– Musician of the Year (Male), City People Entertainment Awards 2014

-Best International Act: Africa, Bet Awards 

“My continent has been so blessed to influence other cultures. 

  Let’s collaborate, everybody. “- Davido

He is the first African based Artiste to receive the BET Awards on its main stage.

In June 2014, Davido collaborated with Tiwa Savage, Mi Casa, Lola Rae, Sarkodie and others on a song designed for DSTV’s Africa Rising Campaign, to inspire African (Youths) involvement in community based social investment projects.

 Within the years of 2013- 2015, Davido had released hit singles including- ‘Aye’ ‘Skelewu’ ‘Tchelete’ (Goodlife) featuring Mafikizolo, ‘Gobe’  and ‘Owo Ni Koko’. These years no doubt, were the beginning of sunshine in Davido’s music career.

*Lifestyle   *Family *Love    *More

Many times we see that the life of a celebrity is seldom one void of controversies. With this, looking beyond the ‘Omo Baba Olowo’ (OBO) tingly, what comes to mind at the mention of the personality, Davido? A lot right? From his family background, music career, elite financial status, love life and more, Davido has encountered various glaring controversial moments. However, he always has a way of handling or reacting to such situations with bits of humor added to the scenes.

For someone who already had houses in both Nigeria and the U.S, including a mansion worth NGN140 million in Lekki Phase 1 at the age of 20,   acquiring a vacation home in Atlanta was just another addition from the overflow of his wealth. In May 2015, Davido allocated the biggest room in this vacation home to his first child and daughter, who he named after his mother- Aurora Imade Adeleke. 

Davido and Daughter, Imade

Although Imade was born by his ex-girlfriend Sophie Mommodu, Davido’s love for his daughter never dwindled. He never also hesitates to show her off on his Instagram page, and even has ‘IMADE’ – added to his collection of tattoos.

Born by an American lady, Amanda, Davido’s second child is also named for his sweet mother- Hailey Veronica Adeleke.

Davido and Daughter, Hailey

Beyond being a singer, Davido takes pride in playing his fatherly roles to his children. Displaying his love for the two jewels has as daughters.

In between being all that he is, Davido has also been marked out as one that has a heart of gold, supporting various challenged individuals, financially and otherwise.

Davido’s Baby Girls, Imade & Hailey

In 2016,  Davido signed a record deal with Sony Music. Here he released the 5 – track EP: ‘Son of Mercy’ in October, 2016. Some of the singles within the EP include: ‘Coolest Kid in Africa’ featuring Nasty C, ‘Gbagbe Oshi’, and ‘How Long’. It was however reported by Pulse Nigeria that Davido ‘renegotiated his contract with Sony, due to creative control issues’, after which he released 5 singles in 2017, including ‘If’ and ‘Fall’. The song ‘Fall’ became the longest Nigerian Pop Song in the Billboard history.

Shortly after signing up with Sony, Davido founded his own music label, DMW- Davido Music Worldwide. This has become a breeding ground that has given other musicians a platform to thrive.

From The DMW Tribe: Davido & Perruzi

Among other honors, in 2017, Davido received the MOBO Awards as Best African Acts,doubling as the first to perform live at the awards. He also won the MTV Best African Act, 2017.

Davido’s MTV Awards, 2017

“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible. 

Nigerians turning up worldwide.” -Davido

May 9th, 2018, he signed an endorsement deal with a Hong-Kong based smartphone manufacturer, Infinix Mobile. 

From The DMW Tribe: Davido & Mayorkun

Then came The Headies 2018, where Davido won multiple awards, including the most coveted ‘Artiste of the Year’ Awards for the second time.

Davido’s Lover, Chioma

We cannot end the 2018 gist without Davido’s big bang relationship with Chioma Avril Rowland, which became public shortly after  her 23rd birthday in 2018. Davido later released the song ‘Assurance’ for his new found lover, Chioma, also known as Chef Chi. In cementing his love for her, Davido gifted Chioma a top of the line Porsche.

Davido & Chioma

Let’s Take A Deep Breath:

As we proceed to this year, 2019!!!

The journey which began in 2011 has become one marked for outstanding breakthroughs in 2019. Within the song ‘Dami Duro’ of 2011, screams the line “On the beat is Davido”.

It’s 2019 gradually winding up already, yet, Davido is still very much on the beat! From top charts on the radio and tv programs, to top events even beyond Africa. The relevance of Davido in the Nigeria music world and beyond cannot be overemphasized.

From the various massive collaborations of the year 2019, to the trending ‘Blow My Mind’ featuring Chris Brown and the current top ranking ‘Risky’, Davido has become an International Artiste celebrated beyond Africa and has created a top notch niche in the music industry

 Chris Brown & Davido

All these have been accelerated by not just his financial backings, as money alone cannot be said to make a music career thrive, in the rather choky music industry we have.

Davido has become one of the major controllers of the Nigeria music industry and beyond, serving as a mood booster to millions of fans, an inspiration to many up coming musicians, even the already made stars and a lord in his own world.

Davido & Burna Boy

Going back to a glimpse of Davido’s love life, the singer and his Chef Chi took their relationship to the next phase, as they got engaged in the month of September this year, 2019. This was after the couple’s introduction at Chioma’s family home in Lagos.

Davido’s Marriage Proposal to Chioma

To perfect it all, the duo have been blessed with a baby boy, David Adedeji Ifeanyi Adeleke Jnr, born on 20th October, 2019. You won’t be wrong if you call the ‘small big man’  the reigning ‘heir to the throne’, for a child born into wealth and getting endorsements even before his birth. In all, we look forward to Davido’s marriage with Chioma scheduled to hold in the year 2020.

 Davido & Son, David Jnr

Recently, the anticipation from fans all over the world began to build as Davido announced the forthcoming of his second studio album, ‘A Good Time’, featuring in the album includes: ‘Fall’ ‘Assurance’ and ‘Blow My Mind’. The album is scheduled for release on November 22nd, 2019, just a day after his birthday.

One of the glaring tattoos on Davido’s right arm are the immortal words of Julius Caesar: Veni Vidi Vici, with the translation: ‘I Came, I Saw; I Conquered’. This phrase can be regarded as the best summary of Davido’s story on display. 

Therefore, at Afrobeats360, we look out for more and more heroic deeds from the Afrobeats maestro, Davido.

Happy Birthday, OBO – King of the 30 Billion Gang!! We all at Afrobeats360 are rooting for you.

To all true fans of Davido, sign into the comments below to send your birthday wishes to OBO. You can also tell us one memorable thing you love about Davido.

Eden Benibo

Author: Eden Benibo

Eden Benibo, Deputy Editor & Writer at Afrobeats360. Also a poet & lover of music adorned with edible lyrics. She believes Music & Poetry are like twinkling stars to dark nights

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