Yemi Alade

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About Yemi Alade

Nigerian Afropop singer Yemi Alade is a huge star at home and abroad, thanks to her facility with language—she sings in Yoruba, English, Igbo, French, and Swahili—and a cross-cultural approach to her music that incorporates various African sounds and styles. • Alade was a university student in 2009 when she won Nigeria’s Peak Talent Show, which led to a deal with the independent record label Effyzzie Music Group. • Her breakthrough came in 2013 with the single “Johnny,” which has surpassed 130 million video views. The song appeared on her debut LP, 2014’s King of Queens, which drew on Afropop, R&B, and reggae. • Alade won Best Female at the MTV Africa Music Awards in 2015 and 2016. • She recorded her second album, 2016’s Mama Africa, with collaborators from across the continent as part of her goal “to capture all of Africa on one CD,” as she told The Fader. The album includes contributions from Nigerian duo P-Square, Kenyan band Sauti Sol, Ghanaian rapper Sardkodie, and Ivorian singer DJ Arafat. • Mama Africa won the Independent Music Award for World Beat in 2017. • Alade’s third album, 2017’s Black Magic, includes contributions from the Nigerian hip-hop stars Olamide and Falz. A deluxe version added songs with American singer Kat DeLuna and the Congolese soukous musician Awilo Longomba. • Woman of Steel in 2019 broadened Alade’s reach even further, mixing R&B and a Ghaniain highlife sound on collaborations with American rapper Rick Ross, the global worldbeat star Angélique Kidjo, and the Nigerian actress and singer Funke Akindele. • Alade continued her cross-cultural approach on Empress in 2020, incorporating elements of gospel, dancehall, and the Ivorian style coupé-décalé into her Afrobeats sound.

Abia State, Nigeria
March 13, 1989
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