Popularity is often a difficult thing to measure, but the most popular musicians in Africa will be rated according to their acceptance among the young crowd on the continent. Of course, it is fairly easy to be popular within one’s country; but when fame spreads throughout the region, and even beyond, then it becomes something notable.
The young people whose voices this article has chosen to reflect have a distinct type of music they like; the music may appear to be meaningless and noisy to the older generation, but young people love what they love; and those who can satisfy their cravings can become immensely popular.
Top 20 Most Popular Musicians In Africa
Wizkid is a dynamic musician; he has an enviable position in the continent’s musical hierarchy; he is one the biggest names in the industry, and has been so for the past ten years. Wizkid’s dynamism is something that cannot be overstated; his popularity comes from the fact that he is able to blend in with any kind of beat and sound; and so he delivers high quality music in different genres and categories, even when he does collaborations with musicians from outside his region.
That has opened a bigger market for Wizkid; he has performed all over the continent, and has taken African music to Europe, America, as well as a few performances at royal events in Asia. Wizkid is one of the most sought after musicians in Africa; his consistency and commitment to music as an art have combined to make him one of the most significant artists of his generation.
2. Burna Boy
Burna Boy recognizes his own talent, which is why he named one of his albums African Giant. True to that name; he has achieved the status of a giant in the industry as shown by the following accolades: he won the Grammy Award in 2021 for the best global music album.
He has sold out the 80,000 capacity London Stadium in 2023, and before that he had already sold out the O2 Arena.
He has performed with all the top musicians both on the continent and abroad; one of the most recent collaborations being with British great; Ed Sheeran. Burna Boy is one of the most popular figures for up and coming artists; they love to feature him on their tracks and albums for the love he gets from the wider audience.
Davido is a musical colossus in Nigeria and Africa; he is one of the most famous artists on the continent; and a very consistent figure as well. Davido started with a blast; from his first track he signified his intention to conquer the world and not just Africa. Dami Duro was just as popular in London as it was in Nigeria.
Furthermore, he featured Akon in the remix of that song- showing that he meant to take the music beyond the local frontiers.
Davido has done just that; he has performed at every significant arena in Europe and America; selling out the O2 Arena within minutes.
Davido has performed with so many international artists; putting Nigerian music firmly on the airwaves of America and beyond.
Sarkodie is the king of rap in Africa; his style of fast flowing, energetic rap has endeared him to audiences across the continent, even among audiences that do not understand what he says. Sarkodie performs in his native Twi language, as well as English and West African Pidgin.
Sarkodie has utter dominance in Ghana, he is unrivaled in West Africa, and while there many very good rappers in south Africa, non-have come anywhere near him in term of awards, popularity, and acceptance.
Sarkodie has taken African music to the global scene; he has thrilled audiences all over the world with his energy, his bounce, and boundless talent.
5. Casper Nyovest
Casper Nyovest also known as Don Shaballese, is the king of the rap genre in South Africa. He is a big shot by any definition of the word; he is one of those who have carried the weight of expectation in the South African music industry on his shoulders.
Casper Nyovest has not disappointed; he has consistently produced hit tunes which have spread their wings and flown all the way to West Africa, holding down the air waves of countries like Nigeria and Ghana.
Casper Nyovest is one of the most popular names in African music; he is one of the most respected rappers on the continent, and his music is often the yardstick by which African rap (English Language) is measured.
6. Nasty C
Nasty C is young, but he is the man to look out for when talking about rap. His abundance of talent, style of performance and the power of his voice all contribute to make his music widely popular among the young crowd.
Having already conquered the South African music industry; his focus now on the global market as he is now marketed by an American record label, and he is frequently in touch with the American industry and now features international artists on his record projects.
Nasty C already widely popular across the continent; and he is seen as the person who will take the baton form the Casper Nyovests, and Sarkodies of this world.
7. Tu Face
Tu Face is a Nigerian musician; he is one of the biggest singing talents that have been sent to earth from above. He is also one of the most consistent performers the continent has ever produced; he came into prominence in the late 90’s as a member of Plantashun Bois; and then ruled the airwaves in the early 2000s.
As a solo artist he was at the peak of the industry for around 15 years; he toured the continent putting up heart stopping performance everywhere he went.
Tuface Idibia’s popularity has taken him around the world; he has shared the stage with some of the biggest names in music including R Kelly, and Beenie Man. He is one of the most recognized musicians in Africa, and his trophy count testifies to that fact. It is important to notice that most of his awards are international awards.
8. Master KG
Master KG is a South African musician; his genre is electro. It will take a few words to explain just how popular this musician has become. Electro as a music genre is relatively unknown in West Africa; but Master KG broke that barrier by entering, and ruling the airwaves of that region, in addition to those of Southern and eastern Africa.
He has proven again and again that his feat was not a mistake; Master KG has taken his music, and the African style of electro music to the four corners of the world.
He has won awards not just in South Africa but internationally. Master KG has gained popularity beyond what any artist in his genre has done before on the continent; he is the most popular Electro musician in Africa.
9. Black Coffee
Black Coffee is the South African DJ Khaled; he is first a DJ before an artist; but has become significant in the industry for the feats he has achieved. He was one of the first DJs who started compiling and releasing EPs.
With the success of his records he became even more popular; and started to tour the continent for shows and events. Black Coffee has since relocated to New York, where he is a DJ and a recording artist.
He is giving the people of America and the world a taste of South African sound. Black coffee’s success has been an inspiration to many young people in South Africa and beyond; he has shown how high a DJ can fly.
10. Diamond Platinumz
Diamond Platinumz is a Tanzanian artist; the most popular in his country. The best part of it is that he has not simply lined up behind the other artists on this list, most of whom are simply doing the same Afro Pop and R&B. Diamond Platinumz is a Bongo Flava musician- a style of music that is unique to Tanzania and environs.
This Bongo Flava music has been well received everywhere he has taken it; West and Southern Africa especially, because he has done so many collaborations with musicians in those regions. Diamond Platinumz is one of the big names who have taken African music to the world stage.
The following is a more extensive list of the 20 most popular musicians in Africa.
The most popular artists in Africa have made tons of money from their popularity; which is consistent with the fact that music is a very lucrative venture. As of now, African music is firmly in the doors of Europe and America; and African musicians have spread their wings, and are now given the respect they deserve, and the money that comes with it.