Tiwa Savage. Picture: Supplied
Tiwa Savage. Picture: Supplied

6 African music stars who made waves in 2020

By Liam Karabo Joyce Time of article published Dec 9, 2020

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There is no denying that Africa is the gift that just keeps giving. From fashion to television, film and music, our minerals and everything in between, we have some of the best talent the world has to offer.

Travel around the world, with the exception of 2020 and you are bound to hear an African artist’s music in a club, restaurant or even a day market.

African musicians have aggressively been making their mark abroad for years and it’s no surprise that African music is embraced.

Here is our list of 2020’s biggest African stars in music

Tiwa Savage

The queen of Afropop reigns supreme. Since emerging in the early 2010s, she has released countless hits like “Eminado”, “Ma Lo”, “Bad” and chart-topping albums and has had a number of star collaborations.

Beyond her major achievements like signing a seven-year publishing and distribution deal with Universal Music Group, she also released her fourth studio album, Celia.

She also teamed up with Sam Smith and released “Temptation”.

Wizkid

This year marks a decade since WizKid first appeared on the Nigerian music scene and four years since his collaboration with Drake broadened his audience and put him on the path to global domination.

This year he also released his latest body of work, Made In Lagos.

The album features guest appearances from British artists Skepta and Ella Mai, American R&B singer H.E.R., Jamaican artists Projexx and Damian Marley and was met with rave reviews.

Davido

2020 started off roughly for Davido when his wife contracted Covid-19 but in May he announced that his third studio album would be titled “A Better Time” and that it would include 11 tracks, with features from Nicki Minaj and Tiwa Savage.

In July, he performed on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” and was seen in the studio with rapper Nas.

In August, he had a chat with Grammy Museum on Instagram Live about the rise of Afrobeats and other issues within the industry.

His album was released in November and features guest appearances from Lil Baby, Nicki Minaj, Nas, Chris Brown and Young Thug, among others.

Master KG

No list of Africa’s biggest music stars would be complete without the award-winning duo that gave the world “Jerusalema”.

The hit song has brought in countless awards for the duo and has given them international recognition.

An accompanying dance challenge, attributed to a group of Angolan friends performing the choreography in a candid video, helped the song go viral online.

The #JerusalemaChallenge, which has been compared to the Macarena, spawned dance videos from many countries, including Israel, the Netherlands, Portugal, Italy, Spain, France, Jamaica, Canada and the United States

Sha Sha

Zimbabwe’s Sha Sha burst onto the scene thanks to her vocals on some of the biggest amapiano songs which have earned her the title of the queen of amapiano.

While the genre continues to dominate, Sha Sha went on to be nominated at the South African Music Awards and won Best New International Act at this year’s BET Awards.

Burna Boy

Burna Boy is without a doubt one of the continents biggest stars.

This year was a big one for him, he was featured on Sam Smith's single "My Oasis" and his fifth studio album, “Twice as Tall”, was released in August.

Executive produced by Diddy and Mama Burna Bose Ogulu, the album became his highest-charting project, debuting at number 1 on the Billboard 200.

In November, the album was nominated under the World Music Album category in the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards alongside other entertainers like Antibalas, Bebel Gilberto, Anoushka Shankar and Tianariwen.

This is the second year in a row that the singer is getting a nomination in this category. This year he also won the Best International Act at the BET Awards.

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