Burna Boy named biggest Nigerian artist of all time

Burna Boy. Picture: Instagram

Burna Boy. Picture: Instagram

Published Oct 2, 2023


Burna Boy’s live stadium concert in South Africa may have been cancelled due to low ticket sales and bad organisation but the global superstar continues to rise.

The “Last Last” hitmaker recently added another milestone to his name after being voted as the most-streamed Nigerian artist of all time on Apple Music.

As Nigeria celebrates its 63rd year of independence, the Afrobeats artist has continued to bring his unique sound to an ever-growing global audience, making him the biggest artist in his home country and one of the biggest worldwide.

His seventh studio album, “I Told Them...”, which was recently released, not only broke the African record for first-week streams, but also topped the albums chart in 69 countries simultaneously worldwide, a new record for the genre.

Following behind is Wizkid, Davido, Rema with his smash summer hit, “Calm Down”.

Burna Boy, who is currently touring the US before heading to Canada and Germany also proved that he will be the continents best artist when he scooped the Best International Act prize at the BET Awards – an award he has won four times now (2019, 2020, 2021 and 2023).

Here are five biggest breakthrough Nigerian artists you should be listening to.

Seyi Vibez

Known for his breakthrough single, “Chance”, from his second studio album, “Billion Dollar Baby”, the 23-year-old artist has got listeners worldwide hooked on his modernist take on Apala, a traditional Yoruba-rooted genre, that draws on elements of Fuji, amapiano, hip hop and Afrosoul music.

His 2021 release, “God Sent,” was his first to reach Apple Music’s Daily Top 100, and the 23-year-old has seen more than 50 songs reach the chart in 20 countries.

He also features on Burna Boy’s star-studded, “I Told Them...”

And his latest single, “Dejavu”, is now available for streaming.


With a sound that hops between drill, grime and Afrobeats, Odumodublvck is one of the hottest rappers coming out of Nigeria.

The Native Records artist’s hit single, “Picanto”, became his first song to reach the Daily Top 100 in Nigeria.

But it was with the release of his March single, “Declan Rice”, that his streams really started to soar. The song became his first song to top the chart in Nigeria, and also reached the chart in 11 other countries.


Shallipopi has had a whirlwind year thanks to his viral Afrobeats hit, “Elon Musk”.

His song, “Ex Convict”, sent seven other songs to the charts in 12 countries worldwide and was named an Apple Music Up Next artist in Nigeria, joining the likes of Khaid, Pawzzz and Novemba.

Victor Thompson

Year after year, Nigeria and other African nations far outpace other nations in Christian and Gospel listening. It’s fostered the rise of artists like Gospel singer-songwriter Victor Thompson, who had a breakthrough in January with “This Year (Blessings)”.

The song has been Thompson’s biggest chart hit to date, reaching the Daily Top 100 in 58 countries, including 10 where it reached the top 10.


Team-ups between Nigerian and American artists are becoming more and more common each year, and each year, they climb higher and higher up the charts.

A case in point is “Ta Ta Ta”, a team-up between Nigerian singer Bayanni and American pop star Jason Derulo.

After the song was originally released on Bayanni’s 2022 self-titled EP and started gaining steam late last year, Derulo hopped onto a remix in spring, helping it become an even bigger global hit.

“Ta Ta Ta” has reached the Daily Top 100 in 54 countries, including 20 where it reached the top 10.