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BN Music Friday Top 5 – Nigerians Abroad



Hi, It’s Onos O again. Here’s a brand new installment of BN Music Friday Top 5.

Last week, we went across borders and ventured into the foreign land of Ghana, where we had a sneak peek of artists over there making tidal waves so large that their music was spilling everywhere. This week, we’re going on another journey, but this time, to find our own Nigerians repping us across the borders. So, this week’s countdown is dedicated to Nigerian musicians and artists doing big things abroad.

Here’s this week’s BN Music Friday Top 5:

5. Nneka

Nneka Lucia Egbuna, more commonly known as just Nneka has brought us hits like “Heartbeat”, “Viva Africa”  for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa and “Kangpe” which was featured on the EA Sports’ FIFA 2010 game soundtrack. Currently, she’s on a tour in France and her 2012 album “Soul Is Heavy” is out and on the charts.

Having toured with the likes of Nas and Damian Marley and headlined concerts in France, UK and Japan; just to name a few, Nneka is slowly becoming an enigma still sticking to her roots with her music.

In case you didn’t know, the 31 year old songstress was born to a Nigerian father, from Anambra, and a German mother and was born and raised in Warri, Delta state. Nneka‘s definitely another artist reppin’ Naija to the core.

4. Tinie Tempah

Tinie Tempah gave us hits like “Frisky”, “Pass Out”, “Written In The Stars” and “Miami 2 Ibiza”. And, since he dropped his first album “Disc-overy”,  he has blown onto the scene like a wildfire, most especially, when he made the crossover to the US market with the same album.

Born Patrick Chukwuemeka Okogwu, the now 23 year old rapper had been on the underground scene in the UK since about 2007 when he dropped his first mixtape. Now, he’s a multiple MOBO and Brit Award-winning artist headlining concerts worldwide.

3. Wale

Wale Victor Folarin, born Olubowale Victor Akintimehin to Nigerian parents, is an American rapper from Washington D.C. who burst onto the scene with his single “Chillin” featuring Lady Gaga and has not left spotlight ever since.

Every once in a while, he does a freestyle on a popular Nigerian song like P-Square‘s “No One Like You” or D’Banj‘s “Oliver Twist”, just to name a few.

Now signed to Rick Ross‘ Maybach Music Group, and with two successful albums “Attention Deficit” and “Ambition” out; Wale is definitely one Nigerian abroad keeping it real and reppin’ Naija to the fullest.

2. Taio Cruz

Taio Cruz is responsible for hits like “Dynamite”, “Break Your Heart”, “Dirty Picture”, more recently “Hangover” and so many more chart-topping singles worldwide.

Born Jacob Taio Cruz, I’m sure most of you didn’t know that the 28 year old British singer/songwriter, rapper and entrepreneur was born to a Nigerian father and Brazilian mother. Taio Cruz is definitely an artist doing it big reppin’ Nigeria abroad.

1. Sade Adu

Helen Folasade Adu OBE (Officer of The Order of The British Empire) is a British singer/songwriter, composer and record producer. And, this week, she’s no.1 on our countdown of Nigerians abroad.

Sade was born to a Nigerian father and English mother in Ibadan, Oyo state. But when her lecturer father and nurse mother’s marriage ran into difficulties, her mother, 4-year old Sade and older brother Banji moved back to England.

Most recently, the 53-old songstress was on a “Sade Live” tour last year and also released a greatest hits compilation “The Ultimate Collection”.

Well, that’s it, BN Music Friday Top 5: “Nigerians Abroad”. But, even though big brands and artists like SealAsa, Ayo and D’Banj, just to name a few, didn’t make the cut; Nigerians are truly doing it big home and abroad. Here’s a quick recap:

5. Nneka

4. Tinie Tempah

3. Wale

2. Taio Cruz

1. Sade Adu

So, with all that said, I’ll be right here waiting for you next week; and as I always say “vivere senza rimpianti” (to live without regrets). Have a great day.

Photo Credits: Billboard | Allmusicians | Iktune | Jens Boldt | TruthAboutMusic | thesoc | dipity


  1. Ndidi

    April 20, 2012 at 2:18 pm

    I don’t usually get shocked, but I am officially shocked in a very good way. Taio Cruz is Nigerian?? Wow!!! That is a big surprise. He is a huge star!! Thank you Onos O. I love learning something new, when I least expect. Well done. However, where is Seal? He is also Nigerian and he is definitely abroad!!!!!

  2. mma

    April 20, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    Old jist

  3. tope

    April 20, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    no ASA?

  4. LPS

    April 20, 2012 at 2:35 pm

  5. Demmy

    April 20, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    I think it’s so cool you added Sade but not rest. I love Wale,Taoi and Tinie but peopel always mention them when talimg about Nigerian artistes abroad. Find new ones now!


    April 20, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    plz mek una no count Taio cruz join our body a beg una, no bi person wey don lost, wey non were lagos dey becuaes in muzic don grow u come join am for us .We no dey hunt for 9ja artists all over the world because plenty don lost like cruz

  7. Couture By Makioba

    April 20, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    i had always known that Taio cruz is a Nigerian but pple who knws him said he’s not repping Naija in anyway… Wale, Tinnie and Nneka these r d ones repping Naija big time…dont knw abt Sade…

    • Yeoal

      April 20, 2012 at 11:28 pm

      Yes Taio Cruz is from Nigeria but he does not ever rep Naija. Wale does a better job. Watch any of his interviews, when he is asked questions about himself, within two minutes you will know his country of origin. His single “My Sweetie” is a remake of a Nigerian classic (Watch the video here: Sade reps Naija, always has. I watched one of her interviews a long time ago and she said she had nothing against Africans who change their names when they get abroad and want to break into the entertainment industry because, it’s more appealing to the western world but she decided to keep hers because that is what she wanted to….. retain her identity. I think she is our greatest export entertainment wise……….. next to Fela.

  8. faith

    April 20, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    Seal should def. be No.1

  9. Janded

    April 20, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    These are all people that have done our country proud. What about Tiwa Savage na?

  10. annie

    April 20, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    Tyler d creator and seal are nigerians too lol

  11. Tosin

    April 20, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    Sade was born in Ibadan, Oyo state, I never knew that. Very proud of my state, whoop whoop!!!

  12. tina

    April 20, 2012 at 4:56 pm

    must be a slow friday for BN

  13. chinco

    April 20, 2012 at 5:53 pm

    Duh! D guy’s name is Tayo. Serious old gist!

  14. Mbari Hogun

    April 20, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    Beautiful people, beautiful nation.

  15. Demola

    April 20, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    Ok, when i read the Taio Cruz bit, I realised you probably got it wrong elsewhere. Taio Cruz was born Tayo Onile-ere. Check the credits on will young’s song ‘Your game’

  16. lovebellanaija

    April 20, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    Taio cruz is nt representing 9jeria in anyway…why is he on the list # just saying

  17. iamfascinating

    April 20, 2012 at 10:29 pm

  18. Anonymous

    April 20, 2012 at 11:34 pm

    Folasade Adu is a goddess. Nneka is good too. Hopefully, there will be more naijas representing abroad. I didn’t know Tao Cruz is Nigerian. Don’t blame some of these people for not repping naija. How can they rep when their dads are not in their life.

    • iyabo

      May 23, 2012 at 1:53 pm

      what are you on about? his father is in his life, his father is a high flying lawyer who paid his £12,000 a yr school fees at a private school, He never talks about his Nigerian roots but talks non-stop at his Brazillan roots. he’s arrogant, whenever he gives interviews to the press, he talks about his upbringing and how he was sent to a private school blah! blah! blah! blah! . i worked at at £10,000 aa yr school in Hertfordshire as a kitchn porter and the Nigerian kids and Asian kids were soo nice, no airs no graces, well-mannered, down to earth so i wonder whether he thinks he’s the one black guy in a private school.

  19. Ari. L

    April 21, 2012 at 7:12 am

    Asa??? The fact that some dad is Nigerian doesn’t mean they consider themselves Nigerian, I agree with everyone on the Taio Cruz agruement!!

  20. theodora

    April 21, 2012 at 11:31 am

    Hmm love wale dough! And honestely didn’t Taio cruz is a nigerian

  21. eba

    April 21, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    cruz like seriously nigerian? wow just finding that out and tinnie really? ok o
    why is Asa not on that list?

  22. KofoLina

    April 21, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    Please remove Taio Cruz! He’s not worthy of the list. If you don’t want to claim us we don’t want you too. No hating, just saying!

  23. Ib

    April 22, 2012 at 12:06 am

    Why is Asa not in this list Onos?FYI,she is world class

  24. darkhorse

    April 22, 2012 at 12:18 am

    its when tomatoes are plush they are wanted, what’s with all the brouhaha about them being Nigerian or not? Who tells you they want to be associated with Nigeria and Nigerians? They are excellent artistes period. I don’t see anyone jumping up to claim Abdulmudiapers!

  25. Ron

    April 22, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    Lol @Abdulmudiapers!


    April 22, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    Ayo (hope no one forgot her) and Asa are def doing their thing. As for Taio Cruz, abeg, dont insult us. He probably even feels insulted being on this list. Mtchewwww…

  27. missA

    April 23, 2012 at 8:02 am

    Sorry but Taio Cruz, Tinie Tempah, and even Sade Adu are British. They hardly ever alude to their Nigerian roots except Sade to some extent.

    Wale is American. They are only Nigerians by their ancestry lineage, these people dont claim Nigeria so why make a post on them?!

  28. Africanbeauty

    April 27, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    The only ones really connected to their nigerian roots is Nneka and Wale. I see too many half Nigerian who have no clue where they came from. Naija men if you can’t be in these children’s lives, don’t use their mother for green card, it’s unfair on them. Asa and Ayo should definitely be on their list because they are doing their thing abroad.

  29. kanbrecords

    June 22, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    ASa is a world best to be figured out when classifying Nigerian repping overseas!

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