ABOUT DAVIDO AKA “OBO”

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David Adedeji Adeleke, better known as Davido, is a force to be reckoned with in the global music scene. He’s not just a musician; he’s a cultural phenomenon, an Afrobeats kingpin, and a vibrant ambassador for Nigerian music and pop culture. Davido’s nickname, “OBO” (Omo Baba Olowo, meaning “Son of a Rich Man”), may be catchy, but it only scratches the surface of who he is.

He’s a driven artist, a savvy businessman, a passionate advocate, and a genuine entertainer. He’s Davido, the global Afrobeats kingpin, and his reign is just beginning. Davido’s influence on Afrobeats is undeniable. He’s helped propel the genre to global heights, paving the way for a new generation of African artists. He’s a cultural icon, a fashion trendsetter, and a social media magnet. But above all, he’s a talented musician who brings joy and energy to millions through his music.

Early life

David Adedeji Adeleke professionally known as Davido was born on November 21, 1992, in Atlanta, Georgia, the United States. He was, however, raised in Lagos Nigeria by his parents, who are the famous Adeleke family. Davido’s father, Adedeji Adeleke is a famous business magnate and millionaire in Nigeria while his mother Vero Adeleke was a university lecturer. Vero Adeleke died in 2003. Davido is the last child of his parents and he has two older brothers and two older sisters.

Education

For his early education, Davido attended the British International School in Lagos when his family relocated back to Nigeria. However, the young Adeleke returned to the U.S. when he was 16 years old to further his studies. He attended Oakwood University, Alabama briefly where he was studying business administration before dropping out. While at the University, Davido had his mind set on music and he did all he could to make sure he achieved his dreams. He bought himself some musical equipment while at Oakwood and he began making beats.

Davido also formed a music group known as KB International with his cousins and fellow artists, B-Red and Sina Rambo. After dropping out from Oakwood University, Davido went to London to begin pursuing his music and working on his vocals. He returned to Nigeria in 2011 and upon his father’s request, he enrolled at Babcock University graduating in 2015. Using his father’s influence and money, Babcock University started a department in music and Davido became the pioneer student in the whole institution.

Career

Davido’s musical journey began at a young age. He dropped out of Oakwood University where he was studying business administration to make beats and record vocal references. After leaving the university he pursued music full-time, a bold move that paid off handsomely. His 2011 debut single, “Back When,” launched him into Nigerian stardom, and hits like “Dami Duro” and “Skelewu” cemented his place at the forefront of the burgeoning Afrobeats movement.

Davido’s music is a vibrant tapestry of Afrobeats rhythms, high-energy pop melodies, and dashes of hip-hop and R&B. He seamlessly blends traditional Nigerian sounds with global influences, creating a sonic cocktail that is infectious and irresistible. His catchy hooks, powerful vocals, and energetic stage presence make him a live-wire performer, captivating audiences worldwide.

In January 2016, Davido signed a record deal with Sony Music and he announced this to his fans on X (formerly Twitter). A few months later, he founded his record label which he named Davido Music Worldwide (DMW). He has since signed several artists including Dremo, Mayorkun, Yonda, and Peruzzi. In July 2016, Davido signed a new record deal with Sony’s RCA Records and he subsequently released a five-track Extended Play (EP), Son of Mercy, in October of the same year. Songs on the EP included “Gbagbe Oshi”, “How Long” and “Coolest Kid in Africa”. In April 2017, Davido re-negotiated his record deal contract with Sony due to creative control issues.

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Davido’s collaborative spirit is another key to his success. He’s teamed up with countless artists, from Nigerian stars like Wizkid and Olamide to international heavyweights like Chris Brown, Nicki Minaj, and Akon. These collaborations not only showcase the depth and versatility of his sound but also contribute to Afrobeats’ global reach and recognition. In 2019, Davido was listed in the New African magazine as one of the 100 most influential Africans.

As a Great maestro, David released his third studio album, A Better Time on November 13, 2020. He also appeared on Time magazine’s Time 100 Next List in February 2021. Going further, the singer released his fourth studio album which he titled Timeless on March 31, 2023. Recognizing his musical feat on the international landscape, Davido received three nominations at the 66th Annual Grammy Award for “Unavailable”, “Feel” and his album Timeless in November 2023.

Other Business

Davido’s impact extends far beyond music. He’s a successful entrepreneur, with his record label, DMW, and a clothing line. He’s also a philanthropist, actively supporting education initiatives and youth development programs in Nigeria. He’s not afraid to use his platform to speak out on social issues, advocating for justice and equality.

On April 6, 2012, as reported by Naijassador, Davido had signed an endorsement deal with MTN for a whopping sum of 30 million naira. He also became the brand ambassador for MTN Pulse which is a campaign by MTN focused on young people. Also on October 24, 2013, Guinness Nigeria signed Davido for an endorsement deal and he also performed at the Guinness World of More Concert. He performed with other top Nigerian artists like P-Square, D’banj, Wizkid, Ice Prince, Burna Boy, Olamide, Phyno, Chidinma, Waje, and Tiwa Savage.

Again, Davido signed an endorsement deal with Hong Kong-based smartphone manufacturer, Infinix Mobile in May 2018. In May 2021, he became an official brand ambassador for the sports-betting brand 1xBet. In October 2021, the cognac brand Martell unveiled Davido as its new ambassador. In December 2021, Davido signed a long-term agreement with footwear manufacturer Puma and became a global brand ambassador for the company.

Davido’s music and albums

Davido, the name synonymous with vibrant Afrobeats rhythms and catchy hooks, needs no introduction in the global music scene. But beyond the infectious energy and chart-topping hits, lies a musician who has meticulously crafted a musical journey, documented in a string of albums that showcase his evolution and solidify his place as an Afrobeats pioneer.

Omo Baba Olowo (2012)

From the youthful exuberance of his debut, Omo Baba Olowo (2012), bursting with street anthems like “Back When” and “Dami Duro,” Davido established himself as a force to be reckoned with. Each subsequent album saw him experiment and mature, refining his sound while staying true to his Afrobeats roots.

A Good Time (2019)

This album marked a pivotal moment, a vibrant culmination of Davido’s artistic growth. Global hits like “Fall,” “If,” and “Blow My Mind” featuring Chris Brown, catapulted him onto the international stage, showcasing his ability to blend Afrobeats with pop sensibilities. The album’s success secured his status as a crossover artist, paving the way for collaborations with A-listers like Nicki Minaj and Megan the Stallion.

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A Better Time (2020)

This album arrived amidst the pandemic, offering a much-needed dose of escapism. This introspective album saw Davido exploring themes of love, loss, and resilience while retaining his signature energy on tracks like “Fem” and “Holy Ground” featuring Victony.

Timeless (2023)

Timeless is his most recent offering and is a testament to his artistic prowess. It’s a sonic tapestry woven with Afrobeats, R&B, and even trap influences, showcasing his willingness to push boundaries without losing his core identity. Songs like “Moreover” and “Calm Down” resonate with a newfound depth, proving his ability to evolve without sacrificing his signature charisma.

Davido’s albums are not just collections of songs; they’re chapters in his musical autobiography. Each release reflects his artistic growth, personal experiences, and the evolving Afrobeats landscape. Omo Baba Olowo introduced raw talent, A Good Time solidified his global appeal, A Better Time showcased his vulnerability, and Timeless cemented his status as a genre-bending innovator. Beyond the chart-topping numbers and viral dances, Davido’s music speaks to a generation. He captures the aspirational spirit, the love and heartbreak, the struggles and triumphs, all through the infectious rhythm of Afrobeats. His albums are sonic snapshots of a life lived loud, a testament to his dedication to his craft, and a blueprint for the future of Afrobeats.

Philanthropy

Beyond the electrifying beats and chart-topping hits, Davido, the Afrobeats kingpin, possesses another powerful dimension: his unwavering commitment to philanthropy. He channels his musical success into a force for good, using his platform and resources to uplift and empower marginalized communities.

Davido’s philanthropic journey began on a personal level when he donated N250 million to orphanages across Nigeria, a gesture inspired by his late mother’s dedication to charity. This act sparked a movement, igniting his passion for giving back and inspiring others to do the same.

Formalizing his commitment, Davido established the David Adeleke Foundation DAF in 2022. This foundation serves as a crucial vessel for his philanthropic endeavors, focusing on education, healthcare, and youth development initiatives. The DAF aims to empower underprivileged communities, granting scholarships, building educational facilities, and providing crucial medical support.

Davido’s philanthropy goes beyond throwing money at problems. He actively engages with communities, understanding their needs and working alongside them to create sustainable solutions. His initiatives are designed to empower individuals, equip them with skills and resources, and foster a sense of self-reliance and community spirit.

Personal life

Even though Davido has six children with different women, he shocked his fans in March 2023 when he revealed that he became a married man. Davido got married to his longtime girlfriend and baby mama, Chioma Avril Rowland. She is popularly known as Chef Chi. She is a chef and business owner.

The singer has six children, although he lost one of his sons in 2022. Davido’s first child is named Imade, a girl whom he had with businesswoman Sophia Momodu. His second daughter is Hailey and she was born from his brief relationship with US-based model Amanda. Davido’s first son and third child was Ifeanyi who was born by his wife, Chioma Rowland. He also has another son named Dawson with and US-based woman named Larrissa London. Chioma and Davido also have twin babies which makes the total number of the singer’s children to be six.

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On October 31, 2022, it was reported nationwide that Davido and his wife (then baby mama) lost their son, David Ifeanyi Adeleke Jr. The young child was only three years old and the first son of the singer. The cause of death for the young child was said to be as a result of drowning. Ifeanyi drowned in a swimming pool at his father’s Banana Island residence while his parents were away but left him in the care of his nanny and other domestic staff.

As police began investigating the death of young Ifeanyi, all the domestic staff available during the time of the incident at Davido’s house were arrested and questioned. Following the investigation, six workers were released and two of the workers remained in detention.

In 2023, Davido announced the birth of his twin babies with his wife Chioma Rowland. The news came as a huge celebration for not just the singer but also for his fans who had wished him a full recovery from the death of his son, Ifeanyi.

Awards and Tours

Through the course of his career, Davido has won several awards and still counting. Some of his notable awards include BET Awards, MTV Africa Music Awards, and The Headies Awards. He also had some nominations; notable was his three nominations at the just concluded Grammy Awards in 2023.

Davido has performed at several concerts and tours around the world. Some of his notable performances include the 30 Billion Concert in Lagos the O2 Arena concert in London, Timeless concert. He also just concluded his Timeless tour on New Year’s Eve of 2023.

Net Worth

Davido has a net worth of $45 million and this does not come as a shock because he has a successful music career. He also has several business endeavors that bring in more money for the singer. Let’s not also forget the fact that he is from a rich household and money is never his problem.

Davido’s meteoric rise from a young artist with big dreams to a global Afrobeats icon is a testament to his unwavering passion, relentless work ethic, and undeniable talent. His journey, filled with triumphs and challenges, resonates with millions around the world, capturing the essence of resilience, determination, and the pursuit of excellence.

As a musician, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and cultural ambassador, Davido’s impact transcends the music industry, leaving an indelible mark on Nigerian music, pop culture, and the global entertainment landscape. His albums are not merely collections of songs; they are chronicles of his life, reflections of his growth, and milestones in the evolution of Afrobeats. From his philanthropic endeavors to his commitment to social causes, Davido’s influence extends far beyond the stage, embodying the spirit of a true Naijassador. As he continues to redefine boundaries, break records, and inspire a new generation of artists, one thing is certain: Davido’s legacy is timeless, and his reign as the global Afrobeats kingpin is far from over.

Things you should know about Davido, a Nigerian artiste

Please tell our readers what else they should know in the comment section.

Written by Sarah Aboje

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