1-10: 360 Listening EAR Independence Day Special – Nigeria’s Top 50 Songs(1960-2010)

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HAPPY 50th INDEPENDENCE NIGERIA!

It’s been a long process but we are finally arrived at the TOP 10.

On Thursday Sept 23, we dropped the 1st rundown from 50 down to 41.

On Monday Sept 27, we dropped the next ten from 40 to 31.

On Wednesday Sept 29, we dropped the next ten from 30 to 21.

On Thursday Sept 30, we dropped 20 to 11

Without further ado

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No 10: 2Face – African Queen
(2004,
“Face 2 Face”, Kennis Music)

2Face - African Queen

Innocent Ujah Idibia (born in Jos, Plateau State) best known as Tuface Idibia is a Nigerian music icon. He was a member of the defunct R&B/hip hop group Plantashun Boyz and is currently one of the most popular artists on the African music scene.

Idibia hails from Okpokwu local government area and from the Idoma ethnic group in the southern part of Benue State, in central Nigeria. He attended Mount Saint Gabriel’s Secondary School in Makurdi, Benue State. He schooled briefly in the Institute of Management & Technology, IMT, Enugu, one of the country’s foremost higher institute of learning where he did his preliminary National Diploma course in Business Administration. Though, he didn’t finish but would hone his skills in music by performing in shows and parties organised by the IMT and some other schools like Enugu State University of Science & Technology, Enugu (ESUT) and University of Nigeria Enugu Campus (UNEC).

His major breakthrough in the IMT was composing and singing the jingles in the famous radio show GB Fan Club in Enugu State Broadcasting Services (ESBS) in 1996. He then relocated to Lagos and joined up with his ex-IMT mate BlackFace to form Plantashun Boyz. He started calling himself 2Face in 1996. “The name to me just refers to the outside and inside: when you first see me you see the outside but when you get to know me, you see the inside” he said in an interview with the BBC.

He released his debut album “Face 2 Face” in 2004 to a resounding success. The market just couldn’t get enough of the album. His award winning hit track “African Queen” was used as the sound track of the 2006 American comedy film starring MoniquePhat Girlz. This made him even more recognized internationally. “African Queen” , his biggest hit till date is a guitar ballad with elements of West African folk music and hip-hop.

The Plantashun Boyz came together briefly in 2007 to record an album which they titled “Plan B”.

He would go on to release 3 more successfully albums. 2baba recently released some singles off the international version of his “Unstoppable” album (the first Nigerian artist to have an appropriately priced CD). Everyone seems to be in love with the single “Only Me”.

He has won so many awards which include the 2005 KORA Awards “Revelation of The Year”, 2005 MTV Europe Awards  “Best African Act” and the 2007 MOBO Awards “Best African Act”. He is one of Nigeria if not Africa’s biggest star at the moment. No shaking!

2Face – African Queen

culled most from Wiki

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No 9: Shina Peters – Afro Juju(Ace)
(1989,
Ace (Afro-Juju Series 1))

Shina Peters

Sir Shina Peters (born 30 May 1958) is a Nigerian Jùjú musician. Born Oluwashina Akanbi Peters in Ogun State, he began his career while playing the guitar with General Prince Adekunle, later forming his own group with Juju Maestro Segun Adewale. Shina Peters, after releasing many albums with Segun Adewale through the 1980s, went on to form his own band Sir Shina Peters & His International Stars. Their first album release Ace (Afro-Juju Series 1) in 1989 went double platinum and was the career breakthrough which catapulted Sir Shina Peters back into the limelight. “Ace” was a musical fusion between Juju and Afro beat; a rhythmic collaboration which pierced Ethnic, Cultural and language barriers in Nigeria.

The second album release “Shinamania (Afro-Juju Series 2)” went on to further prove that Sir Shina Peters & His International Stars were on the verge to change and revolutionize the Juju Music scene in Africa. Sir Shina Peters is still regarded as the creator of a well respected music genre (Afro Juju) that exists in its own class till this day. He has about 16 album releases to his credit.

Sir Shina Peters also called SSP has received numerous awards and recognition for his unparalleled prowess in the art of Writing, Composition, Choreography and Musical Ability.Sir Shina Peters & His International Stars have become a household name in the World Music genre. Sir Shina Peters has sold millions of albums worldwide & has taken his music to the shores of South Africa, Europe, Germany, United Kingdom, Italy and United States. Sir Shina Peters is currently signed to Orbit Entertainment, his USA agency based in New York.

Shina Peters – Afro Juju(Ace

culled mostly from Wiki

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No 8: Sonny Okosun – Now Or Ever
(1986,
“Now or Never”, EMI)

Sonny Okosun - Now Or Never

Sonny Okosun (or Okosuns), a native of the Niger Delta region was born in Enugu, Nigeria, on January 1, 1947 into a family of Musicians. Sonny Okosun towers among the giants of contemporary African music — assigning his signature fusion of reggae, highlife, Afro-funk, and traditional melodies and rhythms the catchall description “Ozziddi” (or “message”), he tackled head-on the most incendiary political and social issues gripping the African continent.

As a teen he taught himself guitar and was heavily influenced by rockers like Elvis Presley and the Beatles. He formed the band the Postmen in 1964; a year later Okosun visited London for the first time as part of a theatre group. In the wake of the early-1966 government coup d’état that led to the Biafra conflict, he and his family settled in Lagos, where he forged a career as a television actor.

Sonny Okosun returned to music in 1969 as a member of Victor Uwaifo’sMelody Maestros. He would go on to form his own psychedelic rock unit, Paperback Limited, which he dissolved in 1974. Okosun would then go on to reinvent his approach, this time infusing influences like soul, funk, and reggae – the resulting group, dubbed Ozziddi, crystallized the progressive musical and lyrical path he followed throughout the remainder of his career.

“Now or Ever” was released in 1986 following the sucess of “Which Way Nigeria” and the song has a similar message. It was big in Nigeria & Africa as a whole. Song should bring back memories

In 1985 he reached the apex of his international fame as the lone African artist to contribute to the all-star anti-apartheid album “Sun City”, and a year later his cut “Highlife” featured in the Jonathan Demme-directed feature film Something Wild. In 1994, he scored another success with the smash gospel album “Songs of Praise” which won a number of Nigerian music awards. He become the country’s top gospel musician

Sonny Okosun was one who always preached unity in his music – he was very aware of the issues of diversity and unity in Nigeria, thus, he sang in Yoruba, Igbo and Hausa and though he was Christian, sang a Muslim song. Okosun was a true Pan African who had no problem singing about issues in different regions of Africa.

He passed away on May 25, 2008 in Washington DC. May his soul rest in perfect peace.

Sonny Okosun – Now Or Never

culled mostly from Sonny Okosun bio on music.msn.com

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No 7: Femi Kuti – Wonder Wonder
(1995, “
Femi Kuti”, Tabu Records)

Femi Kuti - Wonder

Born 16 June 1962 in London and raised in Lagos, the son of Afro-beat legend Fela Anikulapo-Kuti,Femi Kuti’s musical career started when he began playing in his father’s band, Egypt 80. In 1986, Femi started his own band, Positive Force, and began establishing himself as an artist independent of his father’s massive legacy. In the mid-’90s, Motown offered him a record deal with its boutique label, Tabu. Femi’s eponymous debut album “Femi Kuti” resulted. Released in 1995, the album won praise throughout Europe and Africa for offering a more streamlined and accessible version of his father’s music. “Wonder Wonder” put Femi on the map.Femi embarked on an extended promotional tour, crossing first Africa, then Europe in 1996 and 1997. His solo career was off to a successful start, despite the dissolution of Motown’s Tabu label and Femi’s record deal with it.

Since few artists can match his father’s legacy of not only music but influence, Femi’s relation as his son is both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, it’s never been difficult for Femi to garner press or attention, and MCA went out of its way to push his career with ridiculous amounts of publicity. Yet on the other hand, no matter his individual accomplishments, Femi will forever be known as Fela’s son.

Practicing a similar style of Afro-beat as his father, Femi helped introduce the percussive blend of jazz and funk music to the international masses beginning in the mid 90s, along with his father’s same sense of political activism. After his father’s death in 1997, Femi suddenly found himself the subject of immense attention. He responded by signing with MCA and embarking on his solo career beginning with Shoki Shoki. He won tremendous critical celebration around the world and began making efforts to break into the U.S. mainstream in successive years.

However, this problem became the least of Femi’s concerns when his father sadly died of AIDS-related complications in 1997. Shortly afterwards, his sister, Sola, also suffered an untimely death, making 1997 a truly dark year for Femi. He would later write “’97,” a song that candidly reflects on this particularly tragic time. He released a couple of album afterwards.

In 2008, he re-emerged with his first album in seven years, “Day by Day”, a definitive album that helped to establish Femi as a true original with his own unique style

Femi Kuti – Wonder Wonder

culled mostly from The Shrine website

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No 6: King Sunny Ade – The Way Forward 1
(1994, “
The Way Forward“, Sigma Park)

KSA

As the countdown went on, peeps kept saying wot no Sunny yet?  This is a true reflection of how iconic King Sunny Ade is. The way forward is a 2part song.

In 1994, Adé brought together over 32 Nigerian musicians/actors (Kemi Akanni, Dele Abiodun, Dr Orlando Owoh, Bola Abimbola, Charley Boy Oputa, Segun Arinze, Telemi, Alarm Bloo, Tony Ukate, Orits Wiliki, Alh Malik Showman, Prince Actor Alile, Wale Thompson, Bhola Eberiga, Chris Mba, Zakky Azay, Felix & Moses, Pascal, Alh Rasheed Adio, Daddy Showkey, Papa T, Lady D, Teddy Allan, De Witze, Bunmi Sanya, Shedriak John, Micho Ade etc) to record a record against ethnic violence called “The Way Forward

“We sung it in different languages,” said Adé. “We have over 220 languages in Nigeria, so we synthesized the English and surrounded it with Hausa from the north, Yoruba from the west, Ibo from the east, and other languages. We said, ‘This Nigeria belongs to us. We need to salvage it together. It’s me and you who fought this independence. So why are we now fighting each other?'”

King Sunny Adé (Sunday Adeniyi, born September 22, 1946) is a popular performer of Yoruba Nigerian Jùjú music, a Pioneer of Modern world music and classed as one of the most influential musicians of all time.

Adé was born to a Nigerian royal family in Ondo. His father was a church organist, while his mother was a trader. Adé left grammar school in Ondo under the pretence of going to the University of Lagos. There in Lagos his mercurial musical career started.

Sunny Adé’s Musical Sound has evolved from the early days. His career began with Moses Olaiya‘s Federal Rhythm Dandies, a highlife band. He left to form The Green Spots in 1967. Over the years, for various reasons ranging from changes in his music to business concerns, Sunny Adé’s band changed its name several times, first to African Beats and then to Golden Mercury.

In the 1970s and 1980s Sunny embarked on a tour of America and Europe where Adé played to mixed (both Black and White) audiences. His stage act was characterised by dexterous dancing steps and mastery of the guitar. Trey Anastasio, American guitarist, composer and one of his devout followers, once said, “If you come to see Sunny Adé live, you must be prepared to groove all night.”

When Adé headlined concerts in the United States, The New York Times’s Robert Palmer described one of Adé’s several concerts in New York in the 1980s as one of the most significant pop music events of the decade and Adé as “one of the world’s great band leaders”. His second album under the cusp of international stardom was “Synchro System” which attracted many converts of world music and deservedly earned him a Grammy nomination in the folk/ethic music category.

Sunny Adé’s music is characterised by, among other instruments, the Talking drum- an instrument indigenous to his Yoruba roots, the guitar and his peculiar application to juju music, that would easily put him in the same class as guitar musicians like Santana. His music is in the age old tradition of singing poetic lyrics(“Ewi” in Yoruba) and praise of dignitaries as well components of “juju” (traditional African belief) called the Ogede -“casting a spell”. Hence, Adé’s music constituents a record of the oral tradition of his people for posterity.

Sunny Adé was the first to introduce the pedal steel guitar to Nigerian pop music. He was the first to introduce the use of synthesizers, clavinet, vibraphone, tenor guitar into the juju music repertoire such as dub and wah-wah guitar licks.

After the death of Bob Marley, Island Records began looking for another third world artist to put on its contract, producer Martin Meissonnier introduced King Sunny Adé to Chris Blackwell, leading to the release of Juju Music” in 1982. Many music aficionados are quick to point out that Sunny Adé’s brand music of Juju could not be ignored by anyone at the time. Even till today, this seminal recording is often acclaimed as one of the most important records from Africa. Adé gained a wide following with this album and was soon billed as “the African Bob Marley”.

In the 1980s Adé embarked on a career in Hollywood. His music was featured in the 1983 film Breathless, starring Richard Gere, and the 1986 comedy One More Saturday Night, and he acted in Robert Altman‘s 1987 comedy O.C. and Stiggs.

One of his other international albums – 1998’s Odu, a collection of traditional Yoruba songs, got him a 2nd nomination for a Grammy Award and thus making him the 1st African to be nominated twice for a Grammy. Sunny has also collaborated with major international artists such as Manu DibangoWAKAFRIKA” and Stevie Wonder (played harmonica in “Aura”).

Apart from being an international musician Sunny Adé is truly KING in his native Nigeria, running multiple companies in several industries, creating a non-profit organization called the King Sunny Adé Foundation, and working with the Musical Copyright Society of Nigeria.

At the beginning of another round of tour of the United States and Canada, Sunny Adé, now known as The Chairman in his home country-Nigeria was appointed a visiting professor of Music at the Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife. In July the same year King Sunny Adé was inducted into the Afropop Hall of Fame, at the Brooklyn African Festival U.S.A. He dedicated the award to the recently deceased Michael Jackson. In 2008, his contributions to world music was recognised; as he was given an award for his outstanding contribution to world music at the Reggae and world music awards held at the Appollo Theater in Harlem, New York.

Over the years, the number of records released by Sunny Adé is phenomenal – over 123 albums to date.

King Sunny Ade – The Way Forward 1

contd…

contd…

ends here and a live concert starts…

culled mostly from Wiki

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No 5: Sir Victor Uwaifo – Joromi
(1969,
“Big Sound”, Phonogram/Phillips)

Sir Victor Uwaifo is a Nigerian musician, writer, sculptor, and musical instrument inventor, born in Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria in 1941. Uwaifo obtained his secondary school education at the Western Boys’ High School Benin and St. Gregory’s College Lagos, in the years 1957–1961. He studied graphics at Yaba College of Technology, Lagos and graduated with distinction in 1961–1963. He received a bachelor’s degree first class honors and a master’s degree from the University of Benin in 1994, where he studied fine and applied arts and majored in sculpture. Early in his career, Victor Uwaifo was a member of BobbyBenson‘s Highlife band.

His song “Joromi” has legendary status among his fans and his performances are characterized by his ability to play the guitar with both his feet and also his tongue. Uwaifo made history in Nigeria when he won the first Golden record in Nigeria, West Africa and Africa (presented by Philips, West Africa) for his song “Joromi“. His other great song, “Guitar Boy and Mamiwater” was a huge hit in 1966. It was inspired by an encounter (which he has always maintained actually occurred) with a mami wata (mermaid) while lounging on Bar Beach in Lagos.

Victor Uwaifo, who has a total of 12 golden records to date, has traveled to many countries, including the United States, Russia, Japan, United Kingdom, Bulgaria, Romania, Germany, France, Hungary, Rome, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Togo, Benin Republic and others.

The Federal Government of Nigeria, in appreciation of his talents and contributions to Nigeria honored him with a National Honors Merit in 1983, which reads in part ” … whereas you have been nominated and appointed as Member of the Order of the Niger to have and hold and enjoy the privileges of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of the said Order, MON.”

Uwaifo was the first professional musician in Nigeria to receive such an award. He is a Justice of the Peace and has served in many capacities. Uwaifo was also appointed as the Honorable Commissioner of Arts, Culture and Tourism and Member of the State Executive Council, the highest policy-making decision body in Edo State, 2001–2003.

In 1995, he was invited by the United Nations Staff Day International Committee to perform during the UN Golden Jubilee celebration. Uwaifo is cited in the Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, 1983 edition, documented in the “Who’s Who in Nigeria”, “Who’s Who in Africa”, “Who’s Who in the Commonwealth”, and “Men and Women of Distinction in the Commonwealth” sections. He is an Honorary Member of the Biographical Advisory Council, Cambridge, England, a member of both the Performing Right Society, and of the Advisory Board of American Heritage University, California, U.S.A..

Uwaifo is the Chairman of Joromi Organization, a multi-track recording and television studio in Benin City. He runs and manages an art gallery and the Victor Uwaifo Hall of Fame.

Uwaifo’s hobbies include swimming, bodybuilding, gaming, reading, writing, and bringing up other people’s children. He is a Christian, and married with children.

He also is a lecturer at the Department of Fine and Applied Arts at the University of Benin, Benin City.

Sir Victor Uwaifo – Joromi



culled mostly from Victor Uwaifo’s website

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No 4: Christie Essien Igbokwe – Seun Rere
(1981, “Ever Liked My Person”, Lagos International Records)

Christy Uduak Essien-Igbokwe born on 11th November 1960, is the Nigeria’s lady of songs. During her heyday she was the grand dame of Nigerian pop music, and nicknamed the ‘First Lady of Song’.  She began her musical career in Secondary School singing at various clubs. In 1976 she joined the satirical NTA series Masquerade. Her short role in that popular sitcom put her to the limelight and in 1977 she launched a professional music career, aged 17.

Many of her albums became hit records, but none came close to the success of her 1981 hit album “Ever Liked My Person” which had the massive hit track “Seun Rere” produced by Lemmy Jackson. She helped put Nigeria’s name on the world music map with this evergreen track.

Always at the forefront of issues affecting women and children, she played remarkable roles in some of the early Nollywood flicks such as Flesh and Blood and Scars of Womanhood, both of which addressed issues of child abuse and female circumcision.

With a desire to make life better for Nigerian artists, she is credited as having initiated the first meeting that brought about the formation of the Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria, PMAN in 1981. A year later, PMAN was founded and King Sunny Ade became the president with the late Sonny Okosuns as his vice, while she was the National Treasurer. Between 1996 and 1999, she became the first female PMAN president.

Her Honours include Nigerian lady of songs award, Africa music mother award 1984, international special achievement award Mexico 1983 world song festival award Los Angeles queen of music international award association of theatre arts practitioners Lagos 1996 outstanding achievement in female uplifting, just to mention a few. She has also contributed enormously to nation building, peace and tolerance – which, alongside moral uprightness, remain constant themes of her songs.

She is the chairman and managing director of Soul Train entertainment limited. She’ll be having her Golden Jubilee November 11, this year. She is our Golden Diva.

Christie Essien Igbokwe – Seun Rere

culled mostly from her facebook page

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No 3: Fela Kuti – Water No Get Enemy
(1975,
“Expensive Shit” )

Fela - Expensive Shit

The 1975 released “Expensive Sh*t” is my favourite Fela album and it contains one of the all time greatest Fela tunes, “Water No Get Enemy” (all the other songs are awesome “Expensive Sh*t” as well. Let’s face it, I can’t actually think of any bad Fela song).

One of Fela’s most enduring tracks, the proverbial “Water Get no Enemy” is more philosophical than political and uses the flowing motion of the water as a metaphor for the natural “flow” of society, emphasizing the importance of harmonious human interaction. While the lyrics can be interpreted in various ways, such oblique imagery carried political undertones. At the time of its release as the flip side of “Expensive Sh*t” the lyrics were interpreted within the context of Fela’s criticisms of the Nigerian political leadership’s lack of vision and disregard for the “flow” of the “common” people. The music is almost poetic but still very moving.

T’o ba fe lo we omi l’o ma’lo (If you want to go wash, na water you go use) / T’o ba fe se’be omi l’o ma’lo (If you want cook soup, na water you go use) / T’o ri ba n’gbona o omi l’ero re (If your head dey hot, na water go cool am) / T’omo ba n’dagba omi l’o ma’lo (If your child dey grow, na water he go use) / T’omi ba p’omo e o omi na lo ma’lo (If water kill your child, na water you go use) / Ko s’ohun to’le se k’o ma lo’mi o
(Nothing without water) / Ko s’ohun to’le se k’o ma lo’mi o / Omi o l’ota o
(Water has no enemy; You dont fight him unless you want to die)

It is a standout track and is as good as music gets. This is classic music performed by a true musical pioneer.

For his bio, please refer to  his Detailed Wiki entry or our previous countdown article where he comes in @ No 15

Fela Kuti – Water No Get Enemy

culled mostly from Stone Soul

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No 2: Onyeka Onwenu – Iyogogo
(1992)

 

The Elegant Stallion, The Soul Diva, Onyeka Onwenu is probably the most loved female singer in Nigeria and its with good reason.

Onyeka Onwenu ruled the airwaves from 1981 when her debut album “Endless Life“ was launched and had a staying power for over 20years.

By 1988 (and with five albums to her credit), she was awarded the best pop artiste by the Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria. That same year she wrote the songs “Choices” and “Wait For Me” which preached abstinence and planned parenthood. The track featured foremost Juju singer King Sunny Ade.

Her fourth album “One love” was an instant hit. It earned her a Gold Disc award from her record label Premier Music while the title track “One Love”, became a national anthem of sorts owing to its themes of love and peace.

NTA made “Iyogogo” very popular. I recall as soon as NTA channel started up @ 4:00pm, the song would come up and I would stay transfixed to the tube. “Iyogogo” is my favourite Onyeka cut. When she sang it made me believe that Igbo was the sweetest sounding language in the world.

Born Onyekachi Onwenu of school teacher parents in Ogosi, Anambra State, she left for America to complete her studies when the Nigerian Civil War broke out in 1971. She headed back to Nigeria 10 years later armed with a first degree in communications and a Masters in International Relations from Wesley College, Massachusetts.

Prior to launching a musical career, the Elegant Stallion had stints in broadcasting -beginning from her days a youth corps member with the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA), Lagos. There she co-presented the network programme, Newsweek.

She later joined the Anambra State Television, where in conjunction with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), she produced and presented a television documentary titled “Nigeria; A Squandering of Riches”.

Shortly after operating under the auspices of Association of Female Musicians in Nigeria (AFEM) Onwenu alongside other singers like Uche Ibeto, Salawa Abeni and Esse Agesse released an album in support of the anti-HIV/AIDS campaign.

Onyeka Onwenu at some point proved her versatility as an actress featuring in a number of Nollywood flicks like “Not Your Wealth” (1999), “Women’s Cot” (2005) and “To Love An Angel”(2007), all of which earned her more recognition.

In 2003, she veered into politics, contesting for the chairmanship of her local government, Ideato North Local Government in Imo state, under the PDP (People’s Democratic Party) platform. She didn’t win.

Over the years, Onwenu has been able to keep her private life away from the public glare. Very little is known of her husband and her two sons studying in the US.

Today, the 57 year old singer is founding member of the coalition of lead organisations in the Nigerian music industry where she is actively involved in the fight against piracy. She is also the chairperson of the Imo State Council for Arts and Culture and owns the Unity Centre (an events centre in Lagos).

Onyeka Onwenu – Iyogogo

culled mostly from 234Next

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No 1: Prince Nico Mbarga – Sweet Mother
(1976, “
Sweet Mother”, Roger All Stars)

NO1 Sweet Mother

Prince Nico Mbarga (1 January 1950 – 24 June 1997) was a highlife musician, born to a Nigerian mother and a Bakassi father in Abakaliki, Nigeria. He is renowned for his hit song “Sweet Mother“, recorded with his band – Rocafil Jazz. He played the xylophone, conga, drums, and electric guitar in school bands and he made his professional debut as a member of a hotel band, the Melody Orchestra, in 1970.

Although he only recorded one significant hit, “Sweet Mother,” in 1976, which sold more than 13 million copies (and which is recognised as one of Africa’s greatest songs), Mbarga played an important role in the evolution of African popular music. With his soulful vocals set to the light melodies of his acoustic guitar, Mbarga created a unique hybrid of Igbo and Congolese guitar playing and uplifting highlife rhythms. He formed his own group, Rocafil Jazz, to perform regularly at the Naza Hotel in the eastern Nigerian city of Onitsha.

After releasing a disappointing single in 1973, Mbarga and Rocafil Jazz had their first success with their second single, “I No Go Marry My Papa”, which became a regional hit. The band’s inability to break past their local following resulted in their recording contract being dropped by EMI, a decision that proved ill-fortuned when the band signed with Rogers All Stars, a Nigerian recording company based in Onitsha, and recorded “Sweet Mother

Sung in Pidgin English, “Sweet Mother” became one of the top sellers in the history of African music. In the six years that Mbarga and Rocafil Jazz remained with Rogers All Stars, 1975 to 1981, they recorded nine albums.

Temporarily relocating to England in 1982, Mbarga became known for his flamboyant, 1970s glam rock-inspired performances. While he continued to appear with Rocafil Jazz, Mbarga also performed with London-based highlife band the Ivory Coasters and Cameroonian vocalist Louisiana Tilda. Despite launching his own Polydor-distributed record label, upon returning to Nigeria, Mbarga and the original members of Rocafil Jazz separated after several Cameroon-born members were deported. Although he later formed the New Rocafil Jazz Band, Mbarga failed to match his early success. Leaving music, he turned his attention to managing the two hotels that he owned, Hotel Calabar and the Sweet Mother Hotel.

Prince Nico Mbarga was killed in a motorcycle accident on June 24, 1997, leaving behind “Sweet Mother” as the most popular song amongst Nigerians. “Sweet Mother” is sometimes called Africa’s anthem and has been voted Africa’s favourite song by BBC readers and listeners.

Prince Nico Mbarga – Sweet Mother

Sweet mother I no go forget you
for the wey you Suffer Suffer for me.

Sweet mother I no go forget you
for the wey you Suffer Suffer for me.

When I dey cry, my mother go carry me, she go say,
‘My Pikin’ wetin you dey cry ye, ye,
stop stop, stop stop make you cry again oh no. “

When I won sleep, my mother go pet me,
she go lie me well well for bed,
she cover me cloth, sing me to sleep,
“Pikin sleep sleep oh my.”

When I dey hungry, my mother go run up and down.
Something she go find me when I go chop oh.

Sweet mother I no go forget you for the wey Suffer me Suffer for you

When I dey sick, my mother go cry, cry, cry,
INSTEAD say she go when I go die make she die.

O, she go beg God,
“God help me, God help, my Pikin oh.”

If I do not sleep, my mother no go sleep,
if I no chop, my mother no go chop, she no dey oh pull.

Sweet mother I no go forget you,
for the wey you Suffer Suffer for me.

Another wife you get fit, you fit Get Another husband,
But You Get Another fit mother? No!

And if I forget you, Therefore I forget my life and the air I breathe.

And Then on to you men, forget, verily, forget your mother,
for if you forget your mother you’ve lost your life.

lifted from wiki

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We’ll be putting up one long-a$$ list later in the week (after some deserved rest!)

Nigeria’s Top 50 Songs (1960 – 2010) was chosen from 237, 516 Songs by a strong panel of 6 music lovers whose collections span from 8-tracks to 12 & 7 inch vinyls to tapes to CDs to iTune Libraries to iPODs to mp3s to ogg files. Their ages are 16, 24, 32, 41, 49 & 68.

The selection process took ‘4weeks, 2broken glasses, a purchase of an Awolowo picture (?), 1 angry landlord & 1 work query’ to conclude.

Hope u enjoy it. Constructive criticism is fully allowed. Please no insulting comments. Just WORK IT OUT!

No record sales or related information were used to determine them and they were chosen based on personal opinions, popularity, quality, originality, creativity & the VOCAL DROPS Rating System (please check any of the album reviews for the meaning of the acronym).

This top 50 Nigeria Songs does not in any way represent the whole Nation’s opinion.  We sincerely apologize for any songs we may have missed out on during the selection process. We will always be your biggest fans

As we count down, let us know which songs u think should be in Nigeria’s top 50 and which ones shouldn’t have made it.

Please list your own Top 50 Songs and post it in the comment box or send to submission@360nobs.com.

We apologise to any of the artists/music labels/bodies  that are/will be featured in this article who may find it abusive, disrespectful or unsuitable. Upon notification to remove any of their materials, we will do so immediately.

Special thanks to Comb & Razor & Likembe (John B. Milwaukee) – their blogs were immensely useful; all the websites especially wiki we referenced, our friends, parents, egbons & aunties.

This has been a rewarding experience for everyone involved.

LETS KEEP MAKING MUSIC!!! I’m outty!

Oyeakd

Oyeakd

Slick with his tongue but even slicker with his mind, Oye AKD's huge MP3 library spans over Terabytes. One of the last of his kind, he collects everything from Comics to Stamps to Gadgets to DVDs. Follow him on Twitter @oyeakd as he takes you on a 360 Degrees Journey into Music and everything else related to HipHop

30 comments

  1. Thank you so much for this list! You really made my week! My dad is so grateful as well, because songs he had been looking for for ages he found here! It has been an amazing experience!

  2. Brilliant article! Enjyd d whole ride ..likd d fact dat u acknowledgd some 9ja songs from d 21st century and it was a real history class

    one more thang
    r we getting d links to download d songs? 🙂

  3. Very good attempt. But I think some artistes like Terra Kota,Alex O, Mandators, Ras Kimono, Asa,sweet breeze oughtbto have had something on your list

  4. Very good attempt. But I think some artistes like Terra Kota,Alex O, Mandators, Ras Kimono, Asa,sweet breeze ought to have had something on your list

  5. Oye 🙂 I always saw this link on my homepage..never bothered checking until i realised you did the compilation and i knew immediately it was going to be on point. Really good

  6. The list turned out to be pretty satisfying as far as lists of this kind go… A fair sampling of songs from various decades and styles, representing the colourful history of Nigerian music. Kudos!

    There are a few facts that need to be checked, however: for instance, it’s said that ACE was Sir Shina Peters first album release. This is very far from true, as Shina and his International Stars had been putting out records since 1980’s “Sewele.”

    Also, you say Onyeka Onwenu traveled to the US when the civil war broke out in 1971… This of course is impossible since the war actually *ended* the year before, in 1970, having started in 1967.

    Minor gripes, though… Great job!

  7. Awesome! Ofege was just inspired, memories of Jr Litts! I.K Dario, memories of listening to that damm cartridge (but now appreciated!) in mum’s Datsun 120Y going to and from Church every Sunday! List brought back some good memories. Could agure the toss about rankings or who is missing, but that will just be petty. A seismic piece of work. Thank You for sharing.

  8. Tongolo shuldnt hav made it.mr lecturer by eedris shuld be there n also wierd mc’s ijoya.no fuji at al aba.pasumas ligali shuld b there n wasiu ayinde’s talaso.

  9. A thunderous ovation man,a great job done.I will make d next list in future.u where unbiased.please publish the hard copy,it will play great guide at controlling the current madness on airwaves in the class of songs.

  10. God bless you, I never believed that I could be so touched by the accurate. And breathe taking job. You. Put there. Succinctly stated . God. Bless you, and may the good Lord grant all the faithfully departed. Eternal rest.

  11. I scrolled patiently to get to the No 1 song. When I saw “SWEET MOTHER” I couldn’t help but SmILE. It couldn’t have been better… The only song that is sang in church, mosque, clubs houses with thousands of cover till date. Truly No 1

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