The King of World Beats was born on the 22nd of September, 1946 into the family of a Church Organist dad and a trader mum.
King Sunny Ade (KSA) cut his professional music tooth playing with Moses Olaiya’s (Baba Sala) Federal Rhythm Dandies in the early sixties. The King left Baba Sala’s Federal Rhythm Dandies to establish his own band, the Green Spot and released his first album, Alaanu L’Oluwa (Merciful is the Lord) shortly after.
Crowned as King of Juju Music by the Alaafin of Oyo, KSA, as he is fondly referred, to has enriched our musical landscape with songs such as “E Kilo Fun Omode”, “Sehinde”, “Isu Joba Lori Iyan”, “Synchro System”, to mention just a few. The King of World-Beats has acted/appeared in a few odd movies, whilst his music has been featured in some few foreign movies like “One More Saturday”, “O. C. and Stigg” and “Breathless”. Locally, KSA featured in Baba Sala’s film Orun Moru (Blistery Heaven) amongst others.
The two-time Grammy award nominee was signed to an international label, the mango label of Island Music in 1982. KSA released three albums under the island label: Juju Music, Synchro System and Aura.
The King of World-Beats has collaborated with a lot of artistes till date: he featured the great Stevie Wonder on harmonica in the track “Ase” (in the album Aura), did a duet with Onyeka Onwenu in “Ma da won loun (Pay Them No Heed)”. KSA also did two other duets with Onyeka Onwenu, “Choices” and “Wait For Me”, Featured in “Jingo” by Manu Dibango and collaborated with almost a dozen artistes in “The way Forward” track.
KSA’s first guitar was bought for One Pound Nine Shillings from the Highlife Great: Victor Abimbola Olaiya in Lagos over fifty years ago.
Come May 21st 2016, the Anjonu Onijita (The wraith on Guitar) will strum down the stars as he captivates and titillates on stage. For more information on attending Space Legend Series.
HERE’S OUR TOP 5 KSA SONGS to refresh your minds or introduce you to the legend.