Nigerian singer Adekunle Gold has become a breakout star on the African music scene with his smooth, dance-ready take on highlife.
• Born into a Nigerian royal family, Gold was working as a graphic designer in 2014 when he broke through with this first single, “Sade,” a highlife cover of One Direction’s Top 10 hit “Story of My Life.”
• His first album, 2016’s Gold, reached No. 7 on Billboard’s World Albums chart. The same year, Gold won two Nigerian Entertainment Awards: Best New Act and Best Song of the Year, for his single, “Pick Up.” He also won Best Alternative Song for “Sade” at The Headies, an awards show sponsored by Nigeria’s Hip Hop World Magazine.
• Gold’s second album, 2018’s About 30, includes collaborations with Nigerian singer Seun Kuti, English singer Dyo, and Nigerian singer Flavour. It became his second consecutive Top 10 placement on Billboard’s World Albums chart.
• He took a more mainstream pop approach to his third album, 2020’s Afro Pop, Vol. 1. The LP features collaborations with the Trinidadian singer Nailah Blackman and Gold’s fellow Nigerians Patoranking, Olayinka Ehi, and Tekno.