The acclaimed American-Senegalese rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer, businessman, and actor known professionally as Akon is Aliaune Damala Badara Akon Thiam (born 16 April 1973). His ancestry is from Senegal. In 2004, Locked Up, a song from his self-titled debut album, became popular, and he became well-known.
He was raised to value his family’s musical legacy, which helped him excel in the American music business despite coming from an African musical family.
Akon attended high school in New Jersey while residing in the US before being expelled for disobeying the rules. While mixing with the local roughnecks in Jersey City, he learned about hip-hop.
He became well-liked among the squad due to his fearlessness and battle prowess. He was nevertheless frequently jailed for robbery and drug distribution. He wrote his songs despite enduring a difficult life and acting controversially.
Akon’s excitement and unwavering love for music allowed him to drastically alter his life. His passion for hip-hop culture and music steadily grew as he started playing percussion instruments and developing a musical career.
Over the course of his career, his albums have received various awards. He was able to achieve multiple successes by collaborating with well-known performers like Lionel Richie, Snoop Dogg, Michael Jackson, and Gwen Stefani.
Early Life & Education
Son of jazz musician Mor Thiam and dancer Kine Gueye Thiam, Aliaume Damala Badara Akon Thiam was born in St. Louis, Missouri, on April 16, 1973. Abou Thiam is the name of his brother.
His parents moved to Dakar, Senegal, West Africa, not long after he was born, staying there for 7 years. After coming back to the country, the couple and their family moved to Jersey City. When he started high school, his parents moved to Atlanta, Georgia, leaving him behind with his older brother in Jersey City.
Teenage Akon was a troublemaker who routinely broke the rules in the school. He battled with other kids and finally started hanging around with the neighborhood troublemakers. Because of the musical influence of his family, he had a strong interest and love for music as a child. He mastered the guitar, drums, djembe, and five other instruments during his early years.
Despite hanging out with gangsters in New Jersey, his love and passion for music helped him turn his life around. He first began singing and performing when he was a teenager. Later, he enrolled at Atlanta, Georgia’s Clark Atlanta University, but left after just one semester. After leaving the institution, he focused solely on music.
He started out by making music at home. He became good friends with Wyclef Jean of the Fugees at this time. In 2003, Akon signed his record deal.
When Akon’s debut album, “Trouble,” was released in June 2004, his life was forever altered. He gained international notoriety almost right away. “Locked Up,” “Bananza (Belly Dance),” “Ghetto,” and “Lonely,” among other popular songs from the album, were produced. Following the success of his debut album, he established the labels “Kon Live Distribution” and “Konvict Muzic.” He utilized his label to release his second album, “Konvicted,” in November 2006.
His popularity developed as a result of the multiple hit singles found in “Konvicted.” The album broke countless records and won numerous platinum awards. On the album, well-known musicians made cameo appearances. Eminem made an appearance in the song “Smack That,” and Snoop Dogg had an appearance in “I Wanna Love You.”
The year 2008 saw the release of his third album, “Freedom.” The album had four singles: “Right Now -Na Na Na,” “I’m So Paid,” “Beautiful,” and “We Don’t Care.”
Akon has collaborated with well-known artists like Whitney Houston, Lionel Richie, and Gwen Stefani. The well-known Lady Gaga song “Just Dance” was co-written by him.
He performed the duet “Hold My Hand” with the late music legend Michael Jackson. The music was released into the public after Michael Jackson’s death in 2009. He also contributed to the David Guetta song “Sexy Bitch,” which is a well-known example of house music.
Akon performed the song “Chammak Challo” for the soundtrack of the Hindi movie “Ra.One,” in which Shah Rukh Khan and Kareena Kapoor starred.
Akon is a terrific vocalist, but he has also made a name for himself as a famous actor. He made his acting debut in the Nigerian-American film “Black November,” which was released in 2012. He worked with Adrien Brody and Hayden Christensen on “American Heist,” an action movie from 2014.
“Stadium,” Akon’s fourth album, was released in that year. The album was released in five different genres (euro, pop, urban, island, and global) in late 2015 and early 2016. Alongside Taiwanese artist Jeff Chang, he took part in the Chinese reality TV program “I Am a Singer” in April 2016.
In the latter half of 2017, he released a collaborative mixtape called “Konvict Kartel Vol. 2.”
2019 saw the release of “Get Money,” his first Latin song, featuring Puerto Rican rapper Anuel AA. In addition, he issued the song “Cómo No” that year, which featured Becky G, a singer of Mexican descent.
Beyond the entertainment and music industries, he has achieved success. Over the years, he has grown into a very successful businessman. In addition to two well-known apparel companies, Aliaune and Konvict, he is the owner of other real estate projects.
Furthermore, he founded the Konfidence Foundation. The main objective of the charity is to aid disadvantaged children in the US and Africa.
The song “Sexy Bitch” by David Guetta and Akon peaked at number one in more than six countries.
Awards & Achievements
The “American Music Awards” presented Akon with the “Favorite Soul/R&B Male Artist” award in 2007. He was also awarded “Artist of the Year” at the “Billboard Music Awards.” That same year, he won the “Teen Choice Award” for “Breakout Artist – Male”.
He was honored with the “BET Hip Hop Award” for “Producer of the Year” in 2008.
In 2009, he was honored with the “Ozone” award for “Artist of the Year (USA & UK).”
He got “ASCAP Awards” in multiple categories in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011.
Akon has always shielded his family from prying eyes. He claims to have fathered six children by three various women. He runs a charity for underprivileged children called “Konfidence” and owns a diamond mine in South Africa.
He has been involved in numerous legal issues and disagreements. He is believed to have served three years in prison between 1999 and 2002 as a result of his association with a car theft ring.
After pushing a fifteen-year-old off the stage following a concert in 2007, Akon was accused of a felony. In April 2007, he faced criticism for acting inappropriately sexually with a teen girl in a Trinidad and Tobago club.
Media coverage was given to Akon’s “serious thought” of running for president in the 2020 US election.
Rosina Bruck and Akon previously shared a union. Tomeka Thiam, his wife, is his wife.
For Akon, Tomeka Thiam is said to have given birth to two children (a boy and a girl) with the names Alioune Thiam and Alianna Thiam. According to other reports, the hair stylist also gave birth to two more children (a boy and a girl) for the singer with the names Jhavor Thiam and Journey Thiam, bringing the total number of children to four.
He dated Nicole Bahls from 2010 to 2011, Cassie Griffin from 2009 to 2010, Rachel Ritfeld from 2007 to 2008, Michaela Schaffrath from 2005 to 2006, and Foxy Brown from 2005 to 2006.
Akon has met Amber Rose (2017) and Celina Powell (2018).
Akon‘s net worth is estimated to be US$80 million. This wealth is gotten from his music career, endorsements and businesses.
- Facebook: @/AKON/
- Twitter: @Akon
- Instagram: @Akon
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