Who Are The 10 Most Influential Nigerian Musicians Of All Time?

The vibrant Nigerian music stage has produced countless talents whose rhythms and lyrics have resonated not only within the country but also across continents. From Afrobeat to Highlife, Nigerian musicians have shaped the country’s cultural landscape and left an indelible mark on the global music industry. Here are the Ten most influential Nigerian musicians of all time:

Fela Kuti:

We start the list with a household name in African music, the pioneer of AfroBeat himself. Fela Kuti’s music fused traditional Yoruba music with jazz, funk, and rock. His politically charged lyrics and energetic performances challenged the Nigerian government and easily connected with audiences worldwide. He remains an iconic figure in African music and a major influence on artists like Seun Kuti, his son, and countless others.

Sonny Okosuns:

A highlife musician and activist who used his music to promote social justice and Pan-Africanism. He was a major figure in the Nigerian music scene during the 1970s and 1980s.

King Sunny Ade:

Dubbed the “King of Juju music,” Ade’s upbeat and danceable style gained international recognition. He popularised Juju Music globally through his notable skill on the guitar and the talking drum and his ability to blend traditional Yoruba music with modern influences. His impact on Nigerian music is undeniable, with his innovative style and extensive discography continuing to inspire new generations.

Christy Essien-Igbokwe:

She is a singer known as “Lady Africa” for her powerful vocals and energetic stage presence. She was popular for her highlife and gospel music and represented Nigeria at the Miss World pageant in 1983.

Burna Boy:

Damini Ogulu, known as Burna Boy, is a Grammy Award-winning musician known for his unique fusion of Afrobeat, reggae, and pop. His energetic performances and powerful lyrics have resonated with audiences worldwide. Burna Boy’s influence is evident in his global collaborations and continued push for African music’s recognition on the international stage.


David Adeleke is one of the biggest names in Afrobeat and the driving force in promoting Afrobeats worldwide. He is one of the biggest stars in Africa and has collaborated with numerous international artists. He is also known for his philanthropy and dedication to his fans.


Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun, famously known as Wizkid is known for his catchy melodies, smooth vocals, and collaborations with international artists like Drake and Beyonce. He has won numerous awards and is considered one of the most influential African artists of his generation.

Tiwa Savage:

A singer, songwriter, and actress who is considered the “Queen of Afrobeats.” She is known for her powerful vocals, stylish image, and feminist anthems. She has won numerous awards and is a role model for young women in Africa and beyond.


Yemi Alade:

Afropop singer, songwriter, and actress also known as “Mama Africa ”. She is known for her energetic live performances, unique fashion styles, and diverse musical influences.


A reggae and afrobeat artist who has gained international recognition for his unique blend of Caribbean and African influences. He is known for his positive lyrics and his collaborations with other artists from around the world.

The Nigerian music industry is constantly evolving, and new artists are emerging all the time. It’s important to remember that this list is not finite, and many other talented Nigerian musicians deserve recognition. Feel free to comment on the name of the artiste you think should have been on this list.

Also Read: The Evolution of Nigerian Music