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Akon | Success Story of the Legendary Musician



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Akon is one of the most prominent singers globally. He has been a part of the music industry for over two decades. Akon’s popularity reached its peak during the 2000s. His single “Lonely” from his debut album became a global hit. In his long and successful career, he has won five World Music Awards, one American Music Award, and one Billboard Award. Akon has also received five Grammy nominations. In 2014, Billboard ranked him number six on Top Digital Songs Artists of the decade.


Akon is a Senegalese-American singer, songwriter, record producer, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. He is one of the most celebrated musicians worldwide. Akon holds the Guinness World Record for being the number one selling artist for master ringtones globally. In his career, he has worked with iconic artists like Michael Jackson, Lady Gaga, Shah Rukh Khan, Whitney Houston, Lionel Richie, Eminem, Gwen Stefani, Dr. Dre, and Snoop Dogg. Akon’s record labels have also produced songs for several mainstream artists. 

Early Life

On the 16th of April 1973, Aliaune Damala Badara Akon Thiam was born in St. Louis, Missouri, United States. He comes from a Muslim family. His father, Mor Thiam, is a jazz percussionist. In contrast, his mother, Kine Gueye Thiam, is a dancer. Akon’s father was born in a family of Quranic scholars in Senegal. From an early age, Akon was inclined toward music. He spent a long time in Senegal during his childhood. He mastered playing drums, guitar, and djembe in his free time. Akon’s childhood had many complications. The family moved to Union City, New Jersey when he was eight. He had spent his early years in Senegal. As a result, he did not know English. Upon moving to New Jersey, Akon’s biggest challenge was getting along with the new community. 

For schooling, he attended William L. Dickinson High School in New Jersey. During his school years, Akon’s language barrier made it difficult for him to make friends. Many children bullied him for his looks, dress, and culture. As a result, he was always trying to fit in. After failing to do so, Akon’s desire to be likable led him on the wrong path. During his early teenage years, he got involved in several illegal activities. Simultaneously, when he and his brother reached high school, Akon’s parents left them in New Jersey to settle in Georgia. On one occasion, Akon’s unlawful actions landed him in jail for six months. Later, the wrong crowd that surrounded him left. He was involved with a couple of people. Four of them ended up dying, and three were leading double lives.

Beginning of Career

Despite his tough childhood, Akon continued to focus on music during his teens. While he spent several months in jail, his passion for music grew. Later, he started recording demo tapes. American rapper Lil Zane came across one of Akon’s audition tapes. He immediately decided to introduce Akon’s music to music mogul Devyne Stephens. Lil Zane took him to Stephens’ rehearsal hall. The two clicked instantly. Devyne and Akon’s friendship soon turned into mentorship. As a result, Devyne signed him to his production and began his training.  The duo started recording songs together. One of them was “Lonely.” Music producer Knobody heard the single and became a fan. Consequently, he boarded a flight to Atlanta to meet Akon and sign him.

Pathway to Success

Akon already admired Knobody’s production work. The duo began working on Akon’s debut album as soon as they met. Later, on the 29th of June 2004, Akon’s first album, “Trouble,” hit the market. Produced under Devyne Stephens’ UpFront and Univeral’s SRC, the album was an instant hit. Trouble’s lead single, “Locked Up,” achieved commercial success. However, it was in 2005 when Akon’s voice created a buzz across the globe. On the 22nd of February 2005, he released the track “Lonely.” The song became a worldwide hit. There was no looking back for the Senegalese singer after its release. It peaked at the number one position in several countries. Akon’s magical voice took over the world by storm. 

Worldwide Recognition

In 2006, Akon’s second studio album, “Konvicted,” hit the market. Within six weeks, it sold over one million copies. Sixteen weeks later, it became a certified double platinum album. The same year, he created history with the track “Smack That.” It became the first song on Billboard’s Hot 100 Charts to climb from number 95 to 7. The single also received a Grammy nomination. Throughout the late 2000s, Akon’s popularity continued to grow. After the release of his second album, he began working with the King of Pop, Michael Jackson. The duo recorded the single “Hold My Hand” in 2007. Later, Akon’s musical collaborations garnered him wider recognition globally. He became one of the generation’s most iconic singers through his magical voice and groundbreaking success.

Also read: John Legend | Success Story of the Melodious American Singer

How old is Akon?

Akon is 49 years old as of 2022. He was born on the 16th of April 1973 in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. His father comes from a Senegalese family of Quranic scholars. Akon spent his early childhood years in Senegal and later came to New Jersey with his family.

What is Akon’s net worth?

Akon’s net worth is estimated to be $80 million. He has been a part of the music industry for over two decades. In his long and successful career, he has worked with iconic artists like Michael Jackson, Lady Gaga, Shah Rukh Khan, Whitney Houston, Lionel Richie, and Eminem.

Is Akon married?

Yes, Akon is married to Tomeka Robinson. The couple has known each other for over two decades. They have four children together. Akon has children with two other women, but he never revealed their identities.

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