Those outside of Africa often don’t see the great music that is made. But that hasn’t stopped African musicians profiting from their talent, and amassing earnings in the millions.
But who makes the most?
Read on to see the richest musicians in Africa. We’ll work our way up to the highest earning, and look at how they make and spend their money.
Oumou Sangaré – $1.2 million
Oumou Sangaré combines Malian music with Western soul over her decades-long career which began when she was a child in the 1990s. Her music is known for its social and political commentary, as well as its focus on issues affecting women and girls.
Sangaré has invested in several businesses in Mali, including a hotel and a farm, and she’s also involved in various philanthropic efforts supporting women's rights and education initiatives in her home country.
She has invested in real estate and owns a large home in Bamako. She has also been involved in the fashion industry, having designed a clothing and accessories line that incorporates traditional Malian textiles.
She has long advocated for fair compensation for musicians in Africa and has been involved in efforts to improve the music industry in Mali.
Sangaré has a public affinity for traditional Malian jewelry and is known to spend her money on elaborate gold necklaces, bracelets, and earrings.
Salif Keita – $2 million
Salif Keita is a Malian singer, songwriter, and musician known for his contributions to West African music.
He’s earned money primarily through music sales, concerts, and collaborations with other artists. He has been active in the music industry for several decades and has released multiple albums that have gained recognition both in Africa and internationally. In addition to his solo work, Keita has collaborated with other artists, including Carlos Santana, Cesaria Evora, and the late Wayne Shorter, among others.
Keita has also been involved in philanthropic work, particularly in the areas of education and health. He has established a foundation to support children with albinism— a condition with which he lives and has faced discrimination because of.
He is known to live a relatively modest lifestyle despite his success. He has invested in a music studio in Mali and supports community development projects in his home country. He also has ties to conservation efforts, particularly in protecting the wetlands of Mali.
While Salif Keita has achieved significant success in the music industry, he has also used his influence and resources to support social causes and community development in Africa.
Jose Chameleone – $6 million
Ugandan musician and songwriter Jose Chameleone has been active in the music industry for over two decades. With sales of his multiple albums, he’s built up a good chunk of his net worth.
He has also been involved in other business ventures, including running a nightclub in Kampala and investing in real estate. Chameleone is also known to enjoy his wealth, often driving expensive cars and wearing designer clothing. But he also remains involved in philanthropic work, supporting causes like education and health care in Uganda.
He has funded several initiatives surrounding HIV education.
Chameleone harbors political leanings, as well, and uses his fame and fortune to advocate for social justice and human rights issues in Uganda.
Vanessa Mdee – $8 million
Also known as Vee Money, Vanessa Mdee is a Tanzanian musician, songwriter, and TV personality. Originally from the port city of Dar es Salaam, she started her career as a radio and TV presenter before transitioning into music in 2012. She has become hugely popular in Tanzania and East Africa.
She is also a successful businesswoman and entrepreneur, investing in the entertainment industry, including talent management company V Money Music. The firm is dedicated to managing fellow Tanzanian artists.
Mdee endorses Coca-Cola, which has augmented her wealth and allowed her to fund advocacy efforts around women's rights and empowerment. She also participates in efforts to provide education and healthcare services to underprivileged communities in Tanzania and other parts of Africa.
Angelique Kidjo – $8 million
Angelique Kidjo is a Beninese singer, songwriter, and actress. She’s one of the most successful and internationally renowned African musicians of all time, releasing many albums and accumulating awards (including Grammy and Tonys) over three decades. Her music combines Latin and jazz sounds with music from the native traditions of her home country of Benin.
She has released several successful albums and performed in countless concerts and festivals around the world. Sales and lives shows have earned her a good deal of money since the 1990s when she began performing.
She is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and has been involved in efforts to promote education, health, and women's rights in Africa and other parts of the world.
Kidjo launched a music label called Crammed Discs in 2016 to focus on promoting and supporting emerging artists from Africa and other parts of the world, so this was both a financial investment and a way to give back. She also owns a hotel and restaurant in Benin.
One novel area in which Kidjo spends her money is African art, which she collects and has amassed a collection of over 3,000 pieces. She buys art, and she travels, allegedly having visited over 100 countries to date.
Banky W – $9 million
Olubankole Wellington was born in the US to Nigerian parents who took him back there when he was still a child. He rose to fame as a singer, songwriter, actor, and entrepreneur. “My Regret,” from his 2005 debut album Back in the Building, won him a songwriting award and was named International Single of the Year in 2007, so music sales have driven his accumulation of wealth.
His community leadership has driven him to spend money on philanthropic endeavors, but in the mid- to late-2010s, he made headway in Nigeria as a politician. Undoubtedly, he spent some of his own money in that line of work as he campaigned for election.
While Banky W doesn’t post rolls of photos of his cars, which isn’t the norm, he has been seen driving a Rolls Royce and a Land Rover, both expensive luxury rides. He lives on a multi-million-dollar estate in Lagos and had an endorsement deal with a Nigerian telecom company and his own record label. The label dissolved in 2018, and the telecom deal ended when the entity reorganized. However, he still endorses Pepsi and Samsung.
Banky W has also launched other businesses, including a digital marketing agency and a restaurant.
Akothee – $10 million
Akothee, whose real name is Esther Akoth, is a Kenyan musician, businesswoman, and philanthropist. She began her music career in 2015 and has since released several hit songs in Kenya and across Africa.
She is also a successful businesswoman with several investments in real estate, transportation, and hospitality, including Akothee Safaris. She owns properties in Kenya, including a lavish mansion in Rongo, which she reportedly bought for approximately $740,000.
Akothee also owns several luxury cars, including a Range Rover Sport, a Mercedes-Benz E-Class, and a Porsche Cayenne. She has also been known to give similar vehicles as gifts.
Akothee donates money to several charitable initiatives in Kenya and other parts of Africa. She started the Akothee Foundation to help provide education, healthcare, and sanitation services to underprivileged communities. She also supports women's empowerment and gender equality causes.
Some of her spending goes to travel, as she regularly flies first class and stays in luxury hotels.
Timaya – $12 million
Inetimi Timaya Odon— professionally using only Timaya as a mononym— is one of Nigeria's most popular performers. He makes music in the Afro-Soca genre, combining soca with dancehall and hip-hop sounds. He has eight studio albums to his credit, each adding proceeds from sales to his net worth.
He has spent a good portion of his fortune on cars, filling his fleet with luxury whips made by Mercedes, Bentley, Porsche, Range Rover, and Lexus. See? Music really can make you rich if you do it right.
Timaya also owns quite a bit of real estate throughout Nigeria. At least two homes are for his personal use, and the others— details of which are sparse— seem to be investment properties.
Album sales, streaming, and live performances constitute the bulk of his income, which he has continued to parlay into larger fortunes through investments.
D’banj – $13 million
D'banj is known in Africa Koko Master and is a singer and entrepreneur. His name is Oladapo Daniel Oyebanjo, and in addition to being a lauded singer, he’s also a harmonica player. His career began in 2004 with the release of his debut album No Long Thing.
He has won several awards for his contributions to the Nigerian music industry, including the Best African Act at the MTV Europe Music Awards in 2007 and the Artist of the Year at the MTV Africa Music Awards in 2009.
All these sales and accolades have translated into monetary earnings for the musician.
He is also a United Nations Youth Ambassador for Peace and has worked with several international organizations to promote African culture and music.
In addition to his music career, D'banj has also ventured into other business ventures, including the fashion industry, where he launched his clothing line, Koko Mansion. He also launched his record label, DB Records, in 2012.
That same year, he signed a multi-million dollar deal with Sony Entertainment, which reportedly earned him a substantial sum of money.
D'banj has also invested in several business ventures, including his clothing line, Koko Mansion, and his record label, DB Records. He has also been involved in real estate and has properties in Nigeria and abroad.
In terms of philanthropy, D'banj is the founder of the Koko Foundation for Youth and Peace Development, which aims to empower young people and promote peace in Africa. He has also been involved in several charitable initiatives, including the fight against Ebola in West Africa and the provision of education and healthcare to disadvantaged communities.
2baba – $15 million
2Baba, also known as 2face Idibia, made his bones as part of Plantashun Boiz before embarking on a successful solo career. He has several hit songs, including “African Queen,” “Nfana Ibaga,” “True Love,” “If Love Is A Crime,” “Ole,” and “Implication.” He has also collaborated with several international artists, including Wyclef Jean and Mary J. Blige.
He has been recognized for his humanitarian efforts and was appointed as a goodwill ambassador by the Nigerian Red Cross Society. He has also established the 2Baba Foundation, which focuses on promoting peace, human security, and development in Africa.
2Baba is also an entrepreneur involved in several business ventures. He founded Hypertek Entertainment, a record label, and he also owns the Rumours Nightclub in Lagos. He has also invested in real estate and owns several properties in Nigeria including a luxury Lagos apartment.
Endorsement deals with Guinness and Campari have also increased his net worth.
Sarkodie – $15 million
Sarkodie, whose real name is Michael Owusu Addo, is a Ghanaian rapper from TemaHis debut album, Makye, dropped in 2009, and he has since had several hits and earned awards from MTV and BET. He was also recognized for his contributions to Ghanaian music with the Order of the Volta, presented to him by the president of Ghana in 2019.
He has accumulated his wealth from album sales, streaming income, and live shows, but he’s also an entrepreneur who has invested in several businesses, including a clothing line and a digital music distribution platform. Sarkodie has worked with several companies, including Samsung and Tigo.
He established the Sarkodie Foundation in 2013 to use some of his money to help others. The foundation focuses on supporting underprivileged children in Ghana by providing access to education, healthcare, and other basic needs. Sarkodie has also been a supporter of literacy campaigns in his home country.
He invested in a clothing line called “Sark by Yas” and launched a digital music distribution platform, which aims to make it easier for Ghanaian musicians to distribute their music worldwide.
He lives frugally and tends to make smart financial decisions.
Don Jazzy – $15 million
Yet another wealthy Nigerian musician, Don Jazzy plays the roles of music producer, singer, and entrepreneur. He founded Mavin Records, one of the leading record labels in the country.
He gained prominence with Mo' Hits Records, a record label he co-founded with fellow Nigerian musician D'banj.
Don Jazzy co-founded a free WiFi service provider in Nigeria and launched Mavin Clothing. Endorsement deals with Samsung have contributed to his net worth. Forbes named him one of Africa's most powerful celebrities in 2013.
He is not known for wild spending, but rather for philanthropic undertakings involving education- and healthcare-related causes. He has also donated money to the Save the Children Foundation and the Nigeria Police Force.
Don Jazzy has often spoken publicly about the importance of investing and saving money and has himself invested in real estate in addition to his other business ventures.
Fally Ipupa – $15 million
Congolese singer and dancer hails from Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, where he began his music career in the late 1990s as a member of Quartier Latin International, led by Congolese music icon Koffi Olomide. He gained popularity in the early 2000s and eventually left the band to pursue a solo career.
Record sales and streaming income have made him wealthy, as is the case with many successful musicians, and he’s augmented his monetary gains through endorsements and investments. Again, that’s kind of a theme with successful people in the music business.
He has donated to various organizations, including the Children's Rights Commission in Congo and the Nelson Mandela Foundation in South Africa, so his reach extends beyond his home country.
Fally Ipupa is the founder of the F'Victeam clothing line, which features a range of urban fashion for men and women. He also launched a mobile application called “Tokooos” in 2018, which provides fans with exclusive access to his music, videos, and other content. These days, his endorsement deals earn him nice checks from Orange, Pepsi, and Guinness, but he doesn't just sit on his cash.
He founded an eponymous foundation to focus on providing support for underprivileged children in Congo by providing them with access to education and healthcare.
Mr. P – $15.2 million
Peter Okoye performed with P-Square, a duo he formed with his twin brother Paul. The act called it quits in 2017, and Okoye went out on his own as Mr. P, a solo musician and dancer. He quickly scored with “Cool It Down,” his debut single that became a certified hit in Nigeria.
His success spawned endorsement deals, and one in particular, with Kia Motors, allowed him to invest in non-musical undertakings. Mr. P has been able to expand his holdings since then.
He owns a record label, P Classic Records, and has invested in real estate in Nigeria and the United States.
He isn’t known as a reckless spender, but he does have a taste for fancy transportation, owning:
- a Lamborghini Aventador
- a Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon
- a Range Rover
- a private jet
Mr. P also spends money on helping others, donating money to flood victims and funding programs to combat malaria, an illness that kills almost half a million people every year.
Davido – $16 million
Nigerian musician and record producer Davido is one of the most successful artists in Africa and has won numerous awards for his music. His real name is David Adedeji Adeleke, and he’s made a good portion of his net worth via music sales and shows. His blend of Afrobeat and hip-hop sounds has brought him into collaboration circles with Meek Mill and Nicki Minaj, which only helped raise his profile.
Davido has invested in businesses dealing in sports betting and beverage production in addition to real estate properties. He also owns shares in the Nigerian movie theater chain Viva Cinema as well as Davido Music Worldwide.
His private jet, Bentley, and Rolls Royce all get him where he’s going in the most luxurious way possible, but Davido also spends money on others, starting up the Adeleke Foundation to support underprivileged students in Nigeria. In 2018, he donated a sum of ₦10 million to the family of a police officer killed on the job.
Finally, he recently donated to the Lagos State Government to help combat the coronavirus pandemic.
RudeBoy $16 million
The twin brother of Mr. P, RudeBoy was born Paul Okoye and, as mentioned above, found his first success with his brother as a part of P-Square, alongside his brother Peter, also known as Mr. P.
He has established himself as a business and philanthropist in addition to his renown as a musician. He made a good amount with P-Square, and since then, he’s landed brand ambassador deals with Olympic Milk and Merrybet Gold. Other income bulks up his portfolio via real estate holdings, which he has spent a lot of money on, including his own mansion.
RudeBoy has also made some money in the hospitality industry, investing in Club Una, a nightclub in Lagos.
Like his brother Mr. P, RudeBoy has donated quite a bit of money to causes and initiatives working to combat malaria in Africa and around the world.
Burna Boy – $17 million
Burna Boy was born Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu in Nigeria and grew up to be a hugely successful and critically acclaimed singer, songwriter, and performer. He makes a tidy sum from streaming revenue, as he is one of the most-streamed African musicians.
Though his career started in 2012, he won a Grammy in 2021, which gave his music an international bump in recognition and allowed him to play a sold-out show in New York at Madison Square Garden.
Endorsement income comes from Star Lager, Mortell Cognac, and Pepsi, and he has his own record label.
Bruna Boy spends his money on cars, homes, and nice things. His Lagos mansion of a home sports eight bedrooms, and in the driveway (okay, probably in a covered garage) are high-dollar rides from Range Rover, Rolls Royce, Lamborghini, and Ferrari.
Other expenditures go to his philanthropic leanings, which center on education, health care, and youth empowerment in his native Nigeria.
Koffi Olomide – $18 million
Koffi Olomide is a Congolese Soukous musician, singer, songwriter, and performer. He has been a successful artist on the continent for several decades.
Koffi Olomide has made his money primarily through music sales and notably draws in the mid-six-figure range from YouTube streaming revenue. However, he commands a $50,000 appearance fee for his live shows, an amount that can add up quickly.
He owns a sprawling Paris property and another home in Kinshasa. He wears gold chains, watches, and expensive designer clothing, and he owns several high-end cars. That fleet of his contains at least two vehicles made by Rolls Royce and a Mercedes G-Wagon, which often costs more than $150,000. Furthermore, the Congolese singer owns luxury properties in
Wizkid – $20 million
Wizkid, whose real name is Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun, is a Nigerian singer, songwriter, and performer and one of the most successful and influential musicians in Africa.
He won the BET Award for Best International Act, and his albums and singles sell well in Nigeria and beyond.
He has property in the States and Nigeria and a palatial home in Los Angeles. His Starboy Entertainment label supports several other artists, and his endorsement income is tied to deals with Nike and Pepsi, in addition to some less global companies.
Wizkids owns two mansions in Nigeria, too, as well as a Porsche, a Bentley, a BMW, and lots of gold jewelry, which he considers his main investments.
As a philanthropist, the singer puts his money behind causes related to human rights and women’s issues.
Flavour – $28 million
Multi-instrumentalist Nigerian Flavour (real name: Chinedu Okoli) is a hip hop, R&B, and highlife singer, songwriter, and performer. He’s released several popular hits in Nigeria and other countries and worked with Tiwa Savage and other artists.
He has several endorsement deals, one in particular with Guinness. His record label 2nite Music Group adds money to his overall net worth.
Flavour has his own record label called 2nite Music Group, which has signed several emerging artists, and he’s known for his philanthropic work. He has been involved in various initiatives to support education, healthcare, and the empowerment of young people in Nigeria. In 2014, he launched the Flavour Foundation, which provides financial assistance to underprivileged children in Nigeria.
He spends his money somewhat freely, buying high-dollar cars like the BMW X6 and fine threads. His investments include real estate holdings largely confined to the city of Lagos.
Black Coffee – $60 million
Hailing from South Africa, Nkosinathi Innocent Maphumulo performs under the name Black Coffee. He’s a DJ and record producer who’s big in house music. He’s one of the most successful and influential DJs in Africa.
He has released multiple albums and singles, many of which have made chart appearances in South Africa and beyond. In addition to performing his on shows, Black Coffee has also appeared at Coachella and the South by Southwest festival.
Black Coffee has made a hefty chunk of change through brand endorsements, working with companies like H&M, Ballantine’s, and Axe. He has signed artists to his Soulistic Music record label.
He owns real estate in South Africa, including a mansion in Johannesburg, and he pours money into causes around education and youth empowerment in South Africa.
Akon – $80 million
Aliaume Damala Badara Akon Thiam is a Senegalese-American singer, songwriter, record producer, and entrepreneur who goes by the mononym Akon. Hits of his, including “Locked Up,” “Lonely,” and “Smack That,” have made him the bulk of his money, but he also has his hands in several business ventures, as well.
He’s worked with T-Pain and Snoop Dogg, to name a few, and has won multiple awards, including Grammys.
Akon has invested in music, fashion, and energy projects and started the record label Konvict Muzik. Former signees include French Montana and Chyhi the Prynce, and the label currently hosts names like Sarkodie, Wizkid, and Omega. There’s also his urban streetwear clothing line, Konvict Clothing.
Another investment project of Akon’s is Akon Lighting Africa initiative which works to provide solar power to rural communities in Africa.
Akon drives expensive cars and enjoys designer clothing. He also has multiple real estate holdings in the US and worldwide.
Youssou N’Dour – $140 million
Far and away the wealthiest African musician, Senegalese singer Youssou N'Dour has contributed greatly to African music, particularly the development of mbalax, a popular music style in Senegal that incorporates traditional Wolof rhythms, percussion, and other instruments.
He has a string of hit records and an impressive list of musicians with whom he’s collaborated, Peter Gabriel, Sting, and Bruce Springsteen to name but a few. N’Dour has also been involved in the film industry as a producer and actor, and he has some television hosting gigs on his resume.
N’Dour co-owns Futurs Medias, a company that operates a radio station and a television station in Senegal. He has also invested in real estate, including a hotel in Dakar. He also takes the time to invest in his community and give to the causes he supports.
He has been involved in philanthropic work for many years, including founding the Youssou N’Dour Foundation to promote education, health care, and culture in Senegal. He has also been involved in political activism, campaigning for democracy and human rights in Africa.
Richest Musicians In Africa, Final Thoughts
Making money in music is something of a Holy Grail for musicians around the world, and while many western listeners think only of British and American bands and singers, there are people in other parts of the world creating music and earning money from it.
Successful African musicians tend to take their earnings and invest them in their net worth and philanthropic undertakings. These rich African musicians have done well with investments, and many of them take full advantage of their privilege, treating themselves to luxury items and amassing collections of art, jewelry, or cars.