11 Nigerian artistes to have surpass 1 billion streams on Spotify

Nigerian artistes have been making significant strides towards global recognition, captivating audiences worldwide with their unique sounds and cultural influences. Streaming services such as Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer, and YouTube Music have democratized the music industry, providing a platform for artists from all corners of the globe to showcase their talent.

Spotify, an online music platform offering access to millions of songs, has emerged as a major revenue source for the music industry. This revenue is derived from subscription fees, advertising, and strategic partnerships.

In 2023, Spotify’s ‘Journey of a Billion Streams’ revealed that Afrobeat artists had amassed over N11 billion in revenue during 2022. Quoting IFPI, the company indicated that the total revenue from Nigerian music surged by 63% from 2021 to 2022, with revenue specifically generated by Nigerian artists on Spotify experiencing a remarkable 74% growth within the same period.

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Below are the 11 Nigerian artistes who have surpassed 1 billion streams on Spotify, showcasing their immense talent and widespread appeal.

Wizkid – 7B

Wizkid, whose real name is Ibrahim Ayo Balogun, is currently the most streamed Nigerian musician with 7 billion streams on Spotify. he stands as a notable figure in the worldwide promotion of Afrobeat through his music, earning numerous international accolades and consistently selling out renowned International venues.

With infectious hits like “Fever,” “Essence,” and “Joro,” the music star, who has just released his 2023 EP ‘Soundman 2’, has amassed over 3 billion streams on the platform, solidifying his status as a global superstar.

A significant milestone in his global acclaim occurred in 2016 when Drake enlisted him for the chart-topping track ‘One Dance, reaching  3,011,253,852. This partnership marked a historic feat, being the inaugural song to surpass one billion streams on Spotify, elevating Wizkid’s profile to new heights of international recognition.

According to spotify, his hit songs include; Essence (feat. Tems) (222,350,665), Boom (166,022,998), My Love (feat. Major Lazer, WizKid, Dua Lipa) (144,319,876), Come Closer (feat. Drake) (136,617,983), Essence (feat. Justin Bieber & Tems) (135,112,471), BROWN SKIN GIRL (129,352,062 ), Energy (Stay Far Away) (119,988,589)

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Burna Boy – 6B

Nigerian Afro-fusion singer, Damini Ogulu Ebunoluwa, popularly known as Burna Boy is undoubtedly one of the most-rated musicians with 6 billion streams on Spotify.

With Grammy-nominated tracks like ‘I Told Them’, ‘Twice as Tall’, and ‘African Giant’, Burna Boy has emerged as the most streamed artist in Sub-Saharan Africa on Spotify for 2023.

It’s unsurprising that the African Giant has amassed over a billion streams on Spotify. With Grammy-nominated tracks like ‘I Told Them’, ‘Twice as Tall’, and ‘African Giant’, Burna Boy has emerged as the most streamed artist in Sub-Saharan Africa on Spotify for 2023.

Now recognized as Nigeria’s most Grammy-nominated artist, Burna Boy boasts five nominations at the upcoming 66th Grammys scheduled for February 4th. During an interview with Kiss FM in London, United Kingdom, Burna Boy shared the significance and inspiration behind his song, stating, “City Boy represents individuals who prioritize their own interests, particularly in relationships between men and women. It emphasizes the importance of self-preservation within personal dynamics.”

His hit songs breaking records on Spotify include, Location (feat. Burna Boy) (513,241,015), Last Last (378,250,758), Own It (feat. Ed Sheeran & Burna Boy) (338,653,454), Be Honest (301,154,276), On the Low (264,041,812), For My Hand (feat. Ed Sheeran) (242,465,827), Ye (210,689,232), My Oasis (feat. Burna Boy) (171,693,308).

Rema – 3.2B

At just 21 years old, Rema has quickly risen to prominence as one of Nigeria’s most promising talents. With his unique sound and charismatic presence, Rema has garnered 3.2 Billion streams on Spotify, with hits like “Calm Down (with Selena Gomez)”, Calm Down, “Soundgasm”, “Dumebi,” “Woman,” and “Ginger Me” captivating audiences worldwide.

Rema ventured into music in February 2018 by sharing a video clip of himself freestyling to an instrumental version of D’Prince’s ‘Gucci Gang’. D’Prince noticed the video and reached out, ultimately leading to Rema signing with Mavin Records.

With his notable achievements in 2023, the rising star from Mavin Records has expressed his determination to secure a Grammy. This declaration was made during a recent visit to the Lagos mansion of billionaire businessman Tony Elumelu.

Rema’s collaboration with Selena Gomez on ‘Calm Down’ has etched its name in history by becoming the longest-charting song on Billboard Pop Songs Airplay chart. The remix track has achieved a significant milestone, surpassing one billion streams on Spotify. Remarkably, this marks the first time an African artist-led song has joined the prestigious Billion Club on Spotify.

Tems – 2.1B

Temilade Openiyi, known professionally as Tems, is a Nigerian singer, songwriter, and record producer.

At the onset of 2024, Tems achieves a remarkable milestone in her career, surpassing two billion streams across all music credits on Spotify, including her discography collection. This accomplishment solidifies her position as Africa’s most streamed female artiste on Spotify, boasting an impressive 2.1 billion streams across all credits on Spotify.

TIME magazine has also acknowledged Tems as a significant voice in the global music industry. She was included in TIME’s Next 100 list for 2023, recognizing individuals who have achieved pinnacle influence in their respective fields. With over 15 million monthly listeners on Spotify, Tems continues to solidify her status as a powerhouse musician.

Tems’ trajectory has been on a steady rise ever since her collaboration on Wizkid’s global hit ‘Essence’, which received further acclaim with a remix featuring Justin Bieber and peaked at number 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

She collaborated with Drake on the track ‘Fountain’ from his 2021 album ‘Certified Lover Boy’. Additionally, she was featured on Future’s ‘Wait For U’, also with Drake, which debuted at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Recently, she was also featured on Beyonce’s dance album ‘Renaissance’ on the single ‘Grace’.

CKay – 2.1B

Nigerian singer, Chukwuka Chukwuma Ekweani, better known by his stage name Ckay, has been one of significant musicians in the industry, All thanks to the great use of TikTok.

The social media application is now a medium for organically promoting songs. This is the case of Ckay’s ‘Love Nwantiti’. The track initially debuted on streaming platforms but gained widespread popularity on TikTok, ultimately becoming the longest-running global No. 1 song of 2021 and achieving significant recognition, including reaching number 35 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and securing the third position on the UK singles chart in 2019.

“‘Love Nwantiti’ has garnered various certifications in multiple regions worldwide, establishing CKay as the first African artist to attain 30 million monthly Spotify listeners. This milestone was reinforced by ‘Emiliana’, another internationally acclaimed hit.

This global triumph has led to the release of his debut album, ‘Sad Romance’, and CKay, as a singer, producer, and songwriter, has been honored with numerous awards and endorsements from global brands.

Ckay is now the fifth Nigerian artist to have 2.1 billion streams on Spotify across all credits.

 Davido – 1.7B

Afrobeat singer, has consistently delivered chart-topping hits that blend Afrobeat with elements of pop and R&B. His songs streamed 1.7 billion on Spotify.

Davido’s musical journey reached new heights with the release of his album ‘Timeless’ in 2023, solidifying his status as a music icon. The album has surpassed one billion streams across all credits on Spotify, showcasing its widespread popularity.

‘Timeless’ was released on the 31st of March 2023 after a 5-month social media absence to mourn the passing of his 3-year old son in November. His sensational return to the public eye in March was accompanied by the signing of two rising singers, Logos Olori and Morravey to his record label and the release of his first album in 3 years.

After 8 months of release, viral hit track ‘Unavailable’ from the ‘Timeless’ album reaches 100 million streams on music streaming platform, Spotify. This triumph makes ‘Unavailable’ the first song released in 2023 by a Nigerian artist to attain such a climax on Spotify.

The lead single, ‘Unavailable,’ featuring Musa Keys, has achieved remarkable success, resonating with audiences both at home and abroad. 

Additionally, the album has earned him three Grammy nominations, including nods for Best African Music Performance, Best Global Music Album, and Best Global Music Performance. With an impressive monthly Spotify audience exceeding eight million listeners, the acclaimed musician is set to take the stage at the United Masters Grammy Weekend Concert, adding to the excitement leading up to the 66th Annual Grammy Awards.

 Mr Eazi – 1.6B

Nigerian singer and CEO of Empawa music record label, Oluwatosin Oluwole Ajibade, popularly known as Mr Eazi is un surprisingly the seventh most streamed Nigerian artistes to surpass 1 billion streams on Spotify. He has 1.6 billion streams with hit songs like ‘Leg Over’, ‘Let me live’, ‘Bad vibe’, ‘Bad (feat. Yungen, MoStack, Mr Eazi & Not3s)’

Renowned as a global Afrobeat sensation and multifaceted entrepreneur, Mr Eazi has collaborated with an impressive roster of artists including Nicki Minaj, J Balvin, Burna Boy, Anne-Marie, and Beyoncé. Notably, he contributed a two-track feature to Beyoncé’s acclaimed album, ‘Black is King.’ His collaboration with J. Balvin on the single ‘Lento’ has garnered over 21 million streams across various streaming platforms.

Eazi released his album ‘Choplife Vol1’ and hosted a series of Choplife Sound system parties globally throughout Summer 2023.In October 23 Mr Eazi conjoined his passion for music and art and went on to release his latest album titled ‘The Evil Genius’. Eazi commissioned 16 works of art by African artists to accompany each of the album’s tracks. Rolling Stones featured the album in their ‘100 best albums of 2023′.

In 2020, Mr Eazi clinched his inaugural Latin Grammy after earning nominations in four categories, marking a historic moment as the first Nigerian artist to attain such recognition. Two years later, in 2022, he secured his second Grammy Award for his contribution to the single ‘Africa, One Of A Kind’ featured on Angelique Kijou’s album ‘Mother Nature’. His accolades extend beyond the Grammys, encompassing wins at the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards and Apple Music’s ‘Up Next Artist’ award, along with a nomination for ‘Best International Artist’ at the BET Awards. Mr Eazi’s success transcends awards, as evidenced by his notable achievements on the UK charts and numerous live performances, including appearances at the Hype Festival, Ghana’s Party in the Park, and the prestigious Coachella music festival.

Fireboy – 1.2B

Adedamola Oyinlola Adefolahan, born on February 5, 1996, professionally known as Fireboy DML, is a Nigerian vocalist with 1.2 billion streams on Spotify.  He inked a deal with YBNL Nation, a music imprint established by Nigerian rapper Olamide.

His third album, titled “Playboy,” reached a significant milestone on Spotify as it surpassed 600 million streams, solidifying its status as Fireboy’s most streamed album on the platform.

Remarkably, both iterations of “Peru” have surpassed 100 million streams each, while “Bandana” boasts an impressive 90 million streams.

Surpassing 600 million Spotify streams for the “Playboy” album underscores the artist’s extensive appeal and the album’s resonance with a global audience.

This milestone represents a significant achievement for the artist, highlighting the widespread acclaim and success of “Playboy” on the streaming platform.

Such a feat is poised to solidify Fireboy’s position in the music industry and may open doors to new opportunities. It stands as a noteworthy milestone and a cause for celebration, not only for Fireboy but also for his dedicated fanbase, whose support has been instrumental in the album’s success on Spotify.

Omah Lay – 1.2B

Omah Lay emerges as one of Nigeria’s most relatable musical talents, crafting songs that resonate deeply with personal experiences, giving rise to the subgenre known as ‘Afro Depression’ within Afrobeats. With his Boy Alone Deluxe album, Omah Lay has amassed 1.2 billion streams across all credits on Spotify.

‘I’m a Mess,’ a track from his Boy Alone album, found its place in the opening scene of Netflix’s original series ‘Everything Now.’ The incorporation of Omah Lay’s poignant song in Mia’s storyline resonates with her profound emotions, despite her prolonged hospital stay. The thematic alignment between the song’s meaning and the series’ plot creates a powerful synergy.

In his latest release, ‘Holy Ghost,’ Omah Lay takes a spiritual turn, marking a notable evolution in his musical journey.

 Ayra Starr – 1B

Oyinkansola Sarah Aderibigbe, known professionally as Ayra Starr, is a Beninese-born Nigerian singer.

Ayra Starr’s most streamed song is Rush with streaming number of N329 million. Her inaugural album, “19 & Dangerous” (Deluxe), has recently exceeded the milestone of 400 million streams on Spotify. This accomplishment firmly establishes her as the top-streamed African female project on the platform, marking a historic achievement for a female artist from Africa.

She is only the tenth artist with a project that has garnered 1 billion streams on Spotify. Her standout singles include, ‘Rush’, ‘Bloody Samaritan’, ‘People (feat. Ayra Starr & Omah Lay)’, ‘ Overloading (OVERDOSE)’.

Asake – 1B

Afrobeat singer, Ahmed Ololade popularly known as Asake has attained as the 11th Nigerian artistes that surpassed 1 Billion streams on Spotify.

Being a YBNL signee, Asake’s debut album “Mr. Money with the Vibe,” a groundbreaking achievement was marked as it broke the record for the most significant opening day for an African album on Apple Music at that time.

In 2023, Asake clinched the top position as the most streamed artist, with his tracks ‘Lonely At The Top,’ ‘2:30,’ and ‘Amapiano’ commanding the top spots on the list of the year’s most streamed tracks.

The singer, nominated at the 66th Grammys, also claimed the No. 1 position in other West African countries such as Ghana and Togo.

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