Top 50 Best Musicians In Africa 2023 (New To Old Generation)

Davido Best Musician In Africa
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Last updated on September 4th, 2023 at 03:47 am

Who are the 50 best musicians in Africa this year, 2023? The list of the best artists in Africa includes very well-known names from both the new and old times of African music.

 

Did you know that most young people, about 85% of them, think that modern artists like Wizkid, Burnaboy, Diamond Platnumz, Sarkodie, and more are the absolute best African musicians ever?

 

But that’s not really accurate, especially since there were great musicians even before these artists became famous.

Best African Musicians

So, the rest part of this post will explore the top 50 best musicians in Africa 2023, taking into note artists from the old days to the new generation of millennials. 

 

The criterion for making this list is simply:

 

  • how popular such artists are in their respective country

 

  • Their popularity across countries 

 

  • How they have influenced African music in general

 

Top 10 Best Musicians In Africa 2023 

 

Who are the top 10 best musicians in Africa of all time? The 10 best African artists of all time include:

Artist Name Country Origin Deceased or Alive
Wizkid South Africa Alive
Davido Nigeria Alive
Burna Boy Senegal Alive
Akon Senegal Alive
P Square Nigeria Alive
Diamond Platnumz Benin Republic Alive
2Face Nigeria Alive
Tiwa Savage DR Congo Alive
Rema South Africa Deceased
Yemi Alade DR Congo Deceased

 

Wizkid (Nigeria)

 

While Fela is the pioneer of Afrobeat in Africa, his death saw singer Wizkid carry his legacy forward. 

 

The genre survived on the international stage thanks to the work put in by Wizkid and other Afrobeat musicians in West Africa. 

 

However, we should give credit where it is due because Wizkid globalized the genre, and now it is accepted worldwide.

 

Wizkid is a Nigerian musician, singer, and songwriter with lots of hit tracks and one of the top 20 highest paid influencers in Africa

 

His recent album Made In Lagos received lots of positive reviews while also topping album charts in Nigeria for more than 90 days. 

 

If you have listened to songs like Ojuelegba then perhaps you understand why he is one of the top 50 best singers in Africa right now. 

 

His fan base has also been very supportive of the singer while echoing his achievements all over social media. 

 

When doing my research for this blog post, I also read a little about his net worth and biography

 

So far, he has been consistent for the past 10 years and his songs very much resonate with millennials. 

 

If you come from the 60s, perhaps songs from Fela, King Sunny Ade, and Hugh Masekela would resonate more with you. 

 

Having said that, Wizkid no doubt is one of the best musicians in Nigeria currently with competition for the spot only from great names like 2face Idibia. 

 

Davido (Nigeria) 

 

His achievements speak for him and I am often tempted to think he is very underrated. 

 

I mean the guy currently leads on the list of most-viewed Nigeria music videos on YouTube

Davido Best artist in Nigeria

He is also the artist in Nigeria with the most views on YouTube. 

 

His net worth continues to grow thanks to his ability to understand the industry and crank out just what his audience needs. 

 

Davido dropped his A Better Time album in late 2020 and the album has done some really good numbers. 

 

Tracks like Jowo reinforced the fact that he has been instrumental on why Afrobeat has become the most popular genre of music on the continent. 

 

While he is more of an artist made for millennials, his songs have also found their way to the heart of the elderly. 

 

My mother still shakes her body to songs like Assurance and Fall. 

 

And did I forget to tell you that he has gone international and he sold out the O2 Arena in London. 

 

Burnaboy (Nigeria)

 

Damini Ogulu only just recently came on the music scene but my people say it’s not how far but how well. 

 

His lyrical prowess has seen the singer receive a nomination for the Grammy twice. You can read about all Burna Boy awards here.

Burnaboy Nigerian Musician

His most recent album has been the talk among fans from all over the world with positive critical acclaim. 

 

After spending less than 10 years in the industry Burnaboy has amassed a loyal following. 

 

His achievements can not be underplayed, I mean he is currently one of the richest musicians in Nigeria and it was his songs that took him there. 

 

As his net worth continues to grow, there is more Burnaboy has to give in terms of music to Africa. 

 

I mean if you have listened to songs such as monsters you made then you have probably caught a glimpse of his lyrical prowess. 

 

As I type, I have my headphone strapped to my head as I listen to Burnaboy’s Twice As Tall album. 

 

Akon (Senegal)

 

If you do a Google search about Akon, you will see results such as he is an American musician. 

 

but Akon in my opinion is a Senegalese singer, record producer, entrepreneur, actor, and rapper. 

Akon Senegalese Musician

His rose to fame can not be overstated and his influence in music has been very telling. 

 

Akon is popular worldwide thanks to songs like Lonely and Locked Up which brought an untold amount of fame. 

 

Akon has worked with some of the very best of the best musicians in the world including names like The Great Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie. 

 

Aliaune Badara has also won several awards around the globe with several platinum certifications.

 

In fact, he received Grammy nominations in categories like Best Contemporary R&B Album and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration.

 

Akon left the music scene to focus on business before coming back in 2019 to release albums all over the world. 

 

He decided to tailor his albums to countries around the world due to the language barrier. 

 

He currently has a Spanish album, an Afrobeat album, and much more. 

 

Heck, this morning I had to even listen to his song Escape featuring Afrobeat star Wizkid

 

Psquare (Nigeria) 

 

The list of famous artists in Africa would not be complete without names like Psquare you know. 

 

We all danced to one of the Psquare songs back when they were still together as a group. 

Rudeboy Nigerian Musician

If you did forget then perhaps let me jog your memory with songs like Temptation, Beautiful Onyinye, No One Like You, Do Me, Busy Body, etc. 

 

Psquare grew its fan base at home and abroad and so did its net worth grew. 

 

While both decided to pursue their individual solo careers, it is worth noting they were the best of their time which is the 2000s. 

 

Psquare rise to fame did not come as a surprise because the duo mastered the skill of controlling the crowd. 

 

Both singers achieved such feet with scintillating dance moves and singing. 

 

As of when writing this blog post, both now perform under the stage names Mr P and Rudeboy. 

 

Diamond Platnumz (Tanzania) 

 

The growth of music in Africa could not have been predicted. 

 

I mean if a decade ago you knew music in Africa was going to be this popular chances are you would have said (that won’t happen). 

Diamond Platnumz Best African Artist

But today that’s the case and artists like Diamond Platnumz keep taking the industry to new heights

 

Diamond Platnumz alongside Akon is one of the most viewed artists in Africa on YouTube with over 1 billion views. 

 

Diamond has really taken Bongo Flava to another level and it’s all the reason you can’t talk about the best musicians in Tanzania without calling his name. 

 

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I mean the fact that he is nicknamed Simba shows he truly is the Lion of Bongo Flava in Tanzania. 

 

Platnumz is a Tanzanian singer, songwriter, businessman, and philanthropist. 

 

His marketing strategy has contributed a great deal to his success in the African music industry

 

Now some of his songs you should definitely listen to is Kidogo featuring the Psquare. 

 

2Face (Nigeria) 

 

2face no doubt is a legend in the Nigerian music industry and he has stayed relevant for 20 years. 

 

There are several facts to consider when we talk about the best artists in Africa

FAST READ:  Top 30 Best Nigeria Musicians in 2023 (Updated List)

2face Idibia

One such factor is centered on the quality and message you want to be known for. 

 

Musicians like 2baba took music in Nigeria to another level and left it at a place where everyone can listen to his songs and it hits right home. 

 

I listened to his Warriors album recently and tracks like Ginger really caused me to applaud how much time he puts into releasing magic. 

 

Today, 2baba is not just one of the wealthy artists in the country, he is also one of the best in the industry. 

 

Heck if you want to find out how much he is worth currently then I suggest you read this article here

 

Tiwa Savage (Nigeria) 

 

This list won’t be complete without mentioning the Queen of the Nigerian music industry. 

 

Tiwa Savage has continued to wow the industry with her mind-blowing sounds as evident in her most recent body of work Celia. 

Tiwa Savage Best afropop singer in Africa

Signed to UMG music label which is one of the biggest music brands in the world, Tiwa Savage continues to show us why she is among the best singers in Africa. 

 

Don Jazzy is the man to thank for grooming a talent like Tiwa, although she has exited the label, it is safe to say the working relationship between Don Jazzy and Tiwa has been amazing. 

 

She is a role model for many upcoming artists in Africa with the likes of Tems being very high on that list. 

 

If you have not listened to her recent album then I suggest you do it because it was a masterpiece. 

 

One of my favorite tracks is the song on which she featured Davido titles Park Well

 

She continues to break records and double her wealth even in a continent where much preference is given to male musicians. 

 

Rema (From Nigeria)

 

Rema’s accomplishments echo loudly, and I can’t help but feel he’s quite underestimated.

 

This guy is currently at the forefront of the YouTube charts for Nigeria’s music videos.

Rema Nigerian

He’s also among the top artist in Nigeria when it comes to YouTube views.

 

His wealth keeps growing, all thanks to his knack for grasping the industry and delivering just what his fans crave.

 

In late 2020, Rema released his Rave & Roses album, racking up impressive numbers.

 

Tracks like “Calm Down” underline his pivotal role in making Afrobeat the continent’s most beloved genre.

 

Though he resonates more with millennials, his tunes have touched even the elderly.

 

Frankly, I  still groove to songs like “Beamer (Bad Boy)” and “Soundgasm.”

 

Oh, and by the way, he’s gone global — and has performed in the 20K capacity, O2 Arena in London.

 

Yemi Alade (Nigeria) 

 

Yemi Alade has achieved fame and success since coming onto the Nigerian music scene. 

 

artists from Nigeria have mostly populated this list and this is not by chance. 

Yemi Alade Best Musicians In Africa

The population of the country has also played a very huge role in why most of her artists top this list. 

 

The citizens of the country consume any genre of music and it is why artists from the continent find success more when compared to other artists from the continent. 

 

Having said that, when I wrote about Yemi Alade’s net worth, I realize how successful she has been. 

 

Music has been how she has gathered all that wealth and why she is looking to be the next mama Africa, it is worth noting that her most recent album was impressive. 

 

She is strong and very confident in her craft which is her music resonates with a larger audience. 

 

In her effort to reach a broader audience, she has collaborated with French musician Dadju in I Choose You

 

Her vocals stand her out from the list of artists from the country although I can say it is nothing to what Simi has. 

 

Top 20 Best Musicians In Africa 2023

 

So who are the top 20 best musicians in Africa of all time? The 20 best artists in Africa of all time include; Sarkodie, Fally Ipupa, 

 

This list does not give preference to any particular artist, so it is not organized in any specific order.

 

Having said that, come let’s explore more of the 20 best artists in Africa 2023.

 

Sarkodie (Ghana) 

 

Ghana’s music industry has been one of the most improved in the recent decade. 

 

Artists were springing up from left and right and this saw a boom in the Ghana music industry. 

Sarkodie The Highest

Today we have musicians like Sarkodie as one of the best musicians in Ghana. 

 

Sarkodie over the years has owned his rap skill and has used this skill to entertain his fans. 

 

When he released happy day, I was like Sarkodie will go down in history as a legend in the Ghana music industry. Today, he is no doubt one of the top 50 most popular musicians in Ghana.

 

He sings, he writes, he is a record producer and heck even throw philanthropist into the mix. 

 

Sarkodie sings using his native dialect which is Twi. He received criticism for being able to sing in his mother tongue. 

 

This led to the release of a song titled “Original” which was made to seal the mouth citing why he loves singing with Twi. 

 

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Sarkodie has grown his base which has seen him grow his net worth above 6 million dollars. 

 

He is also the top 10 richest musicians in Ghana in 2021 and you can click the link to read the article. 

 

Fally Ipupa (Congo) 

 

Fally Ipupa is an icon in modern-day DR Congo with his style of music which has been widely embraced. 

 

He is no doubt a singer and dancer with an incredible voice to back it up. 

Best Musicians In Africa

several artists across Africa and he is known for making hit songs. 

 

I still vibe to Ko Ko Ko Ko and Droit Chemin which were both released in the early last decade. 

 

Fally Ipupa’s blend of Soukous, Ndombolo, and R&B created a unique angle of Soukous music where he thrived. 

 

Today, he is no doubt one of the most popular artists in Africa while also remaining the top best in DR Congo. 

 

Ipupa’s career was given the nudge in the right direction when he joined Koffi Olomide’s Quartier Latin group. 

 

He helps take the group to extra heights and has since gone solo in pursuit of his own career. 

 

No doubt he is one of the top 50 best musicians in Africa currently with fans all over the continent. 

 

Sauti Sol (Kenya) 

 

The Kenyan music industry has really grown to absorb modern-day music with the generation of millennials loving how it goes down. 

 

Right in the middle is the music group Sauti Sol which has been featured all across Africa. 

Sauti Sol

I mean these guys have been delivering hit after hit thanks to their musical prowess. 

 

I have to say I enjoyed Davido ft Sauti Sol am on my way, their individual brilliance to blend into songs is just unique. 

 

You almost cannot distinguish between each of their voices and Kenyans are loving all that they bring to the table. 

 

The group is made up of Bein Aime Baraza, Savara Mudigi, Willis Shimano, and Polycarp Otieno alias Fancy Fingers. 

 

Sauti Sol has been amazing and how they have laid the groundwork for the coming generations is commendable. 

 

At least I know this is why they set up the Sol Generation which will look to discover talents who will take over from them. 

 

With numerous awards won and incredible live performances, Sauti Sol makes music look effortless. 

 

Magic System (Ivory Coast) 

 

The list of best singers in Africa would never be complete without mentioning band groups like Magic System. 

 

I mean their music made a difference in Ivory Coast while breaking records and also making the list of top 50 most viewed African music videos on YouTube

 

The group is made up of Salif “Asalfo” Traoré, Narcisse “Goude” Sadoua, Etienne “Tino” Boué Bi, and Adama “Manadja” Fanny.

 

No doubt Magic System is currently one of the most popular modern African artists with their songs breaking into France. 

 

Their fame has been unstoppable as they sold over 1.5 million CDs across the continent. 

 

The group was founded in the year 1996 and is currently one of the top best musicians in Ivory Coast as of this year. 

 

Shatta Wale Ghana 

 

Ghana continues to wow the world with its different genres of music cutting across Highlife, rap, and dancehall. 

 

Shatta Wale is the king of dancehall in Ghana although he has seen a challenge for that spot when Stonebwoy came along. 

 

I listened to 1 Don by Shatta Wale and his lyrics show you another side of the singer which most people do not know. 

 

You definitely need to listen to the song not because I say so but because its melodies will get right to you. 

 

Shatta Wale is easily one of the best musicians in Africa because of how he has helped lots of singers from the continent. 

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Patoranking (Nigeria) 

 

One of the most amazing and beautiful dancehall musicians on the African continent. 

 

The way he handles the genre makes me think Dancehall is an easy genre of song. 

 

The only truth to this way of thinking is that it is flawed because I understand the work put in to write a song in this genre. 

 

Patoranking’s last album shows how he continues to soar in this particular genre of a song that originated from Jamaica. 

 

Patoranking is a Nigerian reggae-dancehall artist and if you truly want to see his talent then listen to Yo Body mp3 here

 

Dancehall is becoming the new reggae and with artists like Patrick carrying on the legacy of great names like Lucky Dube, one can be sure to expect the best. 

 

Nnaemeka has continued to grow in the Nigerian music industry using his style of music to also grow his income

 

DJ Black Coffee South Africa 

 

Black Coffee is one of the best musicians in SA right now and it’s not even close when you and I talk about his achievements. but just saying the best in SA is putting it mildly because he is also one of the most popular musicians in South Africa.

 

These are some of the singers from South Africa who have raised the bar for lots of upcoming artists. 

 

Today, DJ Black Coffee stands as one of South Africa’s wealthiest artists, all thanks to his 5 studio albums that have received positive ratings in the country.

 

When we talk about how music continues to develop in Africa, DJ Black Coffee is among the names that have taken the game to another level. 

 

He started his musical career in 1994 and his ability to be a record producer, singer and songwriter has kept him relevant for this long. 

 

Today I am proud to tell you that he made my list of the top 50 best African artists on the continent. 

 

Amr Diaz (Egypt) 

 

Yes during my research for the best musicians in Africa, I also took a stroll down to Egypt via the Internet.

 

This was when I discovered the great things Egyptian Ame Diab has accomplished with his music. 

 

His style of music blends Western and Egyptian rhymes to create a genre of music known as Mediterranean music. 

 

In 1992 he became the first Egyptian who produced high-quality music videos using sophisticated techs. 

 

When he released his album Shoft El Ayam in 2014, it picked at number 1 on the Billboard world album chart. 

 

He however broke into the international stage beyond Arabic-speaking countries with his album Nour El Ain. 

 

His achievements are there to speak to anyone that doubts his prowess in songwriting, singing, and composition. 

 

Pierre Bensusan Algeria 

 

Bensusan uses a DADGAD tuning system and electronics, such as delays, distortion, and volume pedals.

 

He particularly took interest in DadGad because it provided him the atmosphere to have an experience of the early centuries. 

 

During an interview in Algeria, these were his words.

 

Pierre is a French Algerian Acoustic Guitarist with his music cutting across genres such as Celtic, folk, new age music, and world music. 

 

To date, he has written several songs to share his journey in his musical career and how he has climbed to the ranks of becoming one of the best musicians in Algeria. 

 

At seventeen, he signed a contract for his debut album, Près de Paris, which won the Grand Prix du Disque at the Montreux Festival.

 

His music has been heavily influenced by a lot of singers some of which include Larry Charlton, Davey Graham, etc. 

 

Salatiel (Cameroon) 

 

Chances are if you are living in West Africa you only listen to just a few artists around the world. 

 

Well, there is nothing wrong with that but if you truly want to rate the best singers in Africa then you ought to be listening to sounds across the continent. 

 

Cameroonian has the best musician in the person of Salatiel, his records are exceptional. 

 

Salatiel gained popularity thanks to his song “Fab Kollo,” which received positive acclaim in both English and French-speaking parts of Cameroon.

 

Salatiel is a record producer, singer, and songwriter from the city of Kamer. 

 

He is the founder and CEO of the recording company Alpha Better Record label. 

 

By 2019, he released Anita a soul-touching song while telling the world how much he has contributed to the Cameroon music industry. 

 

He currently has written over 3000 songs that cut across several genres in the continent and he have also helped 300 artists produce songs. 

 

Malika Zarra (Morocco) 

 

A lot of people have forgotten that countries like Morocco still exist in the continent of Africa. 

 

Perhaps the reason Moroccan artists were not mentioned when I was doing research for this post is that their skin complexion is generally lighter compared to the darker-skinned population in most parts of Africa.

 

So I decided to take a different approach and bring them on this list because there are lots of beautiful singers from Morocco. 

 

But since we are only taking a look at the top 50 best musicians in Africa 2021, I have room for only one. 

 

He is Malika Zarra and this list won’t be complete without his name. 

 

The genre of music in Morocco cut across Spanish, Saharan touch, Berber and Arabic. 

 

This is what has made their songs really beautiful and soul-touching. 

 

Having said that, Zarra studied in France and then decided to settle in New York. 

 

Zarra is a trained jazz musician which fuses Berber and Gnawa with jazz to create beautiful sounds. 

 

She is popular in Arab-speaking countries for beautifully using different vocals while combining them with traditional chants and harmony to produce soul-soothing sounds. 

 

She is one of the best musicians in Morocco and also one of the top 50 best musicians in Africa currently. 

 

Tekno (Nigeria) 

 

Tekno has left his mark in music across Africa with his unique style of production. 

 

His songs explore themes of love and government oppression in Nigeria. 

 

His last body of work old romance proves his versatility and how he can switch his style of music. 

 

Tekno has evolved over the years from when he first released Pana that became an instant hit. 

 

His sounds are beautiful and when making a list of the modern-day best musicians in Nigeria, he easily will have a spot in the top 10.

 

His wealth continues to grow thanks to being a musical genius and one that can also produce, dance and sing. 

 

It’s no doubt he is one of the best on this list plus I suggest you really listen to better hope for Africa

 

That song spoke against everything Nigerians have endured in the hands of the government. 

 

Top 30 Best Musicians In Africa 2023 

 

Who are the 30 best African musicians in 2023? The 30 best singers in Africa list includes; Lucky Dube, Fela, Angelique Kidjo among others.

 

Lucky Dube (South Africa)

 

I am aware of your perspective, and you believe that Lucky Dube’s inclusion in this list is inappropriate due to his passing.

 

but that’s far from the truth and remember I said the criteria for making this list is how popular these artists are both in and out of the country. 

 

Considering Lucky Dube is the most popular artist in Africa, it’s crazy not to put him first on this list. 

Best African Musicians 2021

Dube is one of the pioneers of Reggae music in Africa and his songs were enjoyed by both old and young. 

 

While millennials know little of this legend and one of the greatest musicians in Africa of all time, he is top on this list because he made Reggae popular in the continent. 

 

Lucky Dube is a South African musician known for his ability to touch even the darkest of souls. 

 

One of his popular songs slaves is still played every single day across the continent. 

 

If you have not listened to Slave then you are missing a song with lots of passion, wrapped in storytelling. 

 

Lucky Dube is number one on the SMCE list of the best musicians in Africa. 

 

Fela Anikulapo Kuti (Nigeria)

 

Fela is a Nigerian musician and the founding father of Afrobeat which combined Yoruba, Funk, Jazz, and Afro-Cuban music. 

 

He is popularly known as the pioneer of Afrobeat in the continent. 

 

The genre combines different genres across the continent to form what is now contemporary Afrobeat. 

Fela Anikulapo Kuti

The genre is popular across indigenous Western Africa and its birth saw the likes of Wizkid take it global. 

 

Fela reached the heart of the world with his talent which cut across not just music but also politics. 

 

He is famous for being a Pan Africanist, a movement that encourages the coming together of Africans worldwide. 

 

One of his most popular songs is Zombie, a song that explores the theme of political oppression across the continent of Africa. 

 

Fela is one of the top 5 best musicians in Africa thanks to being the founder of Afrobeat which is now global. 

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Yousour Ndour (Senegal) 

 

Frankly, this list would not be comprehensive without the inclusion of N’dour.

 

I mean the Senegalese singer literally developed the mbalax which is loved by all Senegambian. 

 

Peter Gabriel introduced Yousour to the international audience after his feature on his album. 

Yousour Ndour Senegalese Musician

N’dour started his career as a small-time musician singing in a club and one popular club is Kasse’s Club in Dakar where he was born. 

 

The Mbalax has had its traditional roots in Serer music with links to Njuup and Ndul initiation ceremonies. 

 

Yousour Ndour, an award-winning artist, earned the title of the most famous singer alive by Rolling Stone Magazine in 2004.

 

Ndour is a Senegalese singer, composer, songwriter, and occasional actor with breakthrough movies such as Return to Goree. 

 

Angelique Kidjo (Republic Of Benin) 

 

I find it interesting that most millennials in West Africa do not know this name. 

 

Well, it just goes to show that despite how easily accessible information is now, millennials in Africa do not know their history. 

 

With that said, Kidjo has been one of the greatest names to have emerged from the Africa music industry. 

Angelique Kidjo Beninese Musician

She is a Grammy Award winner and beat Burnaboy to the Grammy in 2019 which she dedicated to Oluwaburna. 

 

She started singing at a very tender age thanks to her mother’s singing troupe. 

 

This gave Kidjo an early background in traditional music and cultural style to make her songs stand out from the rest. 

 

My father still plays songs like Wombolobo because he comes from the old generation of fans. 

 

Her creative music videos has made her one of the best in the game of music and if you doubt that then watch her 2019 song with Yemi Alade. 

 

Kidjo has roots in both Yoruba and Benin which has a huge influence on her career as a singer. 

 

Koffi Olomide (DRC Congo) 

 

It is difficult to talk about the top 10 best African musicians in indigenous Africa and not call this name. 

 

Olomide is one of the best musicians in Congo thanks to his prowess in fast Soukous Ndombolo. 

 

Koffi Olomude is a Congolese singer, record producer, and dancer with more than 2 Gold record certifications. 

 

His ability to relate with the crowd is the reason he stands out from the singers of his time. 

 

His relevance in the industry today shows how much impact he has had on music in Congo and the rest of Africa. 

 

Koffi has filled up international stages and am not talking just any type of stage, I am saying big venues in France. 

 

He is currently one of the richest artists in Africa thanks to his hugely successful music career. 

 

Plus if you have not listened to songs like Effrakata Loi then you are missing an opportunity to really shake your body. 

 

Now here a video of one of his popular songs, I hope you enjoy it the way I did the first time I watched it. 

 

Hugh Masekela (South African) 

 

Music in South Africa has been developing constantly into what it is today and there are some really great names we can’t forget easily. 

 

Among such household names is Hugh Masekela who is one of the best musicians in South Africa today. 

 

His ability to play multiple musical instruments is why he has been referred to as a musical genius. 

Hugh Masekela South African Musician

Image Source: NewSound

I mean he is a cornetist, a trumpeter, a flugelhornist, and a composer and he reminds me of Nigerian music star Flavour. 

 

Masekela started singing back in the late 1950s and with his music, he touched the generation of then listeners. 

 

I mean I still have not forgotten songs like Grazing in the grass and bajabula bonke which were both hit songs. 

 

In the world of today, Hugh Masekela is referred to as one of the best jazz musicians to have emerged from Africa while also cementing his place as one of the greatest musicians in Africa of all time. 

 

Now come let’s take a look at another legend on the list of best African musicians, shall we? 

 

Papa Wemba (DR Congo) 

 

The music scene in Congo has undergone significant evolution, and it would be remiss not to acknowledge the contributions of some prominent figures in the Congolese music industry.

 

When you and I talk about how much Africa has evolved, it is good to give credit to the players that were there before this generation came along. 

 

I mean these African musicians existed at a time when social media wasn’t popular and yet broke records and made names for themselves. 

 

With the ushering in of social media, almost everything musicians did became really easy. 

 

Papa Wemba is one of the most popular artists in Africa and his music which cut across Rumba, soukous and Ndombolo made me dance whenever I listen to it. 

 

Call it a sense of appreciation even in a world now ruled by millennials. 

 

Today you could say Papa Wemba is among the singers that made Soukous, Ndombolo a popular music genre in DRC Congo. 

 

Papa Wemba’s rise to fame came about after he joined the music group Zaiko Langa Langa in the 60s.

Papa Wemba DRC Musician

His sounded fused together traditional rumba and soukous to create a sound unique to fans in the Republic. 

 

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He died in April 2016 and no doubt he made my list of top 10 best musicians in the African continent.

 

Salif Keita (Mali) 

 

If you live in Africa chances are you more conversant with singers like Wizkid and Davido right? 

 

Well, the older generations know names like Salif Keita and what they achieved during their peak. 

 

Salif Keita is one musician who has a very interesting story. He was an outcast ostracised from his clan because he was born an albino. 

 

Back then there was a popular belief that if you were born an albino you are taboo and should be either killed or not allowed to live around people. 

 

Salif took his destiny and changed how people perceived what he was and became one of the greatest musicians from Mali. 

 

Salif Keita moved to Paris to reach a broader audience with his songs which combined sounds from West Africa, Europe, and America. 

 

His style of music gave rise to nicknames such as The Golden Voice of Africa. 

 

Keita reached an international audience through his band Les Ambassadeurs Internationales. 

 

The band’s recognition saw Keita move to Paris where he reached more fame on the continent. 

 

Salif Keita is a must-mention name when we talk about the best musicians in Africa of all time. 

 

Miriam Makeba (South Africa) 

 

When it comes to some of the countries in Africa with the best musicians, South Africa is high on that list. 

 

This is because names like Lucky Dube are mentors looked upon in the industry today. 

 

With Miriam Makeba, her achievements in the South African music industry cannot be undone. 

 

This is because her songs touched people from all walks of life myself included, to be frank. 

 

I took a special liking because my father had a diverse interest when it comes to listening to songs. 

 

She is one of his favorite musicians, and thanks to him, I also fell in love with Miriam Makeba’s songs. 

 

Miriam’s songs were instrumental in raising awareness among blacks who were oppressed during apartheid. 

 

Her songs were centered more on the theme of peace, equality, justice, and humanity. 

 

She is one of the best musicians in South Africa of all time and one of the top 20 most popular musicians in Africa

 

I find myself listening to songs like Pata Pata which resonates greatly because of the message weaved around it. 

 

Khaligraph Jones (Kenya) 

 

He is nicknamed the O.G of rap music in Kenya. 

 

While rap looks to be a genre that’s almost going into extinction, artists like Khaligraph are looking to make sure the genre stays. 

 

South Africa is the home for rap music and the genre is looking strong in the South of Africa. 

 

Khaligraph on the other hand is doing his best to stay atop his game doing rap and so far things are looking to go his way. That consistency has made him one of the most popular musicians in Kenya.

 

Jones has faced a couple of controversies, but they haven’t deterred him at all from pursuing his musical career.

 

You and I can say that Kenya is lucky to have an artist who has proven himself over and over again. 

 

I mean I still have not stopped listening to Khaligraph Jones leave me alone, it sounds different every time I pick up my headphone to listen to that song. 

 

One thing I love about Jones is the fact that he understands showbiz and he rides the waves so well. 

 

With that said, Khaligraph Jones is among the best modern-day African musicians thanks to his rap skills. 

 

Khaligraph has won a couple of awards and performed on the international stage while also making the Kenyan music industry recognizable around the globe. 

 

 

Conclusion 

 

Making the top 50 best musicians in Africa list is not as easy as it looks. 

 

This list explored the continent to curate a massive list of the top 50 best singers in Africa right now. 

 

Countries like Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, Nigeria, South Africa all made the list. 

 

It’s over to you now! 

 

Who do you expect to see on this list that did not make the cut? 

 

Leave a comment below with your thoughts and I will be sure to follow up with you. 

 

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