Although Burna Boy dropped out of college in the early stages of his life to pursue music as a career, today, he is one of the wealthiest musicians in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.
The purpose of this revelation is not to disparage the singer’s illustrious career, but to provide fans with a broader understanding of his background and to emphasize that changing one’s plans is sometimes necessary to achieve one’s goals. With that in mind, let’s delve into the biography of this exceptionally talented musician.
Burna Boy Biography 2023
Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu, known by his stage name Burna Boy, is a Nigerian singer, songwriter, and record producer. His style of music is a fusion of Afrobeat, pop, and reggae, which he has dubbed “Afrofusion.”
Born on July 2, 1991, Burna Boy’s musical journey began at 10 when a friend gifted him a copy of FruityLoops (now known as FL Studio), with which he created his first beat and many others on an old desktop computer.
His breakout track, “Like to Party,” produced by LeriQ in 2012 under his then record label “Aristokrate Records,” paved the way for his debut album, L.I.F.E, one year later.
Burna Boy’s Early Life and Education
Burna Boy is the first child of Mr. and Mrs. Ogulu from Ahoada in Rivers State, with one sibling, Nissi Ogulu. He has a rich musical heritage, with his grandfather having managed the legendary Nigerian Afrobeat king, the late Fela Kuti.
The African Giant crooner had the privilege of attending one of the prestigious schools in Port Harcourt City, Montessori International School, for his early education. He later moved to Corona Secondary School in Agbara, Ogun State, and subsequently studied abroad.
After two years of studying abroad, he dropped out of school and returned to Nigeria to pursue his music career. Burna later resumed his studies and graduated with flying colors.
Burna Boy’s Musical Career
Coming from a family that adored music, he always found himself around his late grandfather, who had once managed Fela Anikulapo Kuti. Fela also was Burna’s role model, which explains why his music style is unique and in a league of its own.
Damini’s musical journey began at 10 when a childhood friend gave him FL Studio, and he started producing beats on his own.
His official musical journey began when he dropped out of school in London and returned to Nigeria, where he connected with the producer LeriQ, and they collaborated on multiple albums.
Burna Boy’s desire to create great music led him to explore the genres of Afrobeat, reggae, and pop, which have been a significant influence on his career over the years.
In 2023, he released his single, “Like to Party,” produced by LeriQ, which paved the way for the release of his debut album, L.I.F.E (Living an Impact for Eternity), in August of the same year.
The album helped Burna gain global recognition and was nominated for Album of the Year and Hip Hop Revelation of the Year at the Headies.
The multiple award-winning singer later parted ways with his record company (Aristocrat Records) and LeriQ and signed a lucrative deal with Atlantic Records in 2017, which resulted in his second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, and most recent albums.
Burna Boy’s sixth studio album, “Love, Damini,” became the highest-debuting African album on the Billboard 200 chart. It also became the highest-charting African album in the Netherlands, United Kingdom, and France.
In October, Burna Boy was awarded the Member of the Order of the Federal Republic plaque for his contributions to music. In 2023, Rolling Stone ranked him as number 197 on its list of the 200 greatest singers of all time.
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Burna Boy’s Discography
Besides singles, EPs, mixtapes, and features, Burna Boy boasts a rich discography with seven studio albums to his credit:
- L.I.F.E (2013)
- On a Spaceship (2015)
- Outside (2018)
- African Giant (2019)
- Twice as Tall (2020)
- Love, Damini (2022)
- I Told Them… (2023)
Burna Boy Biography: Awards and Nominations
Burna Boy is nicknamed the African Giant for good reason. When it comes to awards, he has an impressive collection that defies the odds.
The singer has amassed 70 awards, including the prestigious Grammy Award for Best Global Music Album in 2020.
He is currently the most digitally selling artist in Africa across all categories, cementing his status as one of the greatest African artists of all time.