In a male dominated industry, our super talented Nigerian female stars have done well to stand out, becoming some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry, through their talent, hard-work and consistency.
Not only are they making waves with hit songs, they are also appreciated by fans and corporate agencies who have invested huge sums of money in endorsement deals with them.
So, with input from some industry experts, based on Vocal Ability, Lyrical Content, Mainstream Acceptability, Consistency, Commercial Value, business ventures and current endorsement deals; here is a compiled list of the Top 5 Most Bankable Female Musicians in Nigeria at the moment.
Chidinma Ekile; the unrelenting beautiful singer-songwriter, recording artist and stage performer is the first ever female winner of the ‘MTN Project Fame competition’. Since her big win 2010, and single after single later, this 24-year-old star has proven her being worthy of the title.
Ms Chidinma hit it big by debuting the smash single ‘Jankolikoko’ ft Sound Sultan right after she was crowned. The single ‘Kedike’ later became her trademark tune, earning her awards after awards including ‘Best Female West African Act’ at the KORA awards in 2012, as well as earning her the tag name ‘Ms Kedike’.
This City People nominated ‘Female Musician of the Year’ is one star that knows how to deliver songs in a way every class of audience in Nigeria today can rock to.
Following the release of a video for her ‘Emi Ni Baller’ single, she became the first female musician to peak at number 1 on the ‘MTV Base Official Naija Top 10 charts’. Beyond this, her pure talent has made her an MTN ambassador.
Aituaje Iruobe is one Nigerian singer whose vocal range covers three octaves. She is mostly known as WAJE, an acronym for “Words Aren’t Just Enough”.
Bring up the discussion about who the best female singer in Nigeria is anywhere and Waje’s name will always pop up. The talented lady behind the remake of P-Square’s “Omoge Mi” and the female voice in the duo’s 2008 hit track “Do Me” and Banky W’s “Thief my Kele” blew up after her duet with MI. On ‘One Naira’ in 2011, with her vocals and outstanding lyrics, she earned her place in the industry as a force to reckon with.
Her vocal ability has earned her awards as ‘Best Rhythm And Blues Singer’ at the 2011 City People Entertainment Awards, ‘Best Female Vocalist at the 2011 Nigerian Entertainment Awards, ‘Best Female Vocalist at the 2011 Hip hop World Awards, ‘Best African Act at the 2011 Deafa Afro-Europe Awards, ‘Best Vocal Performance at the 2010 South South Awards, ‘Best Female Performer at the 2010 South South Awards, ‘Musician Of The Year at the 2013 City People Awards, among others. She is currently a Globacom ambassador.
3. Seyi Shay
Deborah Oluwaseyi Joshua, known by her stage name Seyi Shay, is a recording artist, songwriter and producer who was born and raised in London to Nigerian parents. Shay has toured with P. Diddy and Beyoncé in the UK before now, and has written and worked with a number of the industry’s finest like Brian Michael Cox, Chipmunk, Rob Knoxx, H-Money, Cameron Wallace, Jolyn Skinner, Joshua Tree, and Joe & Brian Higgins, to name a few.
This singer/songwriter’s journey started in the UK where she was part of the musical group ‘Boadicea’. She returned to Nigeria and dazzled us with hits ‘Like Loving your way’, ‘No lele’ and ‘Irawo’. But it wasn’t until her single, ‘Murda’ that she really struck gold.
Her vocals are as solid as her lyrical strength. She can switch from traditional RnB to Reggae, and then Pop without dropping in delivery and quality. She was nominated for the 2014 Channel O Music Video Awards’ ‘Most Gifted Female’, the City People Entertainment Awards’ ‘Musician of the Year (Female)’, the Nigeria Entertainment Awards ‘Female Artist of the Year’, the World Music Awards World’s Best Song for “Ragga Ragga” as well as for ‘World’s Best Video’. She finally landed herself the City People Entertainment Awards for ‘Best New Musician of the Year (Female)’.
So far, she is making the right moves everywhere she turns. She recently inked an endorsement deal as the face of Hollandia Yogurt, as well as an endorsement deal with telecommunications service provider Etisalat.
2. Tiwa Savage
Mrs. Tiwa Savage Balogun is one Nigerian female artist with the phrase “star” written all over her. This Nigerian beauty is a triple threat with her natural songwriting ability, her electrifying stage presence and a voice that stays powerful through many stages.
Mrs. Savage took over Africa with the single “Kele Kele Love”, which went on to become an anthem for women everywhere around as it took the number one spot on numerous radio and television stations across the continent.
Her big break was at age 16 when she started off a background singer for George Michael. Her determination didn’t stop there as she went on to do backup singing for a host of artistes including Mary J. Blige, Chaka Khan, Blu Cantrell, Kelly Clarkson, Andreas Bocelli, Ms Dynamite, and much more.
This University of Kent graduate has written for some of today’s A-list artistes and producers and has also received numerous song-writing credits. She has won the City People Entertainment Award for ‘Female Musician of the Year’, ‘Best R&B Soul Song’ for ‘Kele Kele Love’ at the Afrotainment Museke Online Music Awards, ‘Most Stylish Female Artiste’ at the FAB Magazine Awards and ‘Most Promising Act’ at the Dynamix Youth Awards. She also picked up the ‘Best Female Act’ at MTV Africa Music Awards, Best Vocal Performance (Female) (The Headies), and was nominated for the ‘BET International Act Award’.
Her hard work has paid off so much she is a brand ambassador for MTN, Pepsi and Forte Oil.
It’s easy to see how Ms. OMAWUMI Megbele as the number 1 highest paid female performer in Nigeria. ‘The Queen! Omawonder’ as she is often called has been a consistent force in Nigerian music since she burst onto the scene in 2007.
After finishing 1st runner up in West African Idol, she went on to entrench herself in the industry. What makes Omawumi special is her unique ability to appeal to every class of person in Africa with her choice of language (pre-dominantly pidgin).
She released her debut Single ‘In The Music’ a kwaito-based sound which she fused with pidgin English and the song became an instant hit. Hitting number 1 on various radio stations and getting multiple nominations and awards including the most coveted award ‘Next Rated’ and ‘Best Female Vocalist Awards From Hiphop World Awards 2009’ amongst others is a few of her accolades.
Ms. Omawonder has also proven she is more than just music as she delved into the movie industry and is doing great. She currently has four brand endorsements– Globacom, Konga, Mortein & Malta Guinness.