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Thursday, February 22, 2024

Akon: Birth of a legend

By Ardain Jr. Isma

 Special to CSMS MagazineAkon is one of today’s biggest and most respected stars in the music industry. Listening to Hit radios, from coast to coast, every 3 to 5 minutes, Akon’s voice is on the air—whether through his own label or through a joint venture with a different artist. He is always treated with respect. Not only is he a force to be reckoned with in the music world, but he is also a triple threat. He writes, produces, and sings all of his songs as well as owning his own record company and signing and producing his own artists.Akon was born in Dakar, Senegal. He is the son of famed jazz musician Mor Thiam. When he was younger, he lived back and fourth between Africa and America until he was 15; then his family permanently moved to Jersey City, New Jersey. While he was in high school, he was a talented basketball player. One day during a game, Akon suffered a terrible injury. That injury caused him to stop playing for the whole season. While recovering from his injury, Akon discovered his talent for writing and producing music.So encouraged, he quickly realized that his talent could not be wasted and that he must continue to explore it. When he got older he started to make demo-tapes.Akon’s unique style of West-African rhythms mixed with R&B and Hip-Hop caught the ear of executives at universal music group.Akon released his first album entitled Trouble on June 24 2004. It had a low first week debute peaking at #29 on the charts. It wasn’t until he released his top-ten single, Locked up, that album sale started to come up. The next single of the album was the big radio hit Ghetto, whichshowed Akon’s diversity as an artist. It proved that Akon had a wide range of diversity in his topics for his song ideas. The last single of his album was Lonely, which sampled Mr. Lonely from Bobby Vinton’s original of 1964. The song became a top-five hit and pushed the album to platinum status, selling 1.6 million records across the country and over 3 million records worldwide, making Akon one of today’s biggest international stars.Akon’s second album Konvicted did even better. It debuted # 2 on the charts and sold even better than his debut. The lead single I wanna love you in collaboration with Snoop Dogg became an international hit all over the world. It was highly acclaimed by critics and well preserved his African roots. The album sold 2.8 million albums in America alone and over 4 million albums worldwide. In today’s market, albums don’t really sell high as they used to because of bootlegging. Akon really shows that true talented artist can still move big numbers on the album charts.Akon is also known for working with big stars. He has collaborated with artists such as T-Pain, T.I., Mariah Carey, Britney Spears, Wiclef Jean, and even Madonna. He produces for a lot of artists, too. It shows that Akon is a well-diversified artist.Akon is currently working on his new album Acquitted, which is due to be released later this year. The first single is Hold my hand featuring Michael Jackson. So far, it has gotten positive reviews on the radio market and Internet blog sites. There is no denying that Akon is truly a force in the music world. Just face the facts Akon has only been around for only four years, and he is already making moves that some artists could only realize after two decades in the game. Now that’s major for Akon, especially being a black artist of African origin.Also see Kanye West: part 2, the story continues Kanye West: A Unique rapper Chris Brown: R&B Elite singer Milca: New Haitian diva crowned in Paris while Konpa is breaking new groundsWyclef Jean: An Artist With A MissionTyler Perry: A success storyRobyn Rihanna Fenty: A shining starAmerie M.M. Rogers: The R&B PrincessNoteArdain Jr. Isma is a senior at Nease High School in Ponte Vedra, Florida. He wrote this piece exclusively for CSMS Magazine.

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