King Sunny Ade


Real name: Prince Sunday Adeniyi Adegeye, he was born September 22 1946, to a royal family of Ondo, at Oshogbo, Nigeria. He attended Ondo Grammer school and on the pretext of attending the University of Lagos, he evaded his parental restrictions and travelled to Lagos, to pursue a career in music.

He had earlier begun his musical career at Oshogbo, influenced by the late Orlando Owoh, who taught him to play the Guitar and mentored him generally. At Lagos, he joined comedian and musician- Moses Olaiya's Federal Rhythm Dandies.

His talents were spotted in 1967, when he formed his own band - The Green Spots. Starting with his debut "Yekini Akande/Adeyinka Adebayo", he released four singles in 1967, which were massive successes, cementing his reputation in the "Juju" Music genre. Between 1968 and 1970, he released 11 singles, including the massive hits "Eda nreti eleya", "Ally mekudi" and "Colonel Benjamin Adekunle".

In 1970 he embarked on his first International tour, playing several shows in London, UK and further building his already large fan-base. This was to be the first of several International tours for King Sunny Ade and his Band, who changed the name of his band to "The African Beats" in the early 70's. He was to release one of his biggest hits "Synchro system" in 1977.

By the 1980's, King Sunny Ade was one of the biggest African International stars, playing to sell-out audiences in Africa, Europe and America. He was nominated for a Grammy Award in the Folk/Ethnic Music category in 1983, for his re-released album "Synchro System". His reputation grew to such an extent that he was described by the New York Times, as "one of the world's greatest band-leaders.

King Sunny Ade (or KSA, as he is called by the Nigerian Press) still performs till date to huge audiences all around the world and has earned the reputation of one of the true grandees of African music.

NGLagos, Nigeria
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Charles Ogundipe

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