NAIJA’S 6 RICHEST ENTERTAINERS
A few decades ago, music was seen more as a passion than a profession. But not anymore. It has gone beyond passion and has become more than a vocation. In recent times, we see people actually going to school to study music. It has become a career through which not only those who are deft in the art, but even the government can generate revenue. With endorsement deals, sales of compact discs, shows, etc some musicians earn a lot of money, and respect too. Many of them are role models to the younger generation. In no particular order, Life&Beat lists the top six players in the industry who have made a success of showbiz.
- Don Jazzy–Michael Enebeli, also known as Don Jazzy, is the founder of Mo'Hits. Reputed to be one of the best and most sought after producers, showbiz-savvy Nigerians don't refer to him as a music producer but THE music producer. At age five, Don Jazzy already had eyes for the microphone, the music console and was always in the studio. He was a member of Good Morning Kids, a group created by his father. Don Jazzy is known for his business dexterity. Little wonder he successfully built Mo'Hits from scratch to become one of the biggest entertainment empires in the country. He recently signed a recording deal with international superstar, Kanye West – a move that not only boosted his reputation as an entertainer, but also his wealth.
- Tuface–Born Innocent Idibia, the former member of the band, Plantashun Boyz, is said to be among the richest artistes in the industry. With two platinum records in his kitty, Tuface is speculated to be worth about N550m. It comes as no surprise as he has had endorsement deals with brands like Guinness, which earned him N20m and Airtel, which earned him N22m this year. He was also said to have earned N30m from the producers of Phat Girls movie, and charges between N4m and N5m depending on the show. The artiste has invested heavily in real estate and stocks, where he earns big bucks. He once said he was set to recover all the wealth taken from Africa.
- BANKY W – Also known as Mr. Capable, Banky W has proved to Nigerians that he is capable of being among the richest entertainers in the industry. He makes the bulk of his wealth from gigs. He is said to charge between N2.5m and N3m per show and performs three to four times in a week. He is a brand ambassador of Estisalat, one of Nigeria's telecommunications giants, where he featured in their popular commercial, 0809ja for life. He also featured in Coca Cola-Nigeria's World Cup theme song and Microsoft's Anti-cyber Crime Initiative. Banky W is an entrepreneur and has invested heavily in businesses that are fetching him good money. As a philanthropist, he founded the Mr. Capable Foundation, where he provides tuition fees for indigent and brilliant students.
- D'banj– Popularly known as the Kokomaster or Mr. Endowed, D'Banj is one artiste that has a penchant for making money. D'Banj certainly has a passion for business. Apart from music, Mr. Endowed has other businesses, which include Koko Mansion, a TV reality show, Koko Lounge, an upscale hangout in Lagos and UK, Koko Foundation, a charity and the recently-launched Koko Mobile under his label christened, Koko. The bulk of his money comes from endorsements – his endorsement deal with Globacom telecommunications cost N70m. He has a multimillion naira endorsement with an energy drink, Power Fist; a deal with the makers of Virgin Colour soft drink; and another multi-million naira deal with a popular jeweller. He has a deal running into millions with Chris Aire, as the face of his watches and another one with UAC Foods. He collects between N5m and N7m as performance fee for local gigs; $80,000 to $150,000 for African shows; £40,000 to £60,000 for UK shows; and $50,000 to $60,000 for American shows. Like his boss, Don Jazzy, D'banj also bagged a recording deal with Kanye West's G.O.O.D Music; this will not only boost his career, but also the fee he attracts. D'Banj once said, “I work hard so that money, awards, endorsements, bookings and kokolets chase me.”
- P- Square– The singing and dancing duo, Peter and Paul Okoye, are unarguably among the richest in the industry. They won the KORA award for Best Africa Artiste 2010. The award came with $1m (N150m). Shortly after, the duo got an endorsement deal with Globacom telecommunications worth about N240m for four years. The hip-hop artistes had one of their greatest international gigs last year. Their American tour of seven cities earned them a whopping $1m (N150m). After a misunderstanding with their landlord, the duo built a house they named Squareville in the same neighbourhood. The house, which they completed in less than six months, is valued at N300m. They own Rayfield Hotel, Jos, and two multi-million naira factories in the same city, where they built a multimillion naira bakery and sachet water companies for their dad and mum, among other investments. The bulk of their wealth comes from concerts, especially in Africa. The duo have sold above 14 million copies of their CDs since 2005. They are said to charge about N2m per show.
- Goldie – Although she entered the industry recently, Goldie has been ranked among the richest artistes in the industry. The sexy singer has some tracks currently enjoying goodplay on the airwaves.