HE'S BLACK 'N' PROUD,CALL HIM AKON......''BEST SELLING ARTIST FROM AFRICA'''

Aliaune Damala Badara Thiam, better known as simply Akon , born April 16, 1973), is a Senegalese American R&B recording artist and songwriter.According to Forbes, Akon grossed $21 million in 2010, $20 million in 2009 and $12 million in 2008. He rose to prominence in 2004 following the release of "Locked Up", the first single from his debut album Trouble. His second album, Konvicted, earned him a Grammy Award nomination of the single "Smack That". He has since founded two record labels, Konvict Muzik and Kon Live Distribution.
Akon often sings hooks for other artists and is currently credited with over 300 guest appearances and 45 Billboard Hot 100 songs. He has worked with numerous performers such as Dr. Dre, Michael Jackson, R. Kelly, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Quincy Jones, Eminem and Whitney Houston. He is the first solo artist to hold both the number one and two spots simultaneously on the Billboard Hot 100 charts twice. He has had six Grammy Awards nominations and has produced many hits for artists such as Lady Gaga, Colby O'Donis and Leona Lewis. Lady Gaga and T-Pain are two artists who were given their chance at fame by Akon.
Akon was born in St. Louis, Missouri, which his parents arranged so that he would have American citizenship, and not encounter future immigration problems.He is the son of Senegalese percussionist Mor Thiam, Akon was raised in a musical setting and taught to play several instruments including the djembe. At age 7, he moved with his family to Union City, New Jersey, splitting his time between the United States and Senegal until settling in Newark, New Jersey. Growing up in New Jersey, Akon had difficulties getting along with other children. When he and his older brother reached high school, his parents left them on their own in Jersey City and moved the rest of the family to Atlanta, Georgia.Akon has stated in interviews that his full name is Aliaune Damala Akon Thiam and that as a Muslim, he has never drunk alcohol or smoked.. although there is some ambiguity and debate about Akon's legal name and birth date. Akon is usually credited as Aliaune Thiam In addition to the longer form, Akon's full name has been reported both as Aliaune Badara Thiam and Alioune Badara Thiam and the former was used on an official document issues against the rapper by the county of Dutchess, New York.In regards to his birth date, Akon is very protective of it, which is the reason many media outlets have reported incorrect dates. However, legal documents released by The Smoking Gun list Akon's name as Aliaune Damala Thiam and his date of birth as April 16, 1973
2003–05: Discovery and Trouble
Akon's alleged three years in jail saw him begin to recognize his music abilities and develop an appreciation for his musical background. Music mogul Devyne Stephens, president of Upfront Megatainment first heard about Akon when the rapper Lil' Zane brought him along to Stephens' rehearsal hall, a place that at the time saw talents such as Usher and TLC being developed.The relationship between Stephens and Akon began as a friendship and mentorship, with the young artist regularly stopping by to ask for advice, but when Akon lost his deal with Elektra Stephens signed him to his production company and began grooming him professionally.The songs Akon recorded with Stephens were brought to the attention of Universal's imprint SRC Records.In an interview with HitQuarters SRC A&R Jerome Foster said, "What caught my attention right away was "Lonely", and I said, 'this kid is official - this is a huge record." Foster and SRC CEO Steve Rifkind immediately boarded a private plane to Atlanta to meet the young artist. Akon knew of Foster's work as producer Knobody and so there was a mutual respect for one another and the pair hit it off.Akon's solo debut album, Trouble was released on June 29, 2004. It spawned the singles "Locked Up" and "Lonely", "Belly Dancer (Bananza)", "Pot Of Gold", and "Ghetto." "Locked Up" reached the top 10 in the U.S. and the top five in the UK. "Ghetto" became a radio hit when it was remixed by DJ Green Lantern to include verses from rappers 2Pac and The Notorious B.I.G. The album is a hybrid of Akon's silky, West African-styled vocals mixed with East Coast and Southern beats. Most of Akon's songs begin with the sound of the clank of a jail cell's door with him uttering the word "Konvict".In 2005, he released the single "Lonely" (which samples Bobby Vinton's "Mr. Lonely"). The song reached the top five on the Billboard Hot 100, and topped the charts in Australia, the UK and Germany. His album also climbed to number one in the UK in April 2005. When music channel The Box had a top ten weekly chart, which was calculated by the amount of video requests, Akon's "Lonely" became the longest running single on the top of the chart, spanning over fifteen weeks. Akon then released another single featuring with a New Zealand rapper, Savage with the single Moonshine, which had become a success in both New Zealand and Australia, becoming number one in the New Zealand charts. In 2005, He made his first critically acclaimed guest appearance on Young Jeezy's debut album, Let's Get It: Thug Motivation 101, with the song "Soul Survivor." In December the same year his manager, Robert Montanez was killed in a shooting after a dispute in New Jersey.
Akon released his new album Freedom on December 2, which spawned four singles: "Right Now (Na Na Na)", "I'm So Paid" (featuring Lil Wayne and Young Jeezy), "Beautiful" (featuring Kardinal Offishall and Colby O'Donis) and "We Don't Care". "We Don't Care" has failed to chart significantly in many countries, only reaching 61 in the UK and 91 in Australia. After the unexpected death of The King Of Pop Michael Jackson, who Akon was working with in Jackson's last years, Akon released a tribute song called "Cry Out Of Joy". Akon & Michael Jackson were close friends near the end of Jackson's life.
Speaking of his relationship with Michael Jackson to noted UK R&B writer Pete Lewis of the award-winning 'Blues & Soul' in October 2008, Akon stated: "Mike is the King Of Pop, and I think that it's a dream come true for ANY major artist/songwriter/producer to be able to work with the best in the business! You know, to work with someone like Mike – who's created opportunities, opened doors for so many people, and achieved so much in the music world, period – is just an experience which would be enough to take home for ANYONE! I mean, when I first flew up to Vegas and met him it was almost like we'd known each other for YEARS! LITERALLY! 'Cause musically we were on the same exact page! The chemistry was just INCREDIBLE! And, as a person, he was the most cool, humble dude I've ever met! I mean, we even actually got to go to the movies together – in broad daylight! Which was an experience in itself!!! David Guetta collaborated with Akon in Sexy Bitch, a first house track by Akon, and has been a "summer anthem" across the globe. Reaching #1 in more than 6 countries, and charting at 5 on the Billboard Hot 100, it is featured on Guetta's One Love album. Which has made it his 19th Top 20 hit worldwide.Freedoms frist week sales were 110,900 copies and it has sold 510,000 copies in the US.
It was announced in late 2009 that Akon's fourth studio album, Stadium, was set for release in the first quarter of 2010. However, following managerial commitments to other artists, work on the album has not been completed. Akon had also stated that the title of the album may change between now and that time, since originally it was titled Stadium Music and then Akonic, although there is some ambiguity and debate about the album name. The album's lead single, "Angel", was released to US radio stations on September 14, 2010, and was released as a single on September 27, 2010. It was produced by French producer David Guetta. Akon performed the song during the 2010 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show.
He has also been rumored to have three wives, however he has since revealed that he only has one, named Tomeka. Akon claims he has six children with three different women in an interview with Blender. Akon claims to have great relationships with all his children, and that he wishes to keep his family protected from the public eye. He also states that his religion made him a better person, and provides guidance to how he acts among others in life.He also has his own charity for underprivileged children in Africa called Konfidence Foundation.Akon owns a diamond mine in South Africa and denies the existence of blood diamonds (also known as "conflict diamonds") saying, "I don't believe in conflict diamonds. That's just a movie. Think about it. Nobody thought or cared about conflict diamonds until 'Blood Diamond' was released." However, he has since stated that he does accept that blood diamonds exist, and that he is partial-owner of an African mine that is dedicated to avoiding use of blood diamonds while also donating profits to local communities.
"The Smoking Gun" reported in April 2008 that much of Akon's purported criminal and incarceration history has been dramatically embellished. In particular, Akon's claims to be part of an auto-theft ring and his claim to have spent three years in prison were challenged with court records and interviews with detectives involved in Akon's case. According to "The Smoking Gun's" article, Akon was not convicted of any crime and did not serve any time in prison from 1999 to 2002 as previously claimed. He stated that "The Smoking Gun's" attempt to “discredit” him “makes no sense as it is something he is trying to forget.” Akon retorted that he never spent 3 years in prison consecutively, but many shorter sentences that add up to three years, and cites that as the mis-understanding by The Smoking Gun's articleAkon appeared on the ITV2 show The Hot Desk. He stated on the show that he is a fan of English Premier League club Chelsea F.C.

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