10 quick facts about music legend, King Sunny Ade as he turns 70 today

Posted on September 22 2016 , at 03:21 pm
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  • He is the first Nigerian musician to be nominated for a Grammy award and went on get a second nomination soon after.

'My costume, my guitar have been in United States museum for the past three years' - King Sunny Ade
King Sunny Ade

Born on September 22, 1946, today marks the 70th birthday of veteran musician, King Sunny Ade.

Here are 10 things you didn’t know about the legend…

 

1. Who his parents were

ksa

KSA’s father was a church minister and organist, while his mother was a trader.

 

2. What he had to do at the beginning

king-sunny-ade1

He left home for the city to pursue his chosen career under the guise of attending the University of Lagos.

 

3. 1st experience in entertainment

KSA, Baba Sala, Fatai Rolling Dollar and Obey
KSA, Baba Sala, Fatai Rolling Dollar and Ebenezer Obey

His first experience as an entertainer was with Baba Salas Federal Rhythm Dandies.

 

4. The Grammys

KSA
KSA is the first Nigerian to get a Grammy award nomination

He is the first Nigerian musician to be nominated for a Grammy award and went on get a second nomination soon after.

 

5. KSA and Island Records

Synchro System was released in 1982
Syncro System was released in 1983

Island Records signed KSA in the early 80s following the death of Bob Marley and intended making him the next global star but the contract was short lived as he refused to ‘Europeanise his music’ as requested by the label. KSA released three albums (Juju Music in 1982, Syncro System in 1983 and Aura in ’84) under Island Records.

 

6. What New York Times said about him

KSA and band members
KSA and band members

New York Times described KSA as one of the greatest band leaders of all times.

 

7. His collaborations

KSA and Stevie Wonder
KSA and Stevie Wonder

KSA is one of the first African musicians to collaborate with American acts. In 1984, he featured Stevie Wonder on his album, Aura.

 

8. Working in Hollywood

King Sunny Ade's '365 Is My Number' and 'The Message' featured as a mash up in the 1983 movie, 'Breathless'
King Sunny Ade’s ‘365 Is My Number’ and ‘The Message’ featured as a mash up in the 1983 movie, ‘Breathless’

King Sunny Ade made a cameo appearance in the 1983 Hollywood movie,’ Breathless’ which stars Richard Gere.

 

9. Government ties

King Sunny Ade and Ajoke
King Sunny Ade and Ajoke

One of KSA’s wives, Ajoke Adeniyi Adegeye was a member of the Lagos State House of Assembly from 2007 to 2011.

 

10. He really is royalty

King Sunny Ade
King Sunny Ade

He is acclaimed as a musical ‘King’ but KSA was actually born into a royal house in Ondo town, which makes him a prince and one of those eligible to the throne of Ondo Kingdom.

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