Published: 22nd March 2012
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With his rare and unparalleled ability to brew an exotic mixture of West African sounds with Southern beats and East Coast tones and a dazzling presence that has the power that keeps the viewers of his performances, hooked his every move, Akon has carved out his very own place in the hip hop music industry in a few short years.

Born as Aliaune Damala Badara Thiam in St. Louis, Akon lived with his parents Mor Thiam, a jazz percussionist, and his wife, in Senegal until the age of seven. That was when his father decided it was time to return to the US and brought the family with him, to settle in New Jersey. But until he was 15, Akon spent time in both countries, which not only strengthened his roots but also had a major influence on the music that he would later go on to produce. But moving back also had other effects. In New Jersey, Akon discovered hip hop as well as crime. He was involved in drug dealing, car theft and was eventually jailed but he used that time - three years, he claims - to develop his music and his signature style. On getting released, he began creating tracks in his home studio. Those tapes eventually found their way to SRC/Universal, which released his debut LP-Trouble. The song ‘Locked Up’ was a huge success, making it to the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100 and launching Akon as a superstar and one of the most sought after collaborators.

From then on, his ride to fame and success has been mesmerizing. In 2005, ‘Locked Up’- the first of several Akon music videos got nominated for an award, drawing people to download his music and videos. Later that year, the Akon Music video of his song- ‘Lonely’ became the longest running single, ruling the charts for over fifteen weeks. His second album, ‘Konvicted’ was released in November 2006. The first two of the album's singles-‘I Wanna Love You’ and ‘Smack That’, were instant hits, making their way to the top of the Billboard charts. His next album ‘Freedom’, sold 110,900 copies in its first week and has since, sold 510,000 copies in the US alone, spawning singles like ‘Right Now (Na Na Na)’, ‘I'm So Paid’ (with Lil Wayne and Young Jeezy), ‘Beautiful’ (featuring Kardinal Offishall and Colby O'Donis) and ‘We Don't Care’.

He is the first solo artist to hold both the number one and two spots together on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, not once but twice. He is also the founder and owner of two record labels- Konvict Muzik and Kon Live Distribution as well as a clothing label, Konvict clothing. Although he maintains a relatively low profile and likes to keep his past life shrouded in mystery, his fans don’t care. All latest Akon songs are assured hits and his fan following just keeps on growing across the globe. There is just no stopping this Senegalese super star from ruling the music world!

Interested in some of the latest Akon songs, hottest music videos, latest music news & gossip, then visit Urban-Nation.com!

About the Author:

James Griffith is a freelance writer from London specialising in writing hiphop r&b music and uk grime music articles. Over the years he has developed an extensive knowledge of urban music and urban music artists and is considered one of the leading authorities on this subject. With a passion for Hip hop and R&B music since childhood, James Griffith brings great knowledge and a great understanding of this exciting music genre and his articles are both informative and entertaining too.

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