HOME
The Info List - Akon



--- Advertisement ---


ALIAUME DAMALA BADARA AKON THIAM (born April 16, 1973), better known as AKON (pronounced /ˈeɪkɒn/ ), is an American-born Senegalese singer, rapper, songwriter, businessman, record producer and actor. He rose to prominence in 2004 following the release of "Locked Up " featuring Styles P , the first single from his debut album _Trouble _.

He has since founded two successful record labels, Konvict Muzik and Kon Live Distribution . His second album, _ Konvicted _ received three nominations for the Grammy Awards in two categories, Best Contemporary R&B Album for _ Konvicted _ album and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for " Smack That " and "I Wanna Love You ".

He is the first solo artist to hold both the number one and two spots simultaneously on the _Billboard_ Hot 100 charts twice. Akon has had four songs certified as 3× platinum, three songs certified as 2× platinum, more than ten songs certified as 1× platinum and more than ten songs certified as gold in digital sales. Akon has sung songs in other languages including Tamil , Hindi , and Spanish . He was listed by the Guinness Book of World Records as the #1 selling artist for master ringtones in the world.

Akon often provides vocals as a featured artist and is currently credited with over 300 guest appearances and more than 35 _Billboard_ Hot 100 songs. He has worked with numerous performers such as Michael Jackson , Eminem , Snoop Dogg , Whitney Houston , Bone Thugs-N-Harmony , and Gwen Stefani . He has had five Grammy Awards nominations and has produced songs for artists such as Lady Gaga , Colby O\'Donis , Kardinal Offishall , Leona Lewis , and T-Pain .

_Forbes_ ranked Akon 80th (Power Rank) in Forbes Celebrity 100 in 2010 and 5th in 40 Most Powerful Celebrities in Africa list, in 2011. _Billboard_ ranked Akon No. 6 on the list of Top Digital Songs Artists of the decade.

CONTENTS

* 1 Early life

* 2 Music career

* 2.1 2003–05: Discovery and _Trouble_ * 2.2 2006–08: _Konvicted_ * 2.3 2008–09: _Freedom_ * 2.4 2010–present: _Stadium_

* 3 Akon Lighting Africa * 4 Television and film

* 5 Personal life

* 5.1 Legal difficulties

* 6 Discography * 7 Filmography * 8 Tours * 9 See also * 10 References * 11 External links

EARLY LIFE

Akon was born in St. Louis , Missouri , and spent much of his childhood in the West African country Senegal , which he describes as his "hometown". The child of a dancer mother and a percussionist father, Mor Thiam , Akon learned to play five instruments, including drums, guitar and 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.

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 his date of birth as April 16, 1973.

MUSIC CAREER

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"> Akon performing at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in Charlotte , 2007.

Akon started his new record label Kon Live Distribution under Interscope Records . His second album, _ Konvicted _ was released in November 2006 and debuted at number two on the _Billboard_ 200 , selling 286,000 copies in its first week. After only six weeks, _Konvicted_ sold more than one million records in the U.S. The album was certified platinum after seven weeks, and after sixteen weeks it was certified double platinum. It stayed in the top twenty of the _Billboard_ 200 for 28 consecutive weeks and peaked at number two on four different occasions. On November 20, 2007, the RIAA certified the album ‘triple platinum’ with 3 million units sold in the US.

The album included collaborations with Eminem , Snoop Dogg and Styles P . The first single " Smack That " (featuring Eminem) was released in August 2006 and peaked at number two on the _Billboard_ Hot 100 for five consecutive weeks. On October 5, 2006, Akon broke a record on the Hot 100, as he achieved the largest climb in the chart's 48-year-history with "Smack That" jumping from number 95 to 7. The leap was fueled by its number six debut on Hot Digital Songs with 67,000 downloads. The record has since been broken several times. "Smack That" was nominated for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration at the 49th Annual Grammy Awards , but lost to Justin Timberlake and T.I. 's "My Love ".

"I Wanna Love You ", (featuring Snoop Dogg ) was the second single released in September, it would go on to earn Akon his first number-one single on the _Billboard_ Hot 100, and Snoop's second. "I Wanna Love You" topped the U.S. charts for two consecutive weeks. In January 2007, a third single "Don\'t Matter " which earned him his first solo number one and second consecutive Hot 100 chart topper was released. "Mama Africa " was released as a European single in July 2007, making it the fourth overall single from the album. To coincide with the release of the deluxe edition of the album "Sorry, Blame It on Me " debuted in August 2007 on the Hot 100 at number seven.

In February 2007, Akon launched his clothing line, _Konvict Clothing_. It features urban streetwear including denim jeans, hoodies, T-shirts and hats. _Aliaune_ is the upscale version, or high-end line, for males and females, which includes blazers, denim jeans and other items. Akon performing with Gwen Stefani on The Sweet Escape Tour.

He produced and featured on Gwen Stefani 's "The Sweet Escape " which has reached No. 2 on the _Billboard_ Hot 100 . Akon performed at the American leg of Live Earth . He later recorded a remix of "Wanna Be Startin\' Somethin\' " by Michael Jackson for the 25th anniversary rerelease of Jackson's _Thriller _. He also worked with bachata group Aventura and Reggaeton duo Wisin & Yandel on All Up 2 You . The song received two nominations at the Premios Lo Nuestro 2010 for "Urban Song of the Year" and "Video Collaboration of the Year". He signed Jayko, a Hispanic R"> Akon at a Mumbai airport.

Akon released his third album _Freedom _ on December 2, 2008, which spawned four singles: " Right Now (Na Na Na) ", "I\'m So Paid " (featuring Lil Wayne and Young Jeezy ), "Beautiful " (featuring Colby O\'Donis and Kardinal Offishall ) and "We Don\'t Care ". _Freedom_ was certified platinum in US. Rap singer Nelly suggested that Akon, Pharrell , and T-Pain had talked about forming a rap supergroup in 2009. Akon and Konvict Muzik produced hip hop/rock group Flipsyde 's 2009 release, _State of Survival_, released via Kon Live Distribution and Cherrytree Records . He was also the executive producer of Kardinal Offishall's fourth solo album _Not 4 Sale _. The first single "Dangerous ", which featured Akon peaked at No. 5 on the _Billboard_ Hot 100. He co-wrote Kon Live artist Lady Gaga 's hit "Just Dance ", and which earned a Grammy nomination for Best Dance Recording at the 51st Grammy Awards .

After the unexpected death of Michael Jackson , who Akon was working with, Akon released a tribute song called "Cry Out Of Joy". Akon claimed to be close friend with Jackson near the end of Jackson's life in an interview UK R&B writer Pete Lewis of the award-winning 'Blues & Soul' in October 2008 In July 2008, a song called "Hold My Hand", an R&B duet/collaboration between Michael Jackson and Akon, circulated the internet. It was not included in the track list for _Freedom_ as Akon previously stated. During an interview with Tavis Smiley , Akon said that Jackson had planned on a high-profile release including a music video until the track had leaked. This is Jackson's last known song before he died on June 25, 2009. Akon finished work on the song for Jackson's posthumous album, _Michael_ and it was released as a single in November 2010.

Akon co-wrote and recorded "Put It on My Tab" with New Kids on the Block for their 2008 reunion album _The Block _. He also co-wrote and produced Leona Lewis ' Forgive Me and worked with X Factor 2008 winner Alexandra Burke on her debut album. He later worked with Whitney Houston for her 2009 comeback album _ I Look to You _, appearing on the track "Like I Never Left". Akon collaborated with Pitbull on the single "Shut It Down " from the album "Rebelution " and worked with Matisyahu to remix his single "One Day " on his album Light . He also co-produced Natalia Kills ' first single, "Mirrors ", from her forthcoming debut album, _Perfectionist _. IsThereSomethingICanDo.com, launched On March 25, 2009, The social action collaboration project between the artists Peter Buffett and Akon has partnered with DoSomething.org, to coincide with the release of "Blood Into Gold". The song focused on human trafficking and featured both artists.

David Guetta collaborated with Akon in " Sexy Bitch ", the first house track by Akon. The song reached number 1 in more than six countries, and charted at 5 on the _Billboard_ Hot 100 . He produced and recorded “Oh Africa” for the 2010 World Cup with Pepsi.

According to _ Forbes _, Akon grossed $13 million in 2011, $21 million in 2010, $20 million in 2009 and $12 million in 2008.

2010–PRESENT: _STADIUM_

A single, "Angel ", produced by Guetta, was released in September 2010. Akon performed the song during the 2010 Victoria\'s Secret Fashion Show . Akon travelled to Jamaica to work with Damian, Julian however, it was removed from the final album track list. He also contributed "We Are the World: 25 for Haiti ", a charity single in aid of the 2010 Haiti earthquake . After a long hiatus, Akon put out the promotional single "Dirty Work" (featuring Wiz Khalifa ), which was released in February 2013.

On November 11, 2013, Akon released a standalone single titled "So Blue ".

On January 1, 2015, Akon released five singles from _Stadium_. He also announced that the album would be a quintuple album, broken up into five different genres (Euro, Pop, Urban, Island it will be released through Atlantic Records , though the label said it was unsure of the release date.

In April 2016, Akon appeared in the Chinese reality TV show _I Am a Singer _ along with the Taiwanese singer Jeff Chang .

AKON LIGHTING AFRICA

Main article: Akon Lighting Africa

Akon also started a project Akon Lighting Africa in 2014 which provides electricity in 15 countries of Africa .

TELEVISION AND FILM

Akon has confirmed that a reality television show is in the works. It will be called _My Brother's Keeper_, and the point is that Akon's two nearly identical brothers will go around in Atlanta posing as him fooling people into thinking that it is in fact Akon. They will try to get VIP treatment, girls and free things. Akon has claimed that people have mistaken his brothers for him many times in Atlanta, which is what the show is based on.

In 2006, it was announced that Akon is planning to work on a full-length movie titled _Illegal Alien_, which will be based on his life. Several sources have reported that actor Mekhi Phifer will portray Akon in the film.

Besides, Akon confirmed in August 2007, in an interview with Polish website INTERIA.PL, that he works on a movie, "Cocaine Cowboys", which tells the story of Jon Roberts , the main pilot of the Medellín Cartel .

On November 30, 2007, Akon entered the Big Brother house in _Pinoy Big Brother Celebrity Edition 2 _ as a guest. He also appeared on edition of November 17, 2008 of WWE Raw , with Santino Marella citing him in his speech.

He collaborated with music director duo Vishal-Shekhar and sang " Chammak Challo " as a part of the soundtrack for the 2011 Bollywood film _ Ra.One _.

Akon made his acting debut appearing alongside an ensemble cast in the 2012 Nigerian-American film _ Black November _. In 2014, he starred alongside Hayden Christensen and Adrien Brody in the action movie, _ American Heist _, directed by Sarik Andreasyan .

PERSONAL LIFE

Akon is Muslim . Akon claims that he has six children with three different women in an interview with _Blender _, all of whom he has great relationships with. He says he wishes to keep his family protected from the public eye.

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.

Akon 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.

LEGAL DIFFICULTIES

Akon has stated that he was part of an auto-theft ring and spent three years in prison from 1999 to 2002. However, in April 2008, The Smoking Gun website challenged his claim with court records and interviews with detectives involved in Akon's case, concluding that he was not convicted of any crime and did not serve time in prison. Akon responded to the report by saying that he never spent 3 years in prison, but had many shorter sentences that add up to three years.

In April 2007, Akon drew criticism for an onstage act which included simulated sex with a 15-year-old girl, at a club in Trinidad and Tobago , as part of a fake contest, despite the club's claim to have a 21 years and over age requirement. The incident was filmed by Akon's crew and later uploaded to the Internet. On April 20, 2007 local media, channel TV6 , aired the video clip publicly. Amid criticism on the radio, television, and from the blogosphere , Verizon Wireless removed ringtones featuring Akon's songs. Verizon also decided not to sponsor The Sweet Escape Tour where Akon was to be the opening act for Gwen Stefani . However, Universal Music Group did not take action against Akon, but rather simply ordered the video clip be removed from video-sharing site YouTube due to copyright infringement . Conservative commentator and Parents Television Council founder Brent Bozell called this "corporate irresponsibility".

Political commentators Michelle Malkin , Laura Ingraham , and Bill O\'Reilly criticized Akon for "degrading women". Malkin uploaded commentary about Akon to YouTube , using footage from music videos and the Trinidad concert, and Universal Music Group then forced its removal by issuing a DMCA takedown notice. The Electronic Frontier Foundation joined Malkin in contesting the removal as a misuse of copyright law, citing fair use . In May 2007, UMG rescinded its claim to the video, and the video returned to YouTube.

On June 3, 2007, at WSPK 's KFEST concert at the Dutchess Stadium in Fishkill, New York , a concert attendee threw an object towards Akon on stage. Akon asked the crowd to identify who threw the object and that he be brought on stage. Security staff grabbed the young man and took him up to the stage. Akon then pulled him up from the crowd and hoisted him across his shoulders. The singer then tossed the attendee back into the crowd from his shoulders. Video of the incident was reviewed by Fishkill police. Akon has claimed that the incident was staged and that he in fact used the act to set up for the next record. Charges of endangering the welfare of a minor, a misdemeanor, and second-degree harassment, a violation, were filed, according to police Chief Donald F. Williams, and Akon was arraigned on the two charges on December 3, 2007 in the town of Fishkill Court.

In 2010, Buddhist groups in Sri Lanka vehemently protested a planned concert by Akon, claiming his music video with Guetta for "Sexy Chick " insulted Buddhism because of the Buddha statue that can be seen several times in the background. Considering the allegations against Akon, the Sri Lankan Government decided not to issue him a visa to enter into Sri Lanka .

DISCOGRAPHY

Main articles: Akon discography and Akon production discography

* _Trouble _ (2004) * _ Konvicted _ (2006) * _Freedom _ (2008) * _Stadium_ (TBA)

FILMOGRAPHY

* _ Black November _ (2012) * _ American Heist _ (2014) * _Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping _ (2016)

TOURS

* Dar Es Salaam , Tanzania One-off Concert (2006). * Konvicted Tour (July to September 2007, then additional dates in 2008) * The Sweet Escape Tour with Gwen Stefani (April to July 2007) * Good Girl Gone Bad Tour with Rihanna (Canadian-leg only, September – December 2008) * Konvict Muzik Tour with T-Pain (Australia only, October 26–27, 2009) * Summer Tour, (Brazil-leg only, January to February 2010) * OMG Tour with Usher (North America Second Leg, April – June 2011)

SEE ALSO

* Book: Akon

* List of awards and nominations received by Akon * List of Billboard Hot 100 chart achievements and milestones * List of artists who reached number one on the UK Singles Chart * List of artists who have had number-one singles on the UK Official Download Chart * List of artists who reached number one in the United States * List of best-charting music artists in the U.S.

REFERENCES

* ^ _A_ _B_ " Akon - Music Producer, Songwriter, Singer - Biography.com". Retrieved 2016-08-30. * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 24, 2015. Retrieved 2015-11-09. * ^ Bronson, Fred. "Chart Beat", _Billboard Magazine_, April 5, 2007. * ^ "Akon". _Forbes_. April 18, 2012. Retrieved April 30, 2012. * ^ " Forbes releases "40 Most Powerful Celebrities in Africa" list Channel O TV Online". Channelo.dstv.com. October 17, 2011. Retrieved April 30, 2012. * ^ "Billboard - Music Charts, Music News, Artist Photo Gallery & Free Video". _Billboard_. Retrieved October 6, 2014. * ^ _A_ _B_ Bottomley, C. "Akon: Trouble No More Archived October 20, 2011, at the Wayback Machine .". VH1 .com. May 2, 2005. * ^ "Deep Grooves". _Billboard _ magazine. November 4, 2006. Page 36. Retrieved at Google Books , November 3, 2011. * ^ Jones, Steve (October 4, 2004). "Akon, not \'Trouble,\' is his middle name". _USA Today_. Retrieved June 12, 2007. Akon (real name: Allaune Thiam) is the son of acclaimed Senegalese percussionist Mor Thiam, who came to the USA to tour with dancers Katherine Dunham and Alvin Ailey. Growing up, Akon had a hard time getting along with kids in New Jersey. When he and his older brother reached high school, his parents left them on their own in Jersey City and moved the family to Atlanta * ^ "Akon\'s Con Job". Thesmokinggun.com. April 16, 2008. Retrieved July 25, 2013. * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ _E_ "Interview With Knobody". HitQuarters . September 27, 2005. Retrieved July 1, 2010. * ^ Loftus, Johnny (2006). " Akon — Biography". _Allmusic_. Retrieved May 8, 2008. * ^ Reid, Shaheem. Saga Of Young Jeezy, Akon Continues With Possible Duet LP, MTV News, June 15, 2006. * ^ Petipas, Jolene. Young Jeezy Teams With Akon For Collabo CD Archived January 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine ., SOHH, December 7, 2006. * ^ "Akon\'s "Smack That" receives Grammy nomination". Republic Records. Retrieved March 8, 2014. * ^ Winning, Brolin. " Akon – Got It Locked", MP3.com, October 23, 2006. Archived 21 July 2007 at WebCite * ^ Goldstein, Melissa (October 23, 2008). "Pharrell, T-Pain, Nelly, Akon Unite for Supergroup". _Spin_. * ^ "Flipsyde\'s Official MySpace". * ^ " Akon interview by Pete Lewis, \'Blues & Soul\' December 2008". Bluesandsoul.com. December 1, 2008. Retrieved July 24, 2011. * ^ "New Kids On The Block". Nkotb.com. August 1, 2008. Archived from the original on May 24, 2009. Retrieved January 2, 2010. * ^ Vena, Jocelyn (July 28, 2008). "Whitney & AKon Collab". MTV. Retrieved July 24, 2011. * ^ Ashley Iasimone (January 15, 2010). "Matisyahu, \'One Day\' (Remix) Feat. Akon – New Song". _Spinner_. Retrieved June 6, 2010. * ^ "Is There Something I Can Do?". March 25, 2009. Retrieved February 3, 2011. * ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on February 22, 2010. Retrieved 2016-09-03. * ^ "Fashion Show Scoop: Akon". victoriassecret.com. October 22, 2010. Archived from the original on December 3, 2010. Retrieved February 17, 2011. * ^ " Akon in Jamaica hanging with the Marley brothers - Damien Marley". Zimbio. January 24, 2012. Retrieved April 30, 2012. * ^ "iTunes - Music - So Blue - Single by Akon". iTunes. Retrieved October 6, 2014. * ^ " Akon Announces New Quintuple Album \'Stadium\'; Releases Five Songs - Fashionably-Early". _Fashionably-Early_. * ^ "STADIUM". October 30, 2015. Retrieved August 30, 2016. * ^ "我是歌手4张信哲帮帮唱嘉宾AKon阿肯个人资料". Retrieved 10 April 2016. * ^ Insight, News. " Akon unveils new solar campaign for Africa". Archived from the original on July 5, 2015. * ^ " Akon lights Africa for better future". _enca_. * ^ "Musician Akon works to light up Africa". CNN. * ^ _A_ _B_ Sawjani, Archna. Akon: Real Talk, AllHipHop.com, August 6, 2007. * ^ "TLC\'s Chilli Inks With Akon\'s Konvict Muzik". Billboard. Retrieved March 8, 2014. * ^ " Akon To Turn His Life Into A Movie". ContactMusic. October 10, 2006. Retrieved March 8, 2014. * ^ " Akon intensywnie", INTERIA.PL, August 28, 2007. * ^ "Hip-hop meets Bollywood". _Hollywood Reporter_. April 16, 2010. Retrieved May 1, 2010. * ^ Jack E Kent (January 15, 2015). " American Heist (2014)". _IMDb_. Retrieved October 6, 2014. * ^ Fraser McAlpine, Ask Akon, And Answers Arrive!, BBC Radio 1, Chartblog, February 7, 2007. Accessed December 20, 2010. * ^ Peter Relic, "Q&A: Akon – How Akon went from car thief to inmate to hip-hop\'s top R&B singer", _Rolling Stone_, November 2, 2006. Accessed June 1, 2012. * ^ Who Does Akon Think He Is? _Blender_, September 19, 2007. Archived September 30, 2007, at the Wayback Machine . * ^ "Founders". Konfidence Foundation. Archived from the original on September 12, 2007. * ^ Egere-Cooper, Matilda. Akon: So what if I own a diamond mine?._Independent_, February 16, 2007. * ^ " Akon Interview with Howard Stern part 4 of 4". * ^ Sisario, Ben (April 17, 2008). "Akon\'s Rap Sheet Is Revealed". _The New York Times_. * ^ "Report: Akon Embellished Criminal History". Fox News. April 17, 2008. Retrieved January 2, 2010. * ^ Akon\'s Con Job, _The Smoking Gun_, April 16, 2008. * ^ Harris, Chris (May 16, 2008). " Akon Responds To Smoking Gun Report That He Fabricated His Criminal Past: \'It Only Helps Me\'". MTV News. Retrieved January 2, 2010. * ^ Telesford, Nigel. Akon \'cons\' Trinidad Archived May 14, 2007, at the Wayback Machine ., _Trinidad Express_, April 14, 2007. * ^ Ramnarine, Kristy. Zen owner: for club Archived July 1, 2007, at the Wayback Machine ., _Trinidad Express_, April 20, 2007. * ^ Leeds, Jeff. Verizon Drops Pop Singer From Ads, _New York Times_, May 10, 2007. * ^ Bozell, L. Brent III. Rapper Not a "Perfect Gentleman" Archived September 30, 2007, at the Wayback Machine ., ParentsTV.org, May 24, 2007. * ^ Malkin, Michelle. Look who’s promoting a vulgar misogynist, MichelleMalkin.com, May 3, 2007. * ^ Pulse Report, SOHH.com, May 11, 2007. * ^ Malkin, Michelle. "Akon\'s record company abuses DMCA to stifle criticism on YouTube", MichelleMalkin.com, May 3, 2007. * ^ "Malkin Fights Back Against Copyright Law Misuse by Universal Music Group", Electronic Frontier Foundation, May 9, 2007. * ^ Police: Akon investigation continues, _Poughkeepsie Journal_, August 29, 2007. * ^ Akon Faces Charges, _Poughkeepsie Journal_, November 30, 2007. * ^ No Visa to Akon, Ada Derana News * ^ Akon comes to region. _All Africa Newswire_, May 23, 2006.

EXTERNAL LINKS

_ Wikiquote has quotations related to: AKON _

_

.