ALIAUME DAMALA BADARA AKON THIAM (born April 16, 1973), better known
as AKON (pronounced /ˈeɪkɒn/ ), is an American-born Senegalese
singer, songwriter, businessman, record producer and actor. He rose to
prominence in 2004 following the release of "Locked Up ", 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
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
Snoop Dogg ,
Whitney Houston , Bone Thugs-N-Harmony
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
Akon 80th (Power Rank) in
Forbes Celebrity 100 in 2010
and 5th in 40 Most Powerful Celebrities in
Africa list, in 2011.
Akon No. 6 on the list of Top Digital Songs Artists
of the decade.
* 1 Early life
* 2 Music career
* 2.1 2003–05: Discovery and Trouble
* 2.2 2006–08:
* 2.3 2008–09: Freedom
* 2.4 2010–present: Stadium
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
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
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
Union City, New Jersey , splitting his time between the United States
Senegal until settling in
Newark, New Jersey
Newark, New Jersey . Growing up in New
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
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.
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
SRC Records . In an interview with
HitQuarters SRC A">
Akon performing at the
Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in Charlotte ,
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,
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
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
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
Best Rap/Sung Collaboration at the 49th Annual
Grammy Awards , but
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
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
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
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
Akon released his third album Freedom on December 2, 2008, which
spawned four singles: "
Right Now (Na Na Na)
Right Now (Na Na Na) ", "I\'m So Paid "
Lil Wayne and
Young Jeezy ), "Beautiful " (featuring Colby
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
Konvict Muzik produced hip hop/rock group
2009 release, State of Survival, released via Kon Live Distribution
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
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
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
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
Billboard Hot 100 . He produced and recorded
“Oh Africa” for the 2010 World Cup with Pepsi.
Akon grossed $13 million in 2011, $21 million
in 2010, $20 million in 2009 and $12 million in 2008.
A single, "Angel ", produced by Guetta, was released in September
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
2010 Haiti earthquake
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
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
Atlantic Records , though the label said it was unsure of the
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
Akon Lighting Africa
Akon also started a project
Akon Lighting Africa in 2014 which
provides electricity in 15 countries of
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
Akon in the film.
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
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
He collaborated with music director duo
Vishal-Shekhar and sang
Chammak Challo " as a part of the soundtrack for the 2011 Bollywood
Akon made his acting debut appearing alongside an ensemble cast in
the 2012 Nigerian-American film
Black November . In 2014, he starred
Hayden Christensen and
Adrien Brody in the action movie,
American Heist , directed by
Sarik Andreasyan .
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
Akon appeared on the
The Hot Desk . He stated on the show
that he is a fan of English
Premier League club
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
The Sweet Escape Tour where
Akon was to be the opening act for
Gwen Stefani . However,
Universal Music Group
Universal Music Group did not take action
against Akon, but rather simply ordered the video clip be removed from
YouTube due to copyright infringement .
Conservative commentator and
Parents Television Council founder Brent
Bozell called this "corporate irresponsibility".
Michelle Malkin ,
Laura Ingraham , and Bill
Akon for "degrading women". Malkin uploaded
YouTube , using footage from music videos and
the Trinidad concert, and
Universal Music Group
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
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
Buddhism because of the Buddha statue that can be seen
several times in the background. Considering the allegations against
Sri Lankan Government
Sri Lankan Government decided not to issue him a visa to
Sri Lanka .
Akon discography and
Akon production discography
* Trouble (2004)
* Freedom (2008)
* Stadium (TBA)
Black November (2012)
American Heist (2014)
* Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (2016)
Dar Es Salaam
Dar Es Salaam , Tanzania One-off Concert (2006).
Konvicted Tour (July to September 2007, then additional dates in
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,
* Summer Tour, (Brazil-leg only, January to February 2010)
OMG Tour with Usher (North America Second Leg, April – June
List of awards and nominations received by Akon
* List of
Billboard Hot 100
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
List of artists who reached number one in the United States
List of best-charting music artists in the U.S.
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VH1 .com. May 2, 2005.
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Google Books , November 3, 2011.
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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
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Akon Continues With
Possible Duet LP, MTV News, June 15, 2006.
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Archived January 27, 2007, at the
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Akon – Got It Locked", MP3.com, October 23,
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Retrieved July 24, 2011.
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* ^ "
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Marley". Zimbio. January 24, 2012. Retrieved April 30, 2012.
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* ^ "
Akon Announces New Quintuple Album \'Stadium\'; Releases Five
Songs - Fashionably-Early". Fashionably-Early.
* ^ "STADIUM". October 30, 2015. Retrieved August 30, 2016.
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Retrieved 10 April 2016.
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Akon unveils new solar campaign for Africa".
Archived from the original on July 5, 2015.
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Africa for better future". enca.
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Accessed June 1, 2012.
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Archived September 30, 2007, at the
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mine?.Independent, February 16, 2007.
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Akon Responds To Smoking Gun
Report That He Fabricated His Criminal Past: \'It Only Helps Me\'".
MTV News. Retrieved January 2, 2010.
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Rapper Not a "Perfect Gentleman" Archived
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