Sikiru Adepoju (pronounced Seek-ee-roo Ah-deh-po-joo) is a master of the talking drum and many other Yoruba percussion instruments. Born in Eruwa, Nigeria, Sikiru hails from the traditional lineage of Yoruba talking drummers culturally referred to as Ayan which means “one who has descended from drummers lineage,” and began playing under the tutelage of his father Chief Ayanleke Adepoju at the age of six. Along with his brothers Saminu and Lasisi, Sikiru accompanied the family’s talking drum ensemble for several years.
After moving to the San Fransico Bay Area in 1985, Sikiru joined the influential and pioneering Nigerian percussionist Babatunde Olantunji and his Drums of Passion. This marked a lengthy period of high productivity from Sikiru which saw him recording and performing throughout the world until a year before Olantunji’s death in 2003. During this period he was introduced to Grateful Dead drummer, Mickey Hart, who has called Sikiru “The Mozart of the talking drum,” and employed him on many of his personal projects including the Grammy award winning albumsPlanet Drum (1991) and Global Drum Project (2008). He is currently performing with the Mickey Hart Band in support of their albumMysterium Tremendum which features Sikiru’s vocals on the track “Who Stole The Show.”
2. Sade Adu
Musician, singer. Born Helen Folasade Adu on January 16, 1959 in Ibadan, Nigeria. Raised in London by her English mother, Sade developed several interests as a teen, including singing, fashion design and modeling. She sang with a few local bands before signing with Epic Records and recording her first album, Diamond Life, in 1984. A huge hit in her native England, the album also had mass appeal across the pond thanks to such singles as “Smooth Operator.” In 1986, she won a Grammy Award for Best New Artist.
Sade’s subsequent multi-platinum albums, Promise, Stronger Than Pride andLove Deluxe, established her as a top-selling soul and pop artist. She took a new route with her 2000 album, Lovers Rock, which was released eight years after Love Deluxe and incorporated a more mainstream sound. The record, and particularly the chart-topping single, “By Your Side,” helped her win over new audiences. Two years later, the album and ensuing tour inspired her first live recording, Lovers Live. Sade returned to the studio and released her sixth album In February 2010, Soldier of Love.
Sealhenry Olusegun Olumide Adeola Samuel was born in London, England, on February 19, 1963, of Nigerian heritage.
Seal went on to score a major U.K. hit, “Killer,” before releasing his 1991 debut album. He’s become an internationally renowned singer/songwriter with albums like Human Beingand hits like “Crazy,” “Prayer for the Dying” and “Kiss From a Rose,” which won multiple Grammy Awards. He was married to supermodel and TV host Heidi Klum for several years.
Also known as Hakeem Seriki, is an American rapper and entrepreneur from Houston, Texas. He is the CEO of Chamillitary Entertainment. Chamillionaire was also the founder and an original member of The Color Changin’ Click until the group split in 2005.
He began his career independently with local releases in 2002, including collaboration album Get Ya Mind Correct with fellow Houston rapper and childhood friend Paul Wall. He signed to Universal Records in 2005 and released The Sound of Revenge under Universal. It included hit singles “Turn It Up” featuring Lil’ Flip and the number-one, Grammy-winning hit “Ridin’” featuring Krayzie Bone of Bone Thugs-n-Harmony.
5. Kelvin Olusola
Kelvin picked up an award alongside his acapella band, Pentatonix taking home the award in the ‘Arrangement, Instrumental or acappella’ category for their medley ‘Daft Punk’, a remake of Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky.