Nigeria’s music industry is one with fewer female acts. While the movie industry is crowded by ladies, the reverse is the case in music. Although we have few female musicians in Nigeria they are not less productive and successful. This is evident in the global recognitions some of the few but sophisticated Nigerian female musicians have gotten over time.
Sold out tours, hit songs, endorsement deals, concerts, enviable accolades, huge fan base, and global achievements are some of the ranking factors of the best in the music industry. Nevertheless, being a successful female musician and among the best in the competitive industry dominated by men is not an easy feat. It requires talent, prowess, effort, expertise, and a lot of hard work.
Although being among the best musicians in the industry is a lot of hard work, few female musicians have achieved this status over their fellow female counterparts in music.
These Top 10 Best female musicians in Nigeria 2021 are the most mentioned in the lips of music lovers, the most sort for in Nigeria and Africa in 2021. They are simply the BEST!. Read on to see if you agree and if your favorite Nigerian female musician is on the list.
Top 10 Best Female Musicians In Nigeria 2021
1. Yemi Alade
One of the most talented and loved female musicians in Africa – Yemi Alade is undoubted among the best female musicians in Nigeria. Since her debut into the music industry with her hit song titled “Johnny“, the Effyzzie music group singer hasn’t slowed down a bit. Yemi who was born on 13th, March 1989 hails from Ondo state. She ventured into music in 2013 and have won great recognition as a result of her expertise in the craft.
Her energetic performance and African infused style are evident in her hairdo, fashion looks, songs, and music videos. This style has dubbed her the title of “Mama Africa” in the music scene. Every music lover across Africa recognizes Yemi by her signature African styles, choice of music beats, and dance moves.
Amongst the many male and female musicians in the African continent, the music sensation has cubed a name for herself as one of the best female musicians in Nigeria and Africa inclusively. Resilience, hard work, and professionalism in the music craft have brought her this far, enabling her to tour the world, sell-out shows, and release hit tracks that are hugely appreciated and danced to across the globe.
Her excellence has paved ways for her and brought her above other female contemporaries in the Nigerian music industry making her the first lead music act among the best female musicians in Nigeria 2021. Yemi Alade is the most-followed Nigerian female celebrity on Instagram, 2nd most-followed Nigerian celebrity on Instagram, and the only Nigerian female artist with a music video that has surpassed 120 million views on YouTube (See the list here!)
2. Tiwa Savage
Tiwa Savage is not just one of the Top 10 most followed Nigerian celebrities on Instagram but also the queen of African pop. This is a position the female musician born on 15th, February 1980 has worked tirelessly for over the years. She started singing at age sixteen as a backup singer. At age 27 she enrolled in a music school after bagging a degree in business administration from the University of Kent.
With her experience in music writing, Tiwa navigated the Nigerian music industry in 2006 with her debut single Kele Kele love. Since she ventured into music, the award-winning female songstress and artist have never slowed down nor looked back. In 2012, she joined Mavin Records label owned by Don Jazzy (One of the biggest record labels in Nigeria). They made hit songs back to back starting with songs like Without My Heart, Eminado, Dorobuci, and many others.
Dominating the Nigerian music industry as a female has given rise to various endorsement deals with MTN, Pepsi, Forte oil, Maggi, etc. Multiple awards such as MTV Europe Music Award, MTV Africa Music Award, The Headies Award ( she has won twice), Channel O Music Video Award, Nigeria Music Video Award, City People Entertainment Award ( she has also won twice) and many others achieved by her have given rise to her being the best female musician in Nigeria and Africa.
Her music style, professionalism, relatable lyrics, etc have won her fans and accolades globally. As one of the best in Nigeria even better than some male musicians in the industry, she was signed to Roc Nation making her the first Nigerian artist to be signed to the label and recently she secured a record deal with Universal Music. Also, she has done notable collaborations with the best male artist in Nigeria among whom are Tuface, Olamide, Don Jazzy, Patoranking, and Reekado Banks.
In a short span of years, the superstar singer has achieved a lot through hard work and determination. Any true music lover knows Tiwa Savage is talented and certainly the best female musician in Nigeria. Her two studio albums Once Upon A Time and R.E.D are still thrillers in weddings, clubs, and events across the globe.
Although she is successful, she has had her hard times. A notable one is during her marital crisis with her Ex-husband and former manager Teeblizz. The marriage which barely lasted two years brought forth a son “Jamil” whom she loves so much. Apart from music, the female artist has featured in a few Nigerian blockbuster movies such as SHUGA. She is currently on a sold-out music tour in the diaspora which is one of the many previous successful sold-out tours to her credit.
Amazing concert performances are not left out in the accomplishments of the singer. One can undoubtedly say Tiwa Savage is a household name in Africa music and one of the top best female musicians in Nigeria. Her recent signing to one of America’s best Record Label (Universal Music) in May 2019 has proved again beyond doubt that Tiwa Savage is the foremost best Nigerian female musician.
“Joromi” music crooner, Simisola who was born on 19th, April 1988 is one of the best female musicians in Nigeria 2021. The music sensation who shot into the limelight in 2014 with the song “tiff” hasn’t slowed down since her debut into the male-dominated music industry. Simi’s outstanding voice, music style, relatable lyrics, and expertise makes her one of the A-list musicians in Nigeria.
Being the last of four siblings and a tomboy during her teenage days didn’t deter her from honing her music skills. After the release of her well-embraced single titled “Soldier” featuring rapper Falz, the musician did another duet with the rapper. The duet titled ” Chemistry” got her nominated in three categories of The Headies 2016 where she won one award.
In 2017 Simi released her much-anticipated album “Simisola” which had twelve trending songs. Two years after the success of Simisola, she released Omo Charlie Champagne album in April 2019. The album release which coincided with her birthday was named to honor her late father whose nickname was Charlie Champagne. Subsequent months after, the love song “Promise” was released. It represented her love story and marriage to fellow musician Adekunle Gold and was sang by the couple. Crooner Simi currently owns a private record label named Studio brat and she is no longer signed X3M record label. They parted ways amicably after the end of the singer’s contract and she has since been soaring high in the Nigerian musical scene.
Simi got her biggest record ‘Duduke’ in 2020 during the pandemic, a song which was among the Top Ten Nigerian Songs in 2020 and was dedicated to her daughter ‘Adejare Kosoko’ whom she was pregnant of at the time of releasing the song.
The ‘Try Me’ crooner, Temilade Openiyi (born 11 June, 1995) who is professionally known as Tems broke out in the music industry in 2019 after her record ‘Try Me’ became a hit record and she has kept on giving music lovers a reason to give her more listening time with her consistency and top-notch delivery on her records.
In 2020, she went harder, releasing an EP ‘For Broken Ears’, and records from the EP retained impressive spots on ‘Apple Top 100 songs in Nigeria’ for weeks. Tems was also featured on ‘Know Your Worth (Remix)’ by Khalid & Disclosure and also on the record ‘Essence’ by Wizkid off ‘Made In Lagos’ album, one of the Top Ten Nigerian albums in 2020. On the 19th of December 2020, Tems got an endorsement from Grammy Award winner, Chris Brown who took to his Instagram story to share “Tems is so so so fire 🔥 ! OMFG”.
In 2019, she got nominated for Best Vocal Performance (Female) and Best Alternative Song at The Headies award and also got nominated for the ‘Next Rated’ at the 2020 Headies Award. Tems made Vogue’s list of ‘9 Emerging Black Music Talents You Must Know For 2021‘.
Just like a shocking Netflix blockbuster movie, Teni came into the music scene and in the twinkle of an eye, she garnered herself a huge & loyal fanbase, supporters, lovers, and fame. The young music star whose real name is Teniola Apata is the younger sister of Nigerian female singer Niniola. She delved into the music industry in 2016, after graduating with a degree in business administration from American Continental University, USA.
Her debut single titled “Amen” was released in 2016. The following year 2017, the talented female musician released Fargin – an intriguing single that was aired on music channels and widely danced to in parties and clubs. She took the music industry by storm in 2018, after the release of her hit singles “Askamaya“, “Uyo Meyo” and “Case” which are currently still trending across the globe. Her talent and expertise in each of the songs brought accolades from music lovers, celebrities and the media in general.
Teni who is broadly known for her dope songs and conventional signature tomboy outfits has not disappointed her fans since she got signed to Dr. Dolor Entertainment. Aside from her music expertise, the “Case” crooner keeps her over 3 million IG followers and fans loving her by the day through her fun and comic nature which she displays on videos posted on her official Instagram handle @tenitheentertainer.
Under a space of four years, the superstar musician has toured some continents, sold-out shows, and won notable awards and recognitions. These recognitions are due to her unbeatable talents and music expertise which have yielded global visibility on the YouTube music scene in 2019 as Trending Artist on the Rise.
Teni’s outstanding talent has also brought about various endorsement deals with top brands such as TomTom, Tecno mobile, Wema bank, and many more. A fit that many females and even male musicians who have been in the industry longer than she has been unable to accomplish.
Every Nigerian music lover would agree that Teni is raw talent and irrespective of the fact that she is still young in the music industry, she is certainly one of the best female musicians in Nigeria 2021.
Beautiful singer, Niniola Apata who was on 15th, December 1986 is one of the exceptional female Nigerian musicians. The rock star who is the elder sister of fellow superstar – Teni made her debut in the music industry in 2014 with the release of her single ” Ibadi“. The song topped music chat across the country and was positively embraced. It resulted in the Nigeria entertainment Award nomination for the most promising act to watch category in 2015.
Prior to Niniola’s debut into the music industry, she participated in the 6th edition of Project Fame West Africa coming out as the third runner-up. Her fame in the competition paved way for her success in the industry but her talent and expertise stood her out amongst other artists. The debut singles gained more prominence and were used as the soundtrack for the second season of the award-winning Nigerian movie “Gidi Up“.
In 2017, the Afro-house singer produced hit single singles “Maradona”, “Maradona Riddim” among other songs with the former receiving great preference across the globe. In light of these, distinguished US Rapper and singer Drake requested for her hit track “Maradona” to be aired on the radio. He made this request during his radio session on BBC 1xtra, spotlighting the Afro-house Queen.
Just when fans thought she has given her best, she came up with another hit single titled “Designer”, a song with so much vibe, good rhythm, and beats. Music lovers dived into the song with so much passion, singing and dancing to the hit song. Niniola hasn’t stopped amazing fans with her unique talent since she came into the booming industry and she is definitely one of the best female musicians in Nigeria 2021.
2010 Project Fame West Africa Winner, Chidima Ekile is one of the best female musicians in Nigeria 2021. The superstar who rose to stardom after participating in the third edition of the competition was born on 2nd, May 1991. She is the sixth of seven siblings and a graduate of sociology from the University Of Lagos.
After her success in the Project Fame competition, she ventured into music with her debut album “Chidinma” which had songs like “Jankoliko”, “Carry You Go”, “Kedike” and “Run Dia Mouth”. The album was well-received among music lovers and scaled high.
In 2012, she released hit single “Emi Ni Baller”. The song gained prominence and topped the chart in MTV Base Official Naija Top 10 chart, making her the first female musician to peak at number 1 on the chart.
Chidinma has kept amusing fans with her incredible voice and amazing songs over the years.
8. Seyi Shay
Oluwaseyi Joshua popularly known as Seyi Shay was born on 21st, December 1985 to Nigerian parents resident in England. She started singing at a young age because her mum was a chorister, her elder sister a songwriter and her brother a disk jockey. All of these motivated her into joining her school choir at age six and singing at a world tour held by the choir.
She enrolled in a music school where she learned music formally before studying business management at the university of east London. Her music career kicked off with a record deal which she signed with a label affiliated with George Martins. Some years later she formed an all-girl music crew called Boadicea. They parted ways in 2008, and she joined another girl band called From Above. The group became successful and got a record deal with Mathew Knowles’ (Beyonce’s Father) management company. They won various awards and even got a reality show with MTV titled “Breaking From Above”, which aired in various countries in the world. Her music success and expertise made her do music with great international acts including Justin Timberlake.
Following the success of her music career in London, the singer relocated to Nigeria in 2011, to continue doing music. She released two amazing singles, “Loving Your Way” and “No Le Le” which paved way for her in the Nigerian music scene. In 2014, she released the hit track “Ragga Ragga” which topped the chart for almost a week as number 7 on MTV Base Official Naija Top 10. After this success, she released her debut studio album titled, Seyi or Shay in 2015.
Although Seyi’s music pace and tracks are not as mind-blowing as they were in her early days, she is still one of the best female musicians in Nigeria in 2021.
A- list Nigerian female musician Omawumi, who hails from delta state and was born on 13th, April 1982 is unarguably one of the best female musicians in Nigerian 2021. The superstar singer who is popularly called Oma Wonder ventured into music in 2007 after coming out as a runner up in the West African Idols Competition.
She got into the music industry instantaneously and started making waves across the country. Her first album “Wonder Woman” was successful with various stations airing her songs and individuals relaxing to her melodious voice. Omawumi’s music prowess is evident in her contest in the Nigerian music scene both in her video quality and music style.
Although she is one of the 10 Nigerian female celebrities who had children out of wedlock and has been involved in some media dilemma, she keeps garnering prominence across the continent. This is due to her friendly nature, good songs and professionalism in the music industry.
Ace musician Waje, who is one of the 30 Single Nigerian Female celebrities, and a single mother of one is certainly a household name in the Nigerian music industry. Her musical career kick-started while she was still a teenager singing in the Word Of Faith Bible Church which is one of the Top 20 Pentecostal Churches In Nigeria. She sang so well that the prominent leader of the church, late Bishop Benson Idahosa awarded her a scholarship for her secondary education in the church-owned school.
After her secondary education, the singer continued singing and going for free gigs at the University Of Nigeria Nsukka where she schooled. Some years later, the angelic singer rose into prominence after featuring in P’square’s “Do me” hit track. Thereafter, it didn’t take long before being featured by other prominent artists and becoming one of the most sought-after music stars in the country.
Her expertise paid off with various nominations and awards starting with Best New Video in the Nigerian Music Video Awards 2009. As the years went by, she won more awards, sold-out shows, and performed alongside renowned international musicians such as Kerry Hilson and Wyclef Jean. She was one of the coaches in the maiden edition of The Voice Nigeria which aired in 2016.
In 2018 Waje released her second album “Red Velvet”. This was 5 years after the release of her self-named debut album “Words Arent Just Enough” which was a delight. The newly released studio album was appreciated and loved by people across the globe with outstanding accolades across social media platforms. Waje and her BFF Omawunmi who is also one of the best female musicians in Nigeria 2021 launched Hermanes Media – A media outlet that is aimed at curating amazing content around Africa.
Shortly after the launch of the media outlet, they produced their first work titled “She Is”. A movie that they both created the soundtrack. In confirmation and appreciation of the musician’s unfailing musical prowess, she was nominated four times in 2014 at the World Music Awards for World best album, World Best Live Act, World Best Female Entertainer, and World Best Entertainer. Isn’t her achievements and talents enough to be one of the best female musicians in Nigeria?
Having said it all about the Nigerian music industry and its less but amazingly talented and powerful female musicians who conquer the industry in their unique ways. It is worthy to say these Top 10 Best Female Musicians In Nigerian 2021 are the real MVP in the country music industry and they ROCK!
In spite of various criticism and fewer regards, they receive from music lovers while being compared to the male contemporaries they still make waves globally. This global wave is evident in the selection of the Tiwa Savage and Yemi Alade amongst other African male musicians to be on the tracklist of Beyonce’s new album “The Lion King: The Gift”.
The Grammy award winner featured Yemi Alade on two tracks while the other male and female Nigerian singers which are Tiwa Savage, Burna Boy, Wizkid, Tekno and Mr Eazi were only featured in single tracks. Apart from making it obvious that Nigerian female musicians are experts in their craft it also brings attention to the Nigerian music industry in general.
Likewise, this collaboration with the world’s best female musician emphasizes the fact that Nigeria does not only boast of having good music but also a great number of talented female musicians with the ability to command attention in Africa and beyond. Both our male and female artist have brought uniqueness and dynamism to the various genres they produce and it is been appreciated across the globe.
Beyonce’s words while speaking to ABC information saying “This soundtrack is a love letter to Africa and I wished to ensure we discovered the most effective expertise from Africa, and never simply use a number of the sounds and did my interpretation of it.” “I wished it to be genuine to what’s stunning concerning the music in Africa.” Sums it all.
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