King Sunny Adé, born Chief Sunday Adeniyi Adegeye MFR on September 22, 1946, is a renowned Nigerian juju singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. Hailing from a royal family in Osogbo and tracing his roots to Ondo and Akure, he holds the title of Omoba of the Yoruba people. This blog post delves into the life and career of the iconic musician, as well as some noteworthy highlights from his personal life.
King Sunny Adé Early Life and Education:
King Sunny Adé was born to a Nigerian royal family in Osogbo, with his mother, Maria Adegeye, being a businesswoman, and his father serving as a church organist. His maternal lineage includes a rich history, with his grandfather, Oba Adesida I, having governed Akure for six decades. He attended Ondo City’s grammar school and initially aspired to pursue higher education at the University of Lagos.
King Sunny Adé Career:
King Sunny Adé’s musical journey began when he joined Moses Olaiya’s Federal Rhythm Dandies, a highlife band. Subsequently, he formed his own band, The Green Spots, in 1967. Over the years, his band underwent name changes, first becoming African Beats and later Golden Mercury. Adé was deeply influenced by Tunde Nightingale’s ‘So wa mbe’ style of juju, which he skillfully incorporated into his own music.
The turning point in King Sunny Adé’s career came with the release of his album “Juju Music” in 1982 under Island Records. This catapulted him to international fame, especially in Europe and North America. Notably, he received his first Grammy Award nomination for his album “Syncro System” (1983), making him the first Nigerian artist to achieve this honor.
Apart from his musical contributions, King Sunny Adé established the King Sunny Ade Foundation, an organization dedicated to supporting young musicians by providing a performing arts center and modern recording studio. He also serves as a lecturer at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, and has been honored with the Order of the Federal Republic.
King Sunny Adé Personal Life:
In his personal life, King Sunny Adé was married to Risikat Adegeye, who was a former member of the Lagos State House of Assembly. Sadly, Risikat Adegeye passed away in September 2021. While there have been rumors about his personal life, the legendary singer has not made any public statements on the matter.
King Sunny Adé Social Media Presence:
Fans and admirers of King Sunny Adé can connect with him on Instagram, where he can be found under the handle @kingsunnyade70.
King Sunny Adé Net Worth:
King Sunny Adé, a true musical icon, has left an indelible mark on the world of juju music. Born into royalty, he rose to international prominence through his extraordinary talent and dedication to his craft. With numerous accolades and a significant net worth of $10 million, his contributions to the Nigerian music scene and beyond will forever be cherished. While he faced personal loss with the passing of his wife, his music continues to resonate with fans worldwide, solidifying his position as a legend in the music industry.