Chief Sunday Adeniyi Adegeye MFR (born 22 September 1946), known professionally as King Sunny Adé, is a Nigerian jùjú singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. He is regarded as one of the first African pop musicians to gain international success, and has been called one of the most influential musicians of all time.
Sunny Adé was born in Osogbo to a Nigerian royal family from Ondo and Akure, thereby making him an Omo-oba of the Yoruba people. His father was a church organist, while his mother, Maria Adegeye (née Adesida), was a trader. As a member of the Adesida dynasty, his mother’s relatives included her father Oba Adesida (who ruled Akure for 60 years) and would later include her nephew and Adé’s cousin, Oba Adebiyi Adegboye Adesida, Afunbiowo II, a future king of Akure.
Sunny Adé left grammar school in Ondo City. He attended secondary school at St. Charles, Oshogbo before dropping out. He is on the wall of Fame of successful former students at St. Charles, a catholic institution.
Under the pretense of going to the University of Lagos. It was thus in Lagos that his eclectic musical career began.
Sunny Adé’s musical sound has evolved from the early days. His career began with Moses Olaiya’s (baba Sala) Federal Rhythm Dandies, a highlife band. He left to form a new band, The Green Spots, in 1967. Over the years, for various reasons ranging from changes in his music to business concerns, Sunny Adé’s band changed its name several times, first to African Beats and then to Golden Mercury.
King Sunny Ade was influenced by Juju pioneer Tunde Nightingale and borrowed stylistic elements from his ‘So wa mbe’ style of juju.
He founded the King Sunny Ade Foundation, an organization that includes a performing arts center, a state-of-the-art recording studio, and housing for young musicians.
He is a visiting lecturer at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife and recipient of the Order of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
After the death of Bob Marley, Island Records began looking for another third world artist to put on its contract, while Fela Kuti had just been signed by Arista Records. Producer Mrtin Meissonnier introduced King Sunny Adé to Chris Blackwell, leading to the release of Juju Music in 1982. Robert Palmer claims to have brought King Sunny Adé to Island’s attention, his familiarity being from his life on Malta in the 60s listening to African Radio and Armed Forces Radio. Sunny Adé gained a wide following with this album and was soon billed as “the African Bob Marley”. Sunny Adé has said that his refusal to allow Island to meddle with his compositions and over-Europeanise and Americanise his music were the reasons why Island then decided to look elsewhere.In July of that same year, King Sunny Adé was inducted into the Afropop Hall of Fame, at the Brooklyn African Festival in the United States. He dedicated the award to Michael Jackson.
In the 1980s,Sunny Adé did some work in Hollywood. His music was featured in the 1983 film Breathless, starring Richard Gere, and the 1986 comedy One More Saturday Night, and he acted in Robert Altman‘s 1987 comedy O.C. and Stiggs. He featured in a few Nollywood movies in the early 2000s.
Sunny Adé has received numerous awards during his career. In November 2016 he became a recipient of the AFRIMA award. In December 2016 he was inducted into Hard Rock Cafe hall of fame. He has been at the pinnacle of his career as a music maestro that has spanned over almost six decades and have recorded over 60 albums in his long and prosperous time.
King Sunny Ade has sang the praises of who is who in the Nigerian and African societies, He is indeed a living LEGEND.
CONGRATULATIONS TO KING SUNNY ADE ON HIS 75TH BIRTHDAY, WE WISH HIM A VERY HAPPY ONE, AND MANY MORE YEARS IN THE LAND OF THE LIVING.
LONG LIVE THE KING, THE MASTER.
- “King Sunny Ade: Juju legend launches radio station”. Pulse News. Retrieved 3 November 2019.
- ^ Gini Gorlinski, The 100 Most Influential Musicians of All Time ISBN 978-1-61530-006-8, Publisher: Rosen Education Service (January 2010)
- ^ “Ade,Sunny(Prince Sunday Adeniyi Adegeye) – Label, Juju, Tour, and Recording – JRank Articles”. Encyclopedia.jrank.org. Archived from the original on 25 December 2012. Retrieved 3 April 2012.
- ^ Virginia Gorlinski (1 September 1946). “King Sunny Adé (Nigerian musician) – Britannica Online Encyclopedia”. Britannica.com. Retrieved 3 April 2012.
- ^ Jump up to:a b c Sheridan, David (1989). Robbins, Ira A. (ed.). The New Trouser Press Record Guide (3rd ed.). New York: Collier/Macmillan. p. 4. ISBN 0-02-036370-2.
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