Key Details of King Sunny Ade

  • Nigerian popular musician in the vanguard of the development and international popularization of juju musica fusion of traditional Yoruba vocal...
  • Last updated on September 10, 2020
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Nigerian popular musician in the vanguard of the development and international popularization of juju musica fusion of traditional Yoruba vocal...

Nigerian popular musician in the vanguard of the development and international popularization of juju musica fusion of traditional Yoruba vocal forms and percussion with Western rock and roll.

King Sunny Ade enjoyed noble status not only through birth into the Yoruba royalty of southwestern Nigeria but also through popular acclaim as the King of Juju since the late 1970s. In his youth Ade played highlife, a type of urban dance music that emerged in Ghana in the late 19th century and blended elements of church music, military brass-band music, sea shanties, and various local African traditions. In the mid-1960s Ade abandoned highlife for juju, a related musical genre that arose in Nigeria in the 1920s as an expression of the urban Yoruba working class.

Ade focused his musical activity at home, at which time he also began to shift the topics of his lyrics from the ills of Nigerian society to more-intimate matters of personal struggle. Although he maintained a tight schedule of recording and performances in Nigeria, he continued to make intermittent appearances abroad on the rapidly expanding world music concert and festival circuit, where both he and juju music continued to enjoy a strong following.

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