Akon is a Senegalese-American singer, songwriter, rapper, record producer, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and actor. He is best known for his hip-hop and R&B hits, such as “Locked Up,” “Smack That,” and “I Wanna Love You.” He is also well-known for his philanthropic work in Africa, where he built a solar power plant to provide electricity to 14 African countries.
Akon was born Aliaune Damala Badara Thiam in St. Louis, Missouri on April 16, 1973. His parents were professional musicians, and Akon began singing at an early age. He moved with his family to Senegal, West Africa at the age of seven, where he attended school and was exposed to a variety of musical influences. His family later moved again, this time to Jersey City, New Jersey, where Akon found himself in the middle of a hip-hop scene. He began to rap and write songs, and eventually signed with Universal Records in 2004.
Akon’s debut album, Trouble, was released in 2004 and spawned the hit single “Locked Up.” The album was a success, reaching number eight on the Billboard 200 and selling over three million copies worldwide. His second album, Konvicted, was released in 2006 and featured the hit singles “Smack That” and “I Wanna Love You.” The album was certified triple platinum and earned Akon a Grammy nomination.
In 2007, Akon founded his own record label, Konvict Muzik, which signed artists like T-Pain, Lady Gaga, and Red Cafe. He also founded Kon Live Distribution, a joint venture with Geffen Records. In 2008, he released his third album, Freedom, which reached number one on the Billboard 200 chart and was certified platinum.
In addition to his musical career, Akon is an active philanthropist. He founded the Konfidence Foundation, a charity that supports African communities through education and healthcare. He also built a solar power plant in Africa that provides electricity to 14 countries. Akon has also appeared in several films, including 8 Mile, You Got Served, and Fast & Furious.
Akon is an icon of the hip-hop and R&B scene, and his influence on music and philanthropy is undeniable. He has sold over 35 million albums and singles worldwide and is considered