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Burna Boy emerges Africa’s top earning artiste in the US from tours, concerts

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Nigerian Afrobeats sensation,
Burna Boy, has emerged as the first African artiste to stage the highest-grossing arena concerts and tours in the United States of America.

International rating platform, Touring Data, which provides a PDF and spreadsheet with ticket count information for tours in the US and Canada, in a post on X, said the “Common Man” crooner beat his record set in 2022 after he generated $1.593 million, (over N2 billion), at his TD Garden in Boston on March 2.

‘‘Burna Boy earns the highest-grossing arena concert by an African artist in US history with $1.593 million at TD Garden in Boston on March 2, 2024, surpassing his numbers at Madison Square Garden in 2022,” Touring Data stated.

The platform also noted that one of Burna Boy’s “I Told Them” tour sold out by large margins in Scotiabank Arena, Montreal and Toronto in Canada, Boston in the US, and Cologne in Germany.

Touring Data also stated that over 124,706 tickets valued at $93.50 on average were sold at the “I Told Them” tour.

“Revenue-wise, $11,659,531, or about N16 billion, was realised via the ticket sales,” the data platform said.

“Shortly after dropping the highly anticipated video for “City Boys”, Burna Boy announced his I Told Them… Tour.

“Produced by Live Nation, the 16-city tour kicked off on 3 November at BMO Stadium in Los Angeles.

“It marked Burna Boy’s first-ever performance in a Los Angeles stadium. He toured other American cities, including Houston, Chicago, Toronto, and more, before wrapping up in Atlanta at State Farm Arena on March 9th.

“Nine months earlier, the “African Giant” had a sold-out show at Citi Field, New York, making him the first Nigerian artiste to headline a stadium in America.

“BMO Stadium’s website said the singer commanded a crowd of more than 40,000 fans, including celebrities like Busta Rhymes, SZA, NBA star Mo Bamba, NFL Star Larry Ogunjobi, and British rapper Dave, who joined him on stage for a performance of his (Burna Boy’s) hit song “Location.”

“This history-making performance followed his landmark London Stadium performance, where Burna Boy made history as the first African to headline a stadium in the U.K.

“With his Madison Square Garden performance, the singer again made history as the first Nigerian musician to sell out The World’s Most Famous Arena.

“The global giant once again made history with his recently released album “I TOLD THEM…” after it debuted at #1 on the official U.K. Albums chart, making him the first international African artiste to earn the title,” it stated.

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How South Sudanese singer John Frog moved from child soldier to Afrobeats star

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John Frog may be one of South Sudan’s most successful musicians at the moment, but a little over 10 years ago, he was a child soldier conscripted to fight in the country’s civil war at the age of eight.

John Frog was born during the civil war and his parents were soldiers in the SPLA – the Sudan People’s Liberation Army but fortune later smiled on him as he realised his true calling of making music.

Today, the youngster has forged an international reputation and has collaborated with artists from other African countries, including Uganda’s Eddie Kenzo, Bahati from Kenya, and recently, Iyanya from Nigeria whom he featured in his latest song, “My Bed”, with the collaborations placing him as one of the most sought after Afrobeats artistes in Africa.

According to a feature story by the BBC Africa, “Frog is his real name. He was called Aguek, which means frog in Dinka, a language native to South Sudan, because he was a breech baby, coming into the world feet-first.”

“Given that his mother gave birth to him in a remote village with no hospital or doctor in sight, he was lucky to survive, as was his mother.”

Speaking on his experience in the army, John Frog said:

“They didn’t give us a gun yet, until I was 14 – that’s when I was given a gun.

“Every day, every week, there is a fight, so we have to run in the forest, in the water, so it was quite tough for me.”

He confessed that he didn’t go to school and only picked up English from the street.

Frog said he always loved music and even in the forest he would listen to traditional music.

He recalled that it was when he got the opportunity to go to South Sudan’s capital, Juba, where he met other young Africans that he started making music himself.

“We didn’t have enough producers in Juba. The producers who are here are from Kenya and Uganda, so it was a bit hard to know the kind of genre for South Sudanese music, so I decided to do Afrobeats.”

Frog noted that South Sudanese musicians who make the most money are the traditional praise singers.

“They praise people, they praise leaders, praise people who have money, so it’s the quickest way to make money here.

“But my aim is to reach the wider audience. Either this year or next year, I have to be among our brothers who are on top,” he vowed.

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Nigerian moviemakers Funke Akindele, Mo Abudu, Jade Osiberu named in Hollywood Reporter’s Powerful Women in Film list

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Foremost Nigerian moviemakers, Funke Akindele, Mo Abudu, and Jade Osiberu have been named in the Hollywood Reporter’s list of the 40 Most Powerful Women in International Film.

This list which “recognizes women who are bringing stories to a global stage and nurturing new voices despite a disrupted film market,” featured the Nollywood filmmakers as three of the top most powerful in Africa.

The Hollywood Reporter describes the three as the “most powerful African film-makers who have for the past years graced our cinemas with captivating stories and productions.”

“Africa’s production industry faced a setback when Amazon Prime Video left the African originals business. Yet, Abudu, a pioneer in African media, continues to thrive. Her recent project, the short film “Dust to Dreams” directed by Idris Elba, received funding from the African Export-Import Bank’s $1 billion Creative Africa film fund,” it said.

“Abudu emphasizes the need for the international industry to embrace diverse stories.

“In her words, she said ‘We need a systemic shift towards inclusion. Diverse storytelling isn’t just about representation; it’s about unlocking a wealth of untapped creative potential.'”

“Akindele added politician to her roles as actor, writer, director, and producer when she ran for the 2023 Lagos state gubernatorial elections. Though her party lost, her career flourished. Her latest comedy, :A Tribe Called Judah”, which she wrote, directed, produced, and starred in, became the highest-grossing Nigerian movie ever, earning $1.2 million.

“Osiberu, a leading figure among Nigerian producer-directors, created the crime thriller “Gangs of Lagos” for Amazon. Her next film, “Everything Scatter,” follows five young people during a day of protests in Lagos.”

Speaking the the recognition, Abudu said:

“This recognition is a massive win for Nigeria! Seeing our nation celebrated for its incredible storytelling potential is so inspiring.

“I’m incredibly proud to be part of a movement pushing for a more inclusive film industry that embraces the power of diverse stories.”

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