Akon is the latest US superstar to sign up for the MTV Africa Music Awards (MAMA) with Zain. The Senegalese-American multi-platinum artist and producer is set to headline at the 2009 MAMA Awards in Nairobi, Kenya on 10 October, performing alongside Fugeesâ€™ alumnus Wyclef Jean and a host of Africaâ€™s most celebrated contemporary artists including Wahu, M.I., Samini and Lira.
A six-time Grammy-nominated artist/producer, entrepreneur and philanthropist, celebrated for his mesmerising vocal talent, haunting lyrics and extrovert personality, Akon has been making waves around the globe since he first hit the music scene in 2004 with his debut album â€œTroubleâ€, which reached #1 in the Billboard charts.
With worldwide sales of over 7 million albums, certified gold and platinum status in over 23 countries, Akon is one of the most influential voices in music today.
In addition to having two multi-platinum albums and 25 songs on the Billboard Hot 100, Akon has over 160 guest appearances with artists such as Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, Lionel Richie, and Gwen Stefani to his credit.
He is also the founder and CEO of two successful record labels, an R&B/hip-hop label Konvict Muzik, which has prepped releases for the likes of T-Pain and Asher Roth; and his newest label Kon Live Distribution, a joint venture with Interscope-Geffen-A&M, whose roster include Lady Gaga, Kardinal Offishall, Colby Oâ€™Donis, and UK rapper Sway. Akonâ€™s highly acclaimed third studio album Freedom (Upfront/Konvict/SRC/Universal Motown) was released in December 2008 and he is already back in the studio prepping a new album for release in early 2010.
Additionally, Akon has successfully launched Konvict Clothing, an affordable street wear collection and will debut Aliaune, an international upscale menâ€™s clothing line later this year Akonâ€™s youth focused charity, the Konfidence Foundation, which concentrates its efforts on helping underserved African youth, has broadened its reach and developed community-based programmes in the US as well.
Commented Akon, â€˜Africa is my heart. I feel especially blessed to finally be able to perform in Kenya and am honoured that MTV and Zain asked me to be a part of such an incredible event.â€™