The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has congratulated King Sunny Ade on his 70th birthday, describing him as a cultural icon and a trail blazer.
In a statement issued in Lagos on Thursday, the Minister hailed Sunny Ade’s contribution to the growth of Nigerian music “which is fast becoming a global brand’’.
He credited him and other musical stars of his generation for charting the path for today’s generation of “Young Turks in the industry’’.
“It is particularly delightful that in spite of his age, King Sunny Ade has remained active on the music scene, thus reinforcing his position as a cultural ambassador.
“He has done so much to project a positive image for the country over the years,’’ he said.
The minister prayed that God would grant Sunny Ade many more years in good health so that he could continue to be a source of inspiration to aspiring music artists in particular, and indeed the entire Nigerian youth in general.
Sunday Adeniyi, a Juju music maestro popularly known as King Sunny Ade, was born September 22, 1946.
He is a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and a pioneer of modern world music who is classed as one of the most influential musicians of all time.
He was born to a royal family in Ondo. His father was a church organist, while his mother was a trader.
He left grammar school in Ondo under the pretense of going to the University of Lagos. There, in Lagos, his mercurial musical career started.
Sunny Adé’s musical sound has evolved from the early days when he began with a high life band, Moses Olaiya’s Federal Rhythm Dandies where he left to form a new band in 1967.
In the 1970s and 1980s, he embarked on a tour of America and Europe. His stage act was characterised by dexterous dancing steps and mastery of the guitar.