King Sunny Ade - The Living Legend

King Sunny Ade - The Living Legend

Last month a special living legend, King Sunny Ade was celebrated across the world because of his birthday. Sunday Adeniyi also known as King of Juju, Sunny Ade, Minister of Enjoyment was born on 22nd of September 1946 (age 70) in Oshogbo, Osun State, Nigeria. He is a Nigerian musician, singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and a pioneer of modern world music. He has been classed as one of the most influential musicians of all time. His genre of music is Jùjú. His years of active music started from 1960s–present. His record label is I.R.S. Records. 

Adé was born to a Nigerian royal family in Ondo, thus making him an Omoba of the Yoruba people. His father was a church organist, while his mother was a trader. Adé left grammar school in Ondo under the pretence of going to the University of Lagos. There, in Lagos, his mercurial musical career started. His career began with Moses Olaiya's Federal Rhythm Dandies, a high-life band. 

In the 1970s and 1980s Adé embarked on a tour of America and Europe. His stage act was characterised by dexterous dancing steps and mastery of the guitar. After the release of his first album Juju Music and accompanying tour, Adé was described in The New York Times as "one of the world's great band leaders". His next album, Syncro System (1983), was equally successful and earned him his first Grammy Award nomination in the folk/ethnic music category. 

Sunny has collaborated with major artists such as Manu Dibango (Wakafrika) and Stevie Wonder (played harmonica in Aura), as well as younger Nigerian artists such as Wasiu Alabi Pasuma and Bola Abimbola. 

In the 1980s Adé embarked on a career in Hollywood. His music was featured in the 1983 film Breathless, starring Richard Gere, and the 1986 comedy One More Saturday Night, and he acted in Robert Altman's 1987 comedy O.C. and Stiggs.

In his home country, he was appointed a visiting professor of music at the Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife. In July the same year King Sunny Adé was inducted into the Afropop Hall of Fame, at the Brooklyn African Festival in the United States. He dedicated the award to the recently deceased Michael Jackson.

Long live the king!!!
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