Burna Boy

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Burna Boy
Burna Boy (cropped).jpg
Background information
Birth nameDamini Ebunoluwa Ogulu
Born (1991-07-02) 2 July 1991 (age 28)
Port Harcourt, Nigeria
  • Singer
  • songwriter
Years active2010–present
Associated acts

Damini Ebunoluwa Ogulu (born 2 July 1991), known professionally as Burna Boy, is a Nigerian singer and songwriter.[1][2] He rose to prominence in 2012 after releasing the lead single "Like to Party" from his debut studio album, L.I.F.E (2013). In 2017, Burna Boy signed with Bad Habit/Atlantic Records in the United States and Warner Music Group internationally. His third studio album Outside (2018) marked his major-label debut.[3] In 2019, he won Best International Act at the 2019 BET Awards.[4] He was also announced as Apple Music's Up Next artist. His fourth studio album African Giant was released in July 2019.

Early life[edit]

Damini Ogulu was born in Port Harcourt, Nigeria.[5] His father managed a welding company and his mother worked as a translator. Benson Idonije is his grandfather.[6] Ogulu grew up in southern Nigeria.[7]


2012–2015: L.I.F.E and On a Spaceship[edit]

Aristokrat Records released Burna Boy's debut studio album L.I.F.E on August 12, 2013. It serves as the follow-up to his second mixtape, Burn Identity (2011). L.I.F.E sold 40,000 copies on the first day of its release. Aristokrat Records later sold the album's marketing rights to Uba Pacific for ₦10 million.[8] The album's release was preceded by five singles: "Like to Party", "Tonight", "Always Love You", "Run My Race" and "Yawa Dey".

Produced entirely by Leriq, L.I.F.E features guest appearances from 2face Idibia, M.I, Timaya, Olamide, Reminisce and Wizkid.[9] Nigeria Entertainment Today ranked the album 10th on their list of the 12th best albums of 2013.[10] The music of L.I.F.E draws heavily from the music of Fela Kuti, King Sunny Ade and Bob Marley. The album received generally positive reviews from music critics, who applauded its production. It was nominated for Best Album of the Year at the 2014 Nigeria Entertainment Awards. In August 2013, L.I.F.E peaked at number 7 on the Billboard Reggae Albums chart.[11]

In 2014, Burna Boy split from Aristokrat records.[12] In 2015, he created his own record label called Spaceship Entertainment.

He released his second album On a Spaceship on 25 November 2015.[13] In September 2016, he released the 7-track EP Redemption. Its lead single "Pree Me" debuted on Noisey.[14][15]

2018–present: Outside and African Giant[edit]

In January 2018, Burna Boy was featured on "Sunshine Riptide", a track from Fall Out Boy's seventh studio album MANIA (2018).[16] He released his third studio album Outside on January 26, 2018. Described as a mixtape, Outside consists mostly of Afrobeats, dancehall, reggae and road rap. It features guest vocals from English musicians J Hus, Lily Allen and Mabel. Outside was supported by six singles: "Rock Your Body", "Streets of Africa", "Koni Baje", "Sekkle Down", "Heaven's Gate" and "Ye". Its production was handled by Leriq, Baba Stiltz, Jae 5, Juls, Chopstix, Steel Banglez, Fred Gibson, Phantom and FTSE. The album received critical acclaim and was ranked by Pulse Nigeria and Nigerian Entertainment Today as the best Nigerian album of 2018.[17][18] It won Album of the Year at the 2018 Nigeria Entertainment Awards.[19] In February 2018, Outside debuted at number 3 on the Billboard Reggae Albums chart.[20] The album's biggest single "Ye" ended up atop most Nigerian publications year-end list as the biggest song of 2018.[21][22]

On 7 October 2018, Burna Boy performed before a sold-out crowd at London's O2 Academy Brixton.[23] A day prior to the show, he held a pop-up event at Red by Little Farm and sold limited boxes of his Space Puffs cereal, as well as custom notepads, lighters and graphic tee-shirts.[24] On 9 October 2018, Burna Boy was announced as one of Spotify's New Afro Hub Takeover Artist.[25] The announcement coincided with him being named YouTube's Artist on the Rise for 3 months.[26]

On 3 January 2019, he was announced alongside Mr Eazi as one of the artists performing at the 2019 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.[27] He won four awards at the Soundcity MVP Awards Festival, including African Artiste of the Year, Listener's Choice and Best Male MVP.[28]

On 21 March 2019, Burna Boy released a 4-track collaborative EP with Los Angeles-based electronic duo DJDS, titled Steel & Copper.[29]

On June 24, 2019, Burna Boy won Best International Act at the 2019 BET Awards.[4] In July 2019, Burna Boy was announced as Apple Music's Up Next artist. His inclusion into the program was accompanied by a Beats 1 interview with Julie Adenuga and a short documentary.[30]

Burna Boy's fourth studio album African Giant was released on July 26, 2019. It has been supported by six singles: "Gbona", "On the Low", Killin Dem", "Dangote", "Anybody" and "Pull Up". He began recording the album in 2018. He told Billboard magazine that the album is his most personal yet.[31] He first revealed plans to release the album in April 2019, and held a private listening session in Los Angeles.[32] Photos and videos from the listening session were shared on social media. African Giant was initially announced as a 16-track album.[32] In order to promote the album, Burna Boy will headline the African Giant Returns tour, the second leg of his African Giant tour.[33]




  • Burn Notice (2011)
  • Burn Identity (2011)


  • Redemption (2016)
  • Steel & Copper (with DJDS) (2019)

Singles (partial)[edit]

Year Title Album Producer
2011 "Shobeedo" (Freestyle) Non-album single
2012 "Like to Party" L.I.F.E Leriq
2013 "Run My Race"
"Yawa Dey"
"Celebrate" Non-album single GospelOnDeBeatz
"Won Da Mo" (featuring D'banj) DeeVee
2014 "Rockstar" Leriq
"Don Gorgon" Spellz
"Check and Balance"
2015 "Soke" On a Spaceship Orbeat
"The Realest" Simba Tagz
"Rizzla" J Fem
2016 "Pree Me"[34] Redemption Leriq
"Mandem Anthem" Non-album single Fresh
2017 "Hallelujah" Killbeatz
"Rock Your Body" Outside Juls
"Streets of Africa" Leriq
"Koni Baje" P2J
"Sekkle Down" Jae5
2018 "Heaven's Gate" (featuring Lily Allen)[35] Fred Gibson
"Ye" Phantom
"On the Low"[36] African Giant Kel P
"Killin Dem" (featuring Zlatan)[38]
2019 "Dangote"[39]
"Anybody"[40] P2J
"Pull Up" Kel P

Guest appearances[edit]

Year Artist Title Album
2013 Wande Coal "Amorawa"[41] Non-album single
Ice Prince "Gimme Dat" (also featuring Yung L and Olamide) Fire of Zamani
2014 DJ Spinall "Gba Gbe E" Non-album single
AKA "All Eyes On Me" (also featuring Da L.E.S and JR) Levels
Sarkodie "Special Someone" (also featuring AKA) Sarkology
2016 Skales "Temper" (Remix)[42] Non-album singles
2017 Airboy "Ayepo" (Remix)[43]
Skales "Gbefun One Time" The Never Say Never Guy
Jesse Jagz "Violation" Odysseus
2018 Four of Diamonds "Name On It" TBA
Fall Out Boy ”Sunshine Riptide” Mania
Lily Allen "Your Choice"[44] No Shame
DJ Spinall "Serious" Iyanu
Larry Gaaga "Baba Nla" (also featuring 2Baba and D'banj)[45] Non-album single
Major Lazer "All My Life"[46] Africa Is the Future
Show Dem Camp "Legend"[47] Palm Wine Music 2
Peruzzi "Champion Lover" Heartwork
2019 Sauti Sol "Afrikan Star" African Sauce
Dave "Location" Psychodrama
Mahalia Burkmar "Simmer" Love & Compromise
Beyoncé "Ja Ara E" The Lion King: The Gift
DJ Snake "No Option"[48] Carte Blanche
Jorja Smith "Be Honest" TBA
Wretch 32 "All In"[49] Upon Reflection

Selected videography[edit]

Year Title Director Ref
2015 "P.A.I.D" Sesan [50]
2016 "Pree Me" Meji Alabi [51]
2017 "Deja Vu" Clarence Peters
"Hallelujah" Mat Max
2018 "Heaven's Gate"/"Sekkle Down"
"Ye" Clarence Peters [52]
"On the Low" Meji Alabi
2019 "Killin Dem" Prodigeezy [53]
"Dangote" Clarence Peters [54]
"Anybody" [55]
"Pull Up" Meji Alabi [56]
"Gum Body" [57]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Event Prize Recipient Result Ref
2013 South South Music Awards Best Pop "Like to Party" Won
Nigeria Entertainment Awards Best New Act of the Year Himself Won [58]
The Headies Next Rated Nominated [59]
2014 MTV Africa Music Awards Best New Act Nominated [60]
The Headies Best R&B Single "Don Gorgon" Nominated [61]
Best R&B/Pop Album L.I.F.E Nominated
Hip Hop World Revelation of the Year Nominated
Album of the Year Nominated
Nigeria Entertainment Awards Best Album of the Year Won [62]
2015 Best Pop Artist of the Year Himself Nominated [63]
2019 Soundcity MVP Awards Festival Listener's Choice "Ye" Won [64]
Song of the Year Won
Best Male MVP Himself Won
African Artiste of the Year Won
BET Awards Best International Act Won [65]
The Headies Viewer's Choice Nominated [66]
Artiste of the Year Won
Best Recording of the Year "Ye" Nominated
Best Pop Single Nominated
Song of the Year Won
Best R&B/Pop Album Outside Nominated
Album of the Year Nominated
Best Collabo "Killin' Dem"
(featuring Zlatan)
MTV Europe Music Awards Best African Act Himself Won [67]
All Africa Music Awards Best Collaboration "Killin' Dem"
(featuring Zlatan)
Nominated [68]
Song of the Year Won
Video of the Year Nominated
Best Live Act Himself Nominated
Artist of the Year Won
Best Male West Africa Nominated
Crossing Boundaries with Music Nominated

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Galil, Leor (31 May 2018). "REPRINTS Share Nigerian Afrobeat star Burna Boy captures the sound of now on Outside". Chicago Reader. Retrieved 30 March 2019.
  2. ^ "Burna Boy". NotjustOk. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
  3. ^ Nick Duerden (19 July 2019). "How Burna Boy Became Nigeria's Surprise Success Story". Billboard. Retrieved 28 July 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Burna Boy wins Best International Act at 2019 BET awards". Oak Tv. 24 June 2019. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  5. ^ Hahn, Rachel (27 February 2018). "Nigerian Singer Burna Boy on His Patchwork Approach to Style". Vogue. Retrieved 4 November 2019.
  6. ^ Shah, Neil (4 November 2019). "A Nigerian Pop Star Finds Success in the U.S., On His Own Terms". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 4 November 2019.
  7. ^ Giorgis, Hannah (26 July 2019). "The 'African Giant' Challenging Musical Boundaries". The Atlantic. Retrieved 4 November 2019.
  8. ^ Abulude, Samuel (6 September 2013). "Nigeria: Burna Boy Sells Debut Album Rights for N10 Million". allAfrica.com. allAfrica via Leadership Nigeria. Retrieved 1 July 2014.
  9. ^ Iwar, Sute (23 August 2013). "Burna Boy's Album Debut 'L.I.F.E'". Okayafrica.com. OkayAfrica. Retrieved 1 July 2014.
  10. ^ Alonge, Osagie (29 December 2013). "12 best albums of 2013 – The definitive list from Nigerian Entertainment Today". thenet.ng. Nigerian Entertainment Today. Retrieved 1 July 2014.
  11. ^ "Burna Boy tops billboard reggae album chart with 'Outside'". Vanguard. 10 February 2018. Retrieved 31 March 2019.
  12. ^ "Burnaboy leaves Aristokrat Records". TheCable. 24 July 2014. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  13. ^ "Burna Boy Releases 'On a Spaceship' Album". SilverbirdTV. 26 November 2015. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  14. ^ "Listen To Burna Boy's New EP Redemption". The FADER. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  15. ^ "Burna Boy drops 7-track EP 'Redemption'". Nigerian Entertainment Today. 23 September 2016. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  16. ^ Orubo, Daniel (19 January 2018). "Listen To Burna Boy Kill It On Fall Out Boy's 'Sunshine Riptide'". Konbini Nigeria. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  17. ^ Ehis Ohunyon (12 December 2018). "Pulse List 2018: Top 10 Nigerian albums". Pulse Nigeria. Retrieved 17 January 2019.
  18. ^ Atayero, Adeoluwa (7 December 2018). "Ranking The 10 Best Albums Of 2018". Nigerian Entertainment Today. Retrieved 17 January 2019.
  19. ^ Ohunyon, Ehis (19 November 2019). "Davido, Tiwa Savage and Burna Boy win at 2018 Nigerian Entertainment Awards [See full list". Pulse Nigeria. Retrieved 30 March 2019.
  20. ^ Praise, Billy (7 February 2018). "Burna Boy's "Outside" Album Debuts On Billboard's Reggae Chart". Guardian Life. Retrieved 31 March 2019.
  21. ^ "Pulse List 2018: Here is the hottest Nigerian song of the year". www.pulse.ng. 17 December 2018. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  22. ^ Isama, Antoinette (11 January 2019). "The Best Nigerian Songs of 2018". Okay Africa.
  23. ^ Durosomo, Damola (8 October 2018). "Burna Boy Took Over London's O2 Academy With a Massive, Sold-Out Show". OkayAfrica. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  24. ^ Murtala Abubakar (7 October 2018). "Burna Boy unveils 'Space Puffs' cereal at London pop-up event". The Cable Lifestyle. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  25. ^ Urenna Ukiwe (9 October 2018). "Burna Boy Has Been Listed As One Of Spotify's New Afro Hub Takeover Artist". Guardian Life. Retrieved 27 February 2019.
  26. ^ Ukiwe, Urenna. "Burna Boy Lights Up Times Square As YouTube's Artist Of The Month". guardian.ng. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  27. ^ adekunle (3 January 2019). "Burna Boy, Mr Eazi to make Coachella debut". Vanguard News Nigeria. Retrieved 3 January 2019.
  28. ^ adekunle (6 January 2019). "Soundcity MVP: Burna Boy wins African Artiste of the Year". Vanguard News Nigeria. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  29. ^ Evan Minsker (21 March 2019). "DJDS and Burna Boy Release New Steel & Copper EP: Listen". Pitchfork. Retrieved 5 April 2019.
  30. ^ Kam Tambini (9 July 2019). "Burna Boy Is Apple Music's New 'Up Next' Artist". OkayAfrica. Retrieved 20 July 2019.
  31. ^ Nick Duerden (19 July 2019). "How Burna Boy Became Nigeria's Surprise Success Story". Billboard. Retrieved 20 July 2019.
  32. ^ a b Odion Okonofua (17 April 2019). "Pulse Exclusive: Burna Boy set to drop new album 'African Giant'". Pulse Nigeria. Retrieved 26 May 2019.
  33. ^ "Burna Boy Announces 'The African Giant Returns Tour'". OkayAfrica. 17 June 2019. Retrieved 20 July 2019.
  34. ^ "MUSIC: Burna Boy – Pree Me (Prod. by LeriQ)". 360Nobs.com. 7 July 2016. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  35. ^ Animashaun, Damilola (19 January 2018). "Burna Boy Does A Madness On New Track With Lily Allen, 'Heaven's Gate'". Konbini Nigeria. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  36. ^ "Burna Boy – "On The Low" » tooXclusive | MP3". tooXclusive. 15 November 2018. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  37. ^ "Burna Boy – "Gbona" - tooXclusive | Download MP3". tooXclusive. 25 September 2018. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  38. ^ "Burna Boy - 'Killin Dem' feat Zlatan". www.pulse.ng. 26 December 2018. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  39. ^ Wandera Hussein (1 March 2019). "Burna Boy shares new single "Dangote"". The Fader. Retrieved 2 March 2019.
  40. ^ Hycent Hyt (13 June 2019). "Burna Boy shares new single 'Anybody'". 8o8wave.com. Retrieved 13 June 2019.
  41. ^ Blcvk (29 November 2013). "Wande Coal - Amorawa ft. Burna Boy [Prod. By Leriq] | 36NG". Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  42. ^ "Skales – "Temper (Remix)" ft. Burna Boy » tooXclusive". tooXclusive. 23 December 2016. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  43. ^ "Airboy – Ayepo (Remix) f. Burna Boy - TooXclusive | MP3". tooXclusive. 21 November 2017. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  44. ^ "Lily Allen and Burna Boy Team Up Again On New Single 'Your Choice'". OkayAfrica. 8 June 2018. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  45. ^ "[Song] Larry Gaaga - "Baba Nla" ft. Burna Boy, 2Baba & D'Banj - - Tooxclusive | MP3". tooXclusive. 10 August 2018. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  46. ^ Kat Bein (9 December 2018). "Major Lazer Releases 30-Minute 'Afrobeats' Mega-Mix: Listen". Billboard. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
  47. ^ "Show Dem Camp – "Legend" ft. Burna Boy » tooXclusive". tooXclusive. 16 October 2018. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  48. ^ "Carte Blanche by DJ Snake". iTunes. Retrieved 5 August 2019.
  49. ^ "Upon Reflection by Wretch 32". iTunes. Retrieved 18 October 2019.
  50. ^ "Da L.E.S, Burna Boy, AKA Trio put on a 'luxury' display in 'P.A.I.D' video". Pulse.com.gh. David Mawuli. Retrieved 25 February 2016.
  51. ^ "Burna Boy Ballets Past the Haters in the New ‘Pree Me’ Video". OkayAfrica. 6 September 2016. Retrieved 20 January 2019.
  52. ^ "Nigeria's National Anthem, Burna Boy's Ye Finally Gets A Video". The Culture Custodian (Est. 2014). 6 August 2018. Retrieved 13 January 2019.
  53. ^ Kam Tambini (25 January 2019). "Watch Zlatan & Burna Boy's New Music Video For 'Killin Dem'". OkayAfrica. Retrieved 19 February 2019.
  54. ^ Joey Akan (7 May 2019). "Dangote Isn't Nigeria's Hero, But Don't Ask Burna Boy". OkayAfrica. Retrieved 8 May 2019.
  55. ^ "Burna Boy Drops Visuals for New Single 'Anybody'". HYPEBEAST. Retrieved 17 June 2019.
  56. ^ "Burna Boy - Pull Up | Mp3 & Video Download « NotJustOk". Latest Naija Nigerian Music, Songs & Video - Notjustok. 21 August 2019. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
  57. ^ "Burna Boy - Gum Body ft. Jorja Smith | Video Download - NotJustOk". Latest Naija Nigerian Music, Songs & Video - Notjustok. 10 September 2019. Retrieved 11 September 2019.
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  64. ^ "Full list of winners at the 2019 SOUNDCITY MVP awardsÂ". Premium Times Nigeria. 6 January 2019. Retrieved 28 January 2019.
  65. ^ "Burna Boy wins 2019 BET Best International Act award". legit.ng. 6 January 2019. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  66. ^ Gbenga Bada (20 October 2019). "Headies 2019: Here are all the winners at the 13th edition of music award". Pulse Nigeria. Retrieved 20 October 2019.
  67. ^ "Nigeria: Burna Boy Wins 'Best Africa Act' Award At 2019 MTV EMA's". allAfrica. Vanguard. 4 November 2019. Retrieved 10 November 2019.
  68. ^ "Here are the 2019 AFRIMMA Nominees". OkayAfrica. 7 August 2019. Retrieved 5 September 2019.

External links[edit]