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D'banj at the 2007 MTV Europe Music Awards
D'banj at the 2007 MTV Europe Music Awards
Background information
Birth nameOladapo Daniel Oyebanjo[1]
Born (1980-06-09) 9 June 1980 (age 43)[2]
Zaria, Nigeria
  • Singer
  • rapper
  • television personality
Years active2004–present

Oladapo Daniel Oyebanjo (born June 9, 1980), better known by his stage name D'banj, is a Nigerian singer, rapper, and television personality. His stage name D'banj is a combination of his first name, Dapo, and his surname, Oyebanjo.[4] He is the founder of Mo' Hits Records with producer Don Jazzy. D'banj is best known for his song "Oliver Twist", an uptempo dance fusion of Afrobeats and electronic dance music that topped the African charts in 2011.

Early life[edit]

D'banj, also known as the Kokomaster or Bangalee, was born in Zaria, the northern part of Nigeria to a military officer father and a devoutly religious businesswoman mother from Shagamu in Ogun State. Dbanj has twins as siblings, Taiwo and Kehinde Oyebanjo.[5]

D'banj's parents hoped he would follow in his father's footsteps and join the military, but D'banj turned to music instead being introduced to the harmonica by his late older brother, Femi Oyebanjo, who died in a plane crash at the age of seventeen.[6]

D'banj's struggle for his parent's approval inspired his music, most notably on the album track, All Da Way, from his debut album.[4]

Work and music[edit]

2005: No Long Thing[edit]

D'banj's debut album, No Long Thing, was released in 2005. It yielded several singles with Tongolo as the breakthrough lead single. It also provided his Koko Master persona, with the term, koko, taking on a variety of meanings. D'banj's debut led to collaborations with other artists, including Dare Art Alade and Ikechukwu.

2006: Rundown Funk U Up[edit]

D'banj's second album Rundown Funk U Up, which was released in 2006, yielded several singles including the club single, Tongolo (Remix), and the lead single Why Me?.

2007–2008: Curriculum Vitae and The Entertainer[edit]

In 2007, D'Banj's single koko was used by the PDP (ruling political party in Nigeria) as its campaign theme for the general elections.

D'banj also joined Mo'Hits Records and its collective group, Mo' Hits Allstars (which included artists Dr SID, Wande Coal, KaySwitch, and D'Prince). December 2007 saw the release of the collective's debut album, Curriculum Vitae.. It included singles, "Be Close To You", "Booty Call" and "Move Your Body", which was the lead single. D'banj was featured in Ikechukwu's 2008 hit, "Wind Am Well".

July 2008 saw the release of D'banj's third album, The Entertainer, with the singles "Gbono Feli Feli", "Kimon", "Olorun Maje" and "Entertainer".[7]

Mo'Hits/G.O.O.D. Music[edit]

In June 2011, D'banj was signed to Kanye West G.O.O.D Music record label as an artiste. On 9 June 2011, D'banj wrote on his Twitter account, @iamdbanj, "Just like yesterday, myself and my brother did Tongolo. 7 years later, Mo'Hits signs with GOOD Music. Best Birthday gift ever. God thank you."[8][9]

In September 2016, it was announced D'banj was released from GOOD Music.[10][11][12]

Mo'Hits break-up[edit]

After several months of speculation, producer, Don Jazzy confirmed via his Twitter account the breakup of Mo'Hits. After the break-up, Don Jazzy, D'Prince, Dr SID and Wande Coal started Mavin Records,[13] while D'banj founded DB Records, and he signed his younger brother Kayswitch to the label alongside two producers, Jaysleek and Deevee.[14]

Sony Entertainment deal[edit]

In December 2012, D'banj signed a mega deal with Sony. Speaking on the importance of the deal to Sony, the managing director of Sony Music Entertainment described the deal as a "Pan African multi-album deal with Sony Music's RCA Records. It also involves an exclusive management deal with Sony Music and strategic partner ROCKSTAR4000 for the continent. Add to that a multi-album, worldwide exclusive contract with emerging Nigerian singer-songwriter star Kayswitch, and a strategic partnership with D'Banj's Nigerian record label, DB Records".[15]


The forthcoming single "Bother You", inspired by the film Half of a Yellow Sun, was released on 7 April 2013, by Mi7 Records and D'banj's label, DKM Media.[16] In June 2014, D'banj introduced artists under his record label, which includes him, his younger brother Kay Switch, brothers MossKriss and Ralph Kriss, and Tonto Dikeh and Ebeneztizzy.[17]


He released the album titled King Don Come, with guest features from the likes of Gucci Mane, Wande Coal, Harry Songs, Bucie, Busiswa etc. in August. The album includes singles 'It's Not A Lie', 'El Chapo as well as his 2012 mega hit 'Oliver Twist'.[18]

Live performances[edit]

In December 2010, the Mo' Hits All Stars brought Koko Concert to Lagos.[19]

On 23 June 2012, D'banj performed at the Hackney Weekend to celebrate the 2012 Summer Olympics, which was headlined by Jay-Z and Rihanna. He performed alongside his friend and fellow Universal Music Group label mate, Rita Ora,on 30 August 2012 at the SCALA London Live Music, Clubs and Arts Venue to celebrate the release of her debut album Ora.[20] He also performed at the AFCON 2013 closing ceremony held in South Africa. On 18 April 2015, D'banj performed at the Global Citizen Earth Day, a free concert on Capitol Hill (Washington Monument Grounds) for the 45th anniversary of Earth Day put on by the Global Poverty Project and the Earth Day Network.[21]

Awards and accolades[edit]

D'banj has won several music awards, including the awards for Best African Act at the MTV Europe Music Awards 2007,[4] Artist of the Year at the MTV Africa Music Awards 2009,[22] Best International Act: Africa at the 2011 BET Awards, Best-selling African Artist at the 2014 World Music Awards, Evolution award at the MTV Africa Musical awards 2015.

D'banj's song "Oliver Twist",topped the African charts in 2011 and was a top 10 hit in the UK singles chart in 2012, reaching No. 2 on the UK R&B chart.


With D'banj's first album came his first endorsement from an energy drink called Power Fist.[23] In May 2013, D'banj was named the Bank of Industry (BOI) ambassador. In November 2013, D'banj re-signed a multi-million Naira deal with Globacom, the company he parted ways with in 2010.[24] In June 2014, D'Banj secured a deal with Heritage Bank.[25] In October 2014, D'banj was named the official African ambassador for Beats by Dre.[26] In February 2015, D'banj was named the official African ambassador for Ciroc Nigeria.[27] In an exclusive story on Tush Magazine Issue 11, Banky W and Dbanj shed more light on how they became Ciroc Ambassadors.[28] In September 2015, D'banj was made the brand ambassador of SLOT, a popular mobile phone and electronic gadget retail outfit.[29] Dbanj is now among the richest Afrobeats artists in Nigeria.

Humanitarian work[edit]

D'banj is the founder of the Koko Foundation for Youth and Peace Development. He was also Nigeria's first United Nations Youth Ambassador for Peace.[30] Dbanj is a ONE campaign ambassador; he released the song "Cocoa Na Chocolate" in support of agriculture investments.[31] 'Cocoa Na Chocolate' featured 18 other African artists and won Best African Collaboration at the All Africa Music Awards in 2014.

In 2015, he was applauded by World Bank Chief Jim Yong Kim for using his music power and high celebrity status to bring attention to serious and critical issues in Africa, with a special focus on agriculture and poverty alleviation. Jim Yong Kim was quoted as saying, "I had the pleasure of meeting D'banj last month and seeing him perform. I'm thrilled he is the first artists to take part in our new Music4Dev series encouraging global artist to raise awareness about poverty and related issues."[32]

In 2015, D'banj released the video "Extraordinary" to raise awareness on gender equality and women's empowerment. World Bank endorsed the song as a song for women awareness.[33]

In August 2016, D'banj's D'Kings Men Media partnered with MTN Nigeria and the Bank of Industry to launch THE CREAM PLATFORM,[34] a creative talent platform that was set up to help discover young creative minds across Nigeria by just dialing a USSD code on a mobile phone. It is reported that the platform, as of December 2016, had over 2 million paying subscribers and has discovered hundreds of talents from the music category alone, with tens of music videos and millions of NairaDUCTOR SETT[35] given out to winners.[36]

Personal life[edit]

D'banj married Lineo Didi Kilgrow in June 2016. He announced the birth of their son, Daniel Oyebanjo III, in May 2017.[37][38][39][40] The child drowned in June 2018.[41]

In June 2020, after D'banj had posted to social media to "say no to rape," Seyitan Babatayo accused him of raping her in 2018, saying she wanted to "[call] him out on his hypocrisy."[42][43][44][45] Shortly thereafter, she went missing for two days, and while she was missing, posts made to her social media said the allegations had been a publicity stunt to support an upcoming D'banj single.[42] According to The Guardian, she was found with help from the NGO Stand to End Rape (STER).[42] She said she'd been abducted by Nigerian police, who turned her over to D'banj's management team, who co-opted her social media and made the retraction posts.[42] D'banj denied the accusations, calling them "false allegations and lies from the pit of hell."[42][46] After several days, Babatayo issued a statement saying she and D'banj had agreed upon a "non-monetary" settlement, saying, "I just want my peace."[43]

On 3 July 2020, D'banj sued Babatayo for N1.5 billion. Shortly thereafter, D'banj's former manager, Franklin Amudo, reported that Babatayo had told him D'banj had raped her the day after the alleged rape.[47][48][49]


On 7 December 2022, D'banj was arrested by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) in connection with alleged fraud.[50] The arrest came after D'banj repeatedly ignored invitations from the ICPC to provide an explanation regarding his involvement in the alleged diversion of funds earmarked for the N-Power project.

N-Power is a component of the National Social Investment Program established by the administration of Muhammadu Buhari to address unemployment and enhance social development in Nigeria.

According to reports from Premium Times,[51] D'banj was detained by ICPC operatives on 7 December 2022 after he was compelled to surrender himself at the agency's headquarters in Abuja. It was revealed that D'banj had evaded ICPC summons for several weeks, claiming prior international engagements before his arrest.

The allegations against D'banj suggest that he conspired with certain government officials to include ghost beneficiaries in the N-Power payment scheme, diverting funds intended for genuine beneficiaries into accounts linked to him. Investigations have traced the flow of funds to accounts associated with D'banj.

Following his arrest, D'banj underwent an extensive interrogation and was subsequently detained when his request for administrative bail was turned down by ICPC officials. The Guardian newspaper has reported that the anti-graft agency is considering pressing charges against D'banj for alleged fraud and misappropriation of funds once their investigation is concluded.

These legal issues and controversies have garnered significant attention, raising concerns about accountability and transparency within the N-Power project and the involvement of high-profile individuals in alleged financial misconduct.



Studio albums
Title Album details
No Long Thing
  • Released: 2005
  • Label: Mo'Hits Records
  • Formats: CD, digital download
RunDown Funk U Up
  • Released: 2006
  • Label: Mo'Hits Records
  • Formats: CD, digital download
The Entertainer
  • Released: 11 September 2008
  • Label: Mo'Hits Records
  • Formats: CD, digital download
King Don Come
Stress Free, Chapter 1
  • Released: 2021
  • Label: DB Records
  • Formats: Digital download
Compilation albums
Title Album details
Curriculum Vitae
D'Kings Men


Year Title Peak chart positions Album
BEL (Vl)
BEL (Wa)
2005 "Tongolo" (featuring Tola HU) No Long Thing
2006 "Run Down (Funk U Up)" RunDown Funk U Up
"Why Me"
2007 "Tongolo Remix"
2008 "Kimon" The Entertainer
"Gbono Feli Feli"
"Fall in Love"
2009 "Scapegoat" N/A
2010 "Mr Endowed (Remix)"
(featuring Snoop Dogg)
2012 "Oliver Twist" 60 68 66 9 D'Kings Men
"Cashflow" (D'banj featuring Kay Switch)
"Sister Caro" (Kay Switch featuring D'banj)
2013 "Don't Tell Me Nonsense"
"Top of the World"
2014 "Feeling the Ni*ga"
2015 "Feeling a Nikka" (Remix) (with Akon)
"Frosh"[56] (featuring Akon)
2016 "Emergency"
2017 "Its Not a Lie" King Don Come
"El Chapo" King Don Come
2018 "Agidi"
"Issa Banger"
"Shake It" (featuring Tiwa Savage)
2019 "Something For Something" (featuring Casper Nyovest & Tiwa Savage)
"Baecation" (featuring 2Baba)
2022 "Face Show" (featuring Skiibii & HollyHood Bay Bay)

Guest appearances[edit]

Year Title Other performer(s) Album
2012 "The Morning"[57] Raekwon, Pusha T, Common, 2 Chainz, Cyhi the Prynce, Kid Cudi Cruel Summer

Selected videography[edit]

Year Title Director Ref
2006 Tongolo
2006 Socor
2006 Mobolowowon
2015 Confidential Featuring Idris Elba [58]
2015 Knocking on My Door [59]
2015 Salute Featuring Ice Prince Zamani [60]
2016 Emergency
2016 Superstar
2017 It's Not A Lie [61]
2017 El Chapo [62]
2018 "Action"(Prod. by Pheelz)
2018 "Agidi"(Prod. by Chopstix)
2019 "Mo Cover Eh"Featuring.Slimcase
2020 "Everything Is Ok"
2021 "Ikébè"
2021 "BANGA"

Awards and nominations[edit]

See also[edit]


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  2. ^ "D'banj give testimony how God bless am wit two kids afta im lose first child". BBC. Retrieved 10 November 2023.
  3. ^ "Nigerian Star D'Banj Signs Mega Deal With Sony Entertainment". venturesafrica.com. Retrieved 10 November 2023.
  4. ^ a b c "D'Banj – Full Biography". MTV Base. Archived from the original on 14 July 2011. Retrieved 25 August 2010.
  5. ^ "KaySwitch romances Meenakshi Monica". Vanguard News. 31 January 2014. Retrieved 14 November 2021.
  6. ^ "7. He Ironizes, He Ironizes Not, He Ironizes", Ethical Dimension of the 'Decameron', Toronto: University of Toronto Press, pp. 119–138, 31 January 2015, doi:10.3138/9781442625754-010, ISBN 978-1-4426-2575-4
  7. ^ Newspage Weekly, The Online Edition – Get to know the Koko master Archived 23 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine. Newspageng.net. Retrieved on 7 July 2012.
  8. ^ "Twitter account". Twitter. Retrieved 20 August 2020.
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  13. ^ "Mavin Records is Africa's leading record label. Founded in Lagos in 2012 by legendary producer Don Jazzy, Mavin has produced some of the most iconic..." mavinrecords.com. Retrieved 20 August 2020.
  14. ^ "About D'Banj Records". DB Records. Retrieved 16 November 2013.
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  28. ^ "Ciroc Boys of Nigeria covers Tush Magazine Issue 11". 30 September 2015. Archived from the original on 14 May 2016. Retrieved 10 November 2023.
  29. ^ Tayo, Ayomide O. (23 September 2015). "Dbanj: Pop superstar lands new endorsement deal, gets Porsche car". Pulse.ng. Retrieved 8 March 2017.
  30. ^ "WFUNA – World Federation of United Nations Associations". WFUNA – World Federation of United Nations Associations. Retrieved 20 August 2020.
  31. ^ "Good news: AU leaders' summit in Malabo, pledge to "Do Agric"!". ONE. 8 July 2014. Retrieved 20 August 2020.
  32. ^ "Singer impresses World Bank boss, Jim Young Kim". Pulse Nigeria. Gbenga Bada. 19 May 2015. Retrieved 19 May 2015.
  33. ^ "VIDEO: D'banj – Extraordinary". Gqnaija. Archived from the original on 31 December 2018. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  34. ^ OLAMILOKUN, HAROLD. "C.R.E.A.M". TheCreamPlatform.com. Archived from the original on 15 April 2017. Retrieved 8 March 2017.
  35. ^ "Winners Emerge from the CREAM Lottery Platform & Get Rewarded by D'banj".
  36. ^ "Superstar D'banj Partners with MTN to Launch the C.R.E.A.M Lottery for Creative Minds".
  37. ^ "Dbanj, welcomes son Daniel". The Vanguard. Retrieved 28 December 2017.
  38. ^ "THE MOMENT D'BANJ INTRODUCED HIS CUTE SON AND WIFE LIVE ON STAGE (VIDEO)". Information Nigeria. Retrieved 28 December 2017.
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  40. ^ "Being A Father Is Very Humbling – Dbanj". PM News. Retrieved 28 December 2017.
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  42. ^ a b c d e Akinwotu, Emmanuel (25 June 2020). "Nigerian pop star allegedly abducts woman after she accuses him of rape". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 25 June 2020.
  43. ^ a b Adegbeye, OluTimehin (4 September 2020). "Opinion | Nothing Happens When Women Are Raped in Nigeria". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 13 September 2020.
  44. ^ Pitjeng, Refilwe. "D'banj's rape accuser details how the singer allegedly raped her". ewn.co.za. Retrieved 13 September 2020.
  45. ^ Dark, Shayera (24 June 2020). "Nigerians are confronting an underreported rape crisis that's spiked during the lockdown". Quartz Africa. Retrieved 13 September 2020.
  46. ^ "D'Banj's assault allegation: Everything we know so far". The Native. 18 June 2020. Retrieved 19 June 2020.
  47. ^ Campbell, Preye (6 July 2020). "D'banj's former manager, Franklin Amudo speaks on rape allegation". P.M. News. Retrieved 13 September 2020.
  48. ^ "'I no fit tell weda D'banj enta your room' – D'banj former manager reply Seyitan". BBC News Pidgin. Retrieved 13 September 2020.
  49. ^ "Rape allegation: DBanj's ex manager, Franklin Amudo gives his own account of what transpired at the hotel (Video)". Archived from the original on 26 October 2020. Retrieved 13 September 2020.
  50. ^ ICPC arrests, detains D'banj over alleged fraud, diversion of N-Power funds – Report, The Guardian, [7 December 2022]
  51. ^ ICPC confirms arrest, detention of D’banj over alleged N-Power fraud, Premiumtimesng, [7 December 2022]
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  53. ^ "Discografie D'Banj". Hung Medien. www.ultratop.be/fr/.
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  55. ^ Peak positions in the United Kingdom:
  56. ^ "D'banj Singer flaunts dapper looks as he features Akon In 'Frosh' video". Pulse.com.gh. David Mawuli. 25 September 2015. Retrieved 10 February 2016.
  57. ^ "Cruel Summer – Various Artists > Overview". AllMusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 21 September 2012.
  58. ^ "D'banj, Idris Elba, Shadow Boxxer Stars are funny in silly 'Confidential' visual". Pulse.com.gh. David Mawuli. 21 August 2015. Retrieved 16 February 2016.
  59. ^ "D'banj Singer opens new US house in 'Knocking on my door' video". Pulse.com.gh. Joey Akan. 20 July 2015. Retrieved 22 February 2016.
  60. ^ "D'banj, Ice Prince Stars display wealth and swag in 'Salute'". Pulse.com.gh. Joey Akan. 27 July 2015. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
  61. ^ Solanke, Abiola. "D"banj "It"s not a lie" number 1 on Pulse music video chart". Archived from the original on 2 September 2017. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
  62. ^ "VIDEO: D'banj – EL CHAPO ft. Gucci Mane & Wande Coal – NotjustOk". NotjustOk. 25 August 2017. Archived from the original on 2 September 2017. Retrieved 2 September 2017.

External links[edit]