Top 10 African Music Artists 2021 (2023)

Check out our list of the 10 best African music artists of 2021.

2021 can be described as "the most dominant year in African music to date". The world's focus on music from Africa has been crazy this year, and it's paid off for some of the continent's hardest working artists.

From different parts of the continent including West Africa, South Africa, Central Africa and even East Africa, the music could not be hindered. And it wasn't. African music was no longer limited to neighboring countries and expanded its territories.

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Big names like Wizkid, Burna Boy gained huge recognition from their first Grammy Awards and sold out shows around the world including in arenas in North America etc. Affectionately called Africa's Friend, CKay honed his promotional skills as his sleeper hit. "Love Nwantinti" became a global phenomenon. The song went viral on TikTok and resulted in it topping the charts around the world as well.

(Video) Top 10 Best African Artists of the Year

Did we mention he charted in the top 10 of the Billboard Global 200 songs for several weeks? Well he has. The love for African music was on another level. Outside of South Africa, the amapiano subgenre has morphed into a global movement. Artists from different parts of the continent have jumped on the piano trend and have delivered hits, remixes, remakes and even gained so much recognition for their music.

Also thanks to big names like Kabza De Small, DJ Maphorisa, Mr. JazziQ and more, Amapiano has caught the attention of major media around the world. Months ago, Kabza, Africa's reigning king of Amapiano, snagged a feature in Rolling Stone Mag for his contributions to the genre's movement. JazziQ and co. also enjoyed the subgenre's viral movement through the hit "Woza," which led to a feature on CNN.

Overall, 2021 was the year that Africa dominated the music scene and media. Here is our list of the top 10 African music artists who have best owned the year.


Top 10 African Music Artists 2021 (1)

Undeniably the biggest artist of the year, Wizkid kicked off 2021 with a hit album Made In Lagos that paved the way for him. Little did he know he would snag a Grammy Award for his work on the music video for Beyoncé's hit "Brown Skin Girl," have his first song as a lead actor on the Billboard Hot 100, and even make the Top 10. And most importantly, sell out the O2 Arena in minutes and do it multiple times. Crazy, right? Well, that's the strength of Big Wiz. Wizkid's crossover hit "Essence" with Tems & Justin Bieber was named best song of 2021 by Rolling Stone.

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Top 10 African Music Artists 2021 (2)

When your name is Davido you have no choice but to deliver every year. David Adeleke flew as the main actor on many grand pianos this year and he still shone the brightest. He has charted many songs at number one in many countries and gained more recognition on the international scene. With South African star Focalistic, he trended the remix for "Ke Star" and also gave chart-topping hits to hitmakers like Adekunle Gold, CKay, KDDO, Peruzzi and more. He was also trending heavily after raising over 200 million naira from friends in days to celebrate his birthday. This led to some international media focus.

3.Burna boy

Top 10 African Music Artists 2021 (3)

The Nigerian singer-songwriter, popularly known as Burna Boy, African Giant or Odogwu, dominated the year from the start. That's doubly delightful, as the Afro Beats King proved when he won his first Grammy Award after being nominated for a second year in a row. This has caused so much excitement on the African continent. He also added sold-out shows to his repertoire, making stops in North America and also selling out the 02 Arena in London. Burna also appeared as a featured artist on Wizkid's record-breaking album, Made In Lagos, delivering hits such as "Question," "Want It All," "B. D'Or" and more. He also snagged a BET Award for Best International Act.

4.Diamond Platnumz

Top 10 African Music Artists 2021 (4)


Wherever Diamond Platnumz goes, East Africa follows. The Tanzanian singer, songwriter, dancer and performer continued his dominance by flooding the airwaves with big hits. He dropped a few of them including the infectious "Kamata", rallied Hitmacher, Focalistic, Mapara A Jazz, Ntosh Gaz to play "IYO" in his piano jam and vibrate with Rema in "Gimmie". Platnumz even secured a nomination for "BET Best International Act". His attire at the event stole the show. He has also received a few other awards including two AFRIMMAs and more. Of course, his victories were a big deal for East Africa.

5.Fally Ipupa

Top 10 African Music Artists 2021 (5)

Congolese singer, songwriter and record producer Fally Ipupa has had many hits this year. Ipupa expanded his legacy as one of Africa's biggest and most bankable artists by bringing hit songs to the airwaves. He hit a new milestone when his feature on Diamond Platnumz's hit song about the Tanzanian singer "tips”has over 100 million views on YouTube. Fally Ipupa was also featured on Nigerian Hi-Life singer Flavor hit "Berna Reloaded" alongside Platnumz and also snagged a few awards including two awards at AFRIMMA 2021.

6.Yemi Alade

Top 10 African Music Artists 2021 (6)

Yemi Alade, or Mama Africa as her fans affectionately call her, remained a powerful force in 2021. Alade's impact on the international scene has been on a whole different level and she has maintained an amazing relationship with her fans around the world. Yemi Alade wrapped up the past year with the beautiful album Empress and released a string of successful singles including Deceive, True Love, Dancing and the recent Double Double etc. She joined Grammy winner Angelique Kidjo with the song "Dignity". The highlight of her year came when she appeared as a performer at the 2021 Earthshot Prize Awards, where she performed her hit song "Rain" for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

7.It's called Savage

Top 10 African Music Artists 2021 (7)

Nigerian singer-songwriter Tiwa Savage is called the Queen of Afrobeat for many reasons. The popular singer has brought African music to a global audience and brought international focus to Nigeria and Africa. After spending some time working on new music, she released her highly anticipated project, the Water & Garri EP, and it became an instant hit. The EP features international stars, brandy, nas and more. His single "Somebody's Son" featuring legendary RnB singer Brandy became the project's biggest hit. American singer, songwriter, producer and fashion icon Pharrell Williams is quoted as calling one song on the project "a classic".

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8.Koffi Olomide

Top 10 African Music Artists 2021 (8)

Congolese singer, songwriter and performer Koffi Olomide has been on an upward trend since the beginning of the year. After the end of 2020 was dominated by the big hit "Waah!" With Diamond Platnumz, the song continued to gain major airplay throughout the early months of 2021. He then went on to work with some of Africa's biggest stars including Nandy, Ninho, Tiwa Savage and more. As one of Central Africa's most-played artists, Koffi has dominated the airwaves across Africa.

9.Black coffee

Top 10 African Music Artists 2021 (9)

Acclaimed South African DJ and record producer Black Coffee has come a long way since appearing at Red Bull Music Academy in Cape Town in 2004. Coffee kicked off the year by releasing his critically acclaimed house music album Subconsciously in early February. The album features guest contributions from local and international artists, producers and DJs. The album also received a nomination for Best Dance/Electronic Album at the upcoming 64th Annual Grammy Awards. He is nominated alongside international stars such as Major Lazer, Marshmello, Illenium and others. Coffee has also spent more of the year touring around the world and playing big gigs.


Top 10 African Music Artists 2021 (10)

Undeniably Africa's biggest artist of 2021, the Nigerian singer-songwriter, Tems dominated the airwaves with her sound. The talented singer gained widespread international recognition for her contribution to Wizkid's hit "Essence". The song stormed the charts around the world and also scored a remix with Justin Bieber. Tems caught the attention of top artists like Rihanna, Adele, SZA and more. She also released the record-breaking EP If Orange Was Place, which received critical acclaim. She also appeared as a lead on Canadian star Drake's record-breaking album Certified Lover Boy and contributed to the song Fountains.


Black coffee Burna boy Davido Diamond Platnumz Fally Ipupa Koffi Olomide times It's called Savage Wunderkind Yemi Alade

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