Nigeria’s biggest export to the world

Mosunmola Ogi-Olu

In the diverse world of cultures around the globe, music stands as one of Nigeria’s most significant exports, creating a vibrant melody that echoes far beyond its borders. AfroBeat as it is called has become a cultural sensation on the international stage.

Afrobeat has been famously described as a fusion of traditional African rhythms, highlife, jazz, funk, and other genres. It is characterized by complex percussion patterns, high-energy grooves, and the prominent use of brass instruments.

In recent times, Afrobeat has emerged as a powerful presence on the global stage, with Nigerian artists achieving great success and positively showcasing the continent internationally.

Global events now eagerly seek AfroBeat artists for music performances, captivating audiences of all backgrounds with the irresistible appeal of this musical genre.

In a recent event, Afrobeat artist Yemi Alade captivated audiences during the opening ceremony of the 2023 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) at the Alassane Ouattara Stadium in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

Credit: @yemialade on X

Three Nigerian artists, including Grammy-winning singer, songwriter, and producer Burna Boy, Grammy-winning and Oscar-nominated singer Tems, and rapper Rema, delivered an Afrobeats-themed performance during the 2023 NBA All-Star Game in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The gifted trio delivered a performance that made a lasting impact on audiences worldwide.

Burna Boy


Credit: @NBA_Africa on X

In a historic moment at the 2023 Ballon d’Or ceremony in Paris, Rema became the first Nigerian to grace the stage, performing at the prestigious event that annually recognizes the world’s top football players.

Highlighting yet another significant moment for the African continent, Nigeria, in particular, has made its presence felt on the global stage.


In 2022, Nigerian Afrobeat artist Davido took the stage at the closing ceremony of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, performing the World Cup theme song “Hayya Hayya” alongside other featured artists on the track.

Despite the Super Eagles’ inability to qualify for the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, following a loss on away goals to Ghana, Davido elevates Nigeria to the center stage with his captivating performance.

Apart from his show at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, in 2023, Nigerian Afrobeat sensation Davido earned three Grammy nominations for the upcoming 2024 Grammy Awards, once again shining a positive light on Nigeria and the African continent.

Tiwa Savage

At the coronation concert of King Charles lll and Queen Camilla in Windsor Castle held in 2023, Nigerian singer Tiwa Savage made history as the first Nigerian artist to perform at a royal coronation. She delivered a rendition of “Keys to the Kingdom,” her contribution to Beyoncé’s “The Lion King: The Gift” album.

That again provides another platform for Africa to shine on the global stage.

In 2022, Wizkid, the Nigerian singer, achieved a notable milestone by becoming the first African musician to headline Gamers 8 eSports in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He showcased his talent at the SoundStorm festival, sharing the stage with other international stars, and presenting Nigeria as a hub for the beauty of African talents.


Apart from receiving invitations to perform at global events, Nigerian artists have achieved considerable success by consistently selling out venues for their performances across various locations worldwide.

In 2023, Wizkid achieved a historic milestone by becoming the first African artist to sell out London’s Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. This achievement not only made history for Nigeria but also marked a significant moment for Africa, providing an opportunity for Wizkid to elevate African music to a global audience.

In 2018, during the Afrorepublik Festival in the UK, Wizkid achieved a historic milestone by becoming the first Nigerian artist to sell out London’s iconic O2 Arena, which has a capacity of 20,000. This momentous event marked a significant milestone in his career.

Following this sellout, a series of subsequent sold-out performances ensued, solidifying Wizkid’s status as a global music sensation.

Nigerian artist Asake has successfully sold out his concert at the prestigious O2 Arena in London, marking another milestone for African musicians.

During the event, Asake showcased his musical skills by,m treating fans to performances of his popular tracks, including the chart-topping hit “Lonely At The Top.”

The concert also featured special appearances by renowned artists such as Tiwa Savage, Fireboy, Fridayy, and Asake’s label boss, Olamide, who joined him on stage in a show of support and solidarity.

Reflecting on the experience, Asake took to his Twitter page, now known as X, expressing gratitude for the opportunity to share his music with a global audience, describing it asAn opportunity of a lifetime.”

In 2023, Asake achieved a groundbreaking milestone by becoming the first African artist to sell out the legendary Barclays Centre in New York, a venue with a capacity of 19,000 people.

This historic moment occurred during his “Work of Art” concert held at the Barclays Centre on September 9, 2023. Asake not only break records but also solidified his position as a prominent figure in the global music scene.

In 2024, the global music sensation Davido achieved another remarkable milestone as he sold out the renowned O2 Arena in London for the third time with his headline event, ‘Davido Invasion’.

The sold-out show at the O2 Arena not only reaffirmed Davido’s status as a dominant force in the music industry but also solidified his global appeal and influence.

Taking to his Instagram page, Davido expressed his gratitude to his fans for their support and for celebrating his Timeless show alongside him. The overwhelming response from his fans further demonstrated the immense popularity and demand for his music.

This recent achievement marks the third time Davido has successfully sold out the iconic O2 Arena, following his previous sold-out performances in January 2019 and March 2022.


In 2022, Burna Boy made history as the first African artist to headline a concert at New York’s prestigious Madison Square Garden, captivating an audience of over 20,000 attendees.

His monumental achievement not only celebrated Burna Boy’s success but also elevated Nigeria and the entire African continent on the global stage.

In 2023, Burna Boy continued his streak of success by selling out London’s London Stadium, boasting an impressive 80,000-capacity crowd in a thrilling concert. The announcement of the sell-out was confirmed by London Stadium’s management via Twitter, acknowledging Burna Boy’s record-breaking performance.

Adding to his list of accomplishments, Burna Boy became the first African artist to sell out Paris La Defense Arena in France, further solidifying his status as a music powerhouse. With a capacity of 40,000, Burna Boy’s sold-out show at the arena marked an unprecedented achievement for African artists.

These milestones not only showcase Burna Boy’s immense talent but also highlight his global appeal and influence in the music industry, cementing his name among the music superstars of our time.

In 2023, Rema made history by joining the ranks of musicians who have sold out London’s iconic O2 Arena, becoming the youngest African artist to achieve this milestone.

Expressing his gratitude, Rema posted a heartfelt appreciation message to Burna Boy for providing him with the opportunity to share the stage, affirming that it is now his time to conquer the same prestigious venue.

In 2018, Tiwa Savage made history as the first Nigerian female artist to headline her own major UK concert at the 3,000 capacity Indigo at the O2 Arena.

Her performance, titled “The Savage Tour,” marked her debut in the UK, drawing eager fans who were excited to witness this iconic moment. Tiwa Savage’s sold-out show further solidified her position among artists achieving remarkable success in their concert ventures.

In another unforgettable event, Tiwa Savage captivated the audience at the Brixton O2 Academy with a sold-out show, filling the 5000-capacity hall to the brim.

As the final stop of her “Garri & Water” World Tour across Europe, Tiwa Savage’s performance at Brixton Hall in London marked the culmination of her highly successful tour, leaving a lasting impression on her fans.

Yemi Alade embarked on a European tour, hosting successful concerts in multiple cities, including a sold-out show at the 1,500 capacity Melkweg center in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Her extensive touring schedule this year solidifies Yemi Alade’s position as one of the most active artists from the continent on the international stage.

The Nigeria music industry has been estimated to worth

A study by Statista in Nigeria reveals that Total revenue in the Music market is projected to reach US$4.40m in 2022. Total revenue is expected to show an annual growth rate (CAGR 2022-2027) of 12.43%, resulting in a projected market volume of US$8.03m by 2027.

The study shows the potentials of the music industry as one capable of job creation for the teeming youth population.

Burba Boy

According to a recent report by Statista, the Nigerian music industry is projected to grow by 12.43% between 2022 and 2027, reaching a market volume of US$8.03 million in 2027.

In 2022, music streaming platform Spotify disclosed that Nigerian artists generated over N11 billion in revenue from its platform alone. This figure represents a significant 74% growth year-on-year, surpassing the 64% revenue growth recorded by the entire Nigerian music industry in the same period.

Apart from revenue generated from touring and headlining events, Nigerian artists have also seen substantial income from royalty payments for streaming their music online.

Digital distribution platforms are playing a crucial role in assisting Nigerian artists with music promotion. These platforms enable artists to earn royalties from licensed copyrighted songs and recordings, serving as a primary source of income. Royalties represent payments made to asset owners for the use of their assets, with a “royalty interest” granting the right to collect a portion of future royalty payments. The emergence of digital streaming platforms such as Spotify, Apple Music, and Boomplay has significantly contributed to the growth of Afrobeats, making the genre more popular and in-demand. These platforms have facilitated the expansion of Afrobeats’ global reach, allowing Nigerian artists to penetrate foreign charts and cross international borders with their music.

Moreover, the presence of streaming platforms has not only expanded the audience and demand for Afrobeats but has also provided Nigerian artists with a means to reap the rewards of their hard work. By curbing piracy and offering transparent revenue tracking mechanisms, these platforms have made it easier for artists to monetize their music compared to traditional methods.

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