Yemi Alade is a Nigerian singer and songwriter who gained international acclaim in 2014 when she released her hit track, Johnny. The Afro-pop star since then became the toast of the African music industry and a household name with the song, which was followed by some more hits that stood her out in the rather busy and competitive African music scene.
Close to a decade since the release of her first album, Yemi still holds her grounds with a personality that seems ageless and music that is almost timeless. Of late, she has become a subject that many want to know more about, as questions keep ringing regarding her biography, music, and age.
Profile of Yemi Alade
- Full name:Yemi Eberechi Alade
- Date of birth: 13 March 1989
- Place of birth: Abia State, Nigeria
- Career: Singer and songwriter
- Most famous song: Johnny
Yemi Alade Was Born Into A Multi-ethnic Family
Yemi Eberechi Alade was born on 13 March 1989
The talented singer was brought up alongside six siblings; four brothers and two sisters. Among her siblings is Durojaiye Alade who has been commissioned an assistant superintendent of police (ASP). He followed in the footsteps of their father who is a former commissioner of police.
Since she was a little girl, Yemi was already interested in having a career as a musician. She was said to have started singing as a child in her church choir since the age of 12.
She Spent Her Childhood in Different Parts of Nigeria
If you are a lover of her music, one thing you must have noticed is that she has always infused many languages into her arts including Nigerian languages such as Igbo, Yoruba, and Hausa, and foreign languages most especially French and Swahili.
As a result of this, the questions always remain on her background; the places where she has grown up to allow her to learn so many languages. The singer was brought up in Nigeria where she was also born and spent her childhood. Nonetheless, because of the work of her father as a police officer which required him to constantly move to different parts of the country, she spent her childhood in different parts of the country.
Lagos, however, is the main place that she calls home since a better part of her life was spent in the busy and bustling city. Yemi Alade also got her secondary and tertiary education in Lagos from Victory Grammar School, Ikeja, and the University of Lagos respectively. While at the university, she studied and graduated with a degree in geography.
She Gained Fame With Her Very First Album
By the time Yemi Alade was set to release her first album, King of Queens in 2014, she was not exactly a novice in the industry because she had already taken part in music competitions in the past and had won the Peak Talent Show in 2009. It was after this that she was discovered by Taiye Aliyu who had founded a young music label, Effyzzie Music Group.
By the time her first album King of Queens was released in 2014, she had already gained fame thanks to Johnny which was released before the album. The album had 17 songs and featured other great artists including Chidinma, Selebobo, and Phyno. King of Queens earned her the Best R&B/Pop Album and Album of the Year nominations at the 2015 Headies Awards.
Since the release of her first album which has arguably remained her most successful thus far, the Nigerian Afropop singer has released some the following albums:
- Mama Africa (2016)
- Black Magic (2017)
- Woman of Steel (2019)
- Empress (2020)
Songs That Have Made Yemi Alade Everyone’s Favourite
1. “Johnny” Launched Her To Real Fame And International Recognition
Even though she had had some singles before she released what would be one of the biggest songs of 2013 in Africa, Johnny, that was the song that really made her a household name. As of the start of 2021, the song had already recorded more than 174 million views on YouTube. At a point, it became the most viewed Nigerian song on YouTube when it made 79 million views to take over P-Square’s Personally which had 78 million views on the platform in 2017.
The success of the song helped her to become the first African female artist to record one million subscribers to her YouTube channel. The King of Queens as she is fondly called achieved the feat in 2019 and took to her Instagram to announce the achievement. By the start of 2021, she had already recorded more than 1.6 million subscribers on the channel.
The success of the song was tied to the creativity that Alade infused in it as well as the humor and creativity she used. It brought her some accolades including two nominations at the 2014 Headies for Best Pop Single and Song of the Year. Yemi who is a lover of different languages also made a French version of the song which was also a remarkable success.
Her income from this track is not known, but it is known that it opened so many doors for her to perform on very big stages all over the world. More so, it helped her first album to sell over 100,000 copies.
2. Oh My Gosh Is Widely Celebrated Also
Yet another of Yemi Alade’s most famous songs is her 2018 track, Oh My Gosh. The song was released as part of her Woman of Steel album which earned her a Grammy consideration. Within a very short while after the track was released, it gained all the attention there was, and by the start of 2021, it had already amassed over 24 million views on YouTube, making it one of her most viewed songs on the platform.
The song has also gained her some important accolades. It won the Best Female Western Africa at the AFRIMMA Awards(African Muzik Magazine Awards) in 2018 and it also earned her a Best Female Artiste in Western Africa nomination at the AFRIMA Awards(All Africa Music Awards) in 2019.
3. Single & Searching Is Probably Her Biggest Song On Social Media
The number one song on her Black Magic album, Single & Searching is one of her most famous songs, most especially on various social media platforms including TikTok. The song which featured Falz became huge after it was used by fans for the viral Slo-mo challenge.
Although various other songs have been used for the viral slow-motion challenge, this song was among the biggest on TikTok among Africans. On YouTube, it recorded close to 10 million views by the start of 2021 since its release in 2017.
While Johnny is the song that birthed her into success as a musician, she has also had a good number of songs that have helped her maintain her place among the most talented musicians in Nigeria. Some of Yemi’s best songs include the following:
- Bum Bum (2017) –Black Magic Album
- Ferrari (2016)- Mama Africa
- Shekere feat. Angélique Kidjo (2019)- Woman of Steel
- Deceive feat. rudeboy (2020)- Empress
- Taking Over Me featuring Phyno (2014)- King of Queens
- Africa featuring Sauti Sol (2016)- Mama Africa
- Tangerine (2014)- King of Queens
- Na Gode featuring Selebobo (2016)- Mama Africa
Her Career Has Been Decorated With Many Awards
For all her hard work and creativity through the years, Yemi Alade has not just enjoyed massive airplay globally, she has also had many important nominations and awards to show. She came close to winning a Grammy in 2019 when she got nominated for Best World Music Album for her album, ‘Woman of Steel’.
Among the many accolades to her name, her awards include the following:
⦁ Headies- Hip Hop World Revelation of the Year (2015)
⦁ Nigeria Entertainment Awards- Female artiste of the year (2015)
⦁ AFRIMA Awards(All Africa Music Awards)- Best Female Artiste in Western Africa fir Kissing (2015)
⦁ MTV African Music Awards- Best Female (2015, 2016)
⦁ Independent Music Awards- Best Album-World Beat for Mama Africa (2016)
⦁ Soundcity MVP Awards- Best Female (2016)
⦁ Headies- Best Performer (2017, 2018, and 2019)
⦁ AFRIMA Awards(All Africa Music Awards)- Best Female Artiste- (2018)
Yemi Alade Is Currently 33 Years Old And She Has Recorded Some Important Milestones
Born on 13 March 1989, Yemi Alade is now 33 years old. The singer started singing professionally since she was a teenager, but it was in her 20s that she started making a more serious mark after she won the aforementioned Peak Talent Show in 2009. She won the award at the age of 20.
Yemi Alade released her most recognized song, Johnny in 2013 when she was 24 years old, followed by her first album a year later when she was 25 years old. While many would consider her success in music even before she reached this age, there are still those who would argue her real recognition began with the release of her first album at 25.