The year 2010 was a very memorable one for Nigerian music and without much preamble The Future Awards Nominated and extremely insightful writer/journalist Chilee Agunanna presents 101 of the most notable musical events, occurrences and happenstances that shaped the Nigerian musical landscape in 2010, The most complete review of 2010 – Exclusive to Questionmarkmag.com.
The marriages and weddings came in droves…
1. SAMMIE OKPOSO’S MARRIAGE: Finally it happened this year. The serial lover boy, multi-award winning gospel artist and Glo Ambassador, Samuel Okposo, who has gallantly galloped into his forties finally jammed the woman that could keep him. This was after so many speculations, expectations, guesses, a long list of celebrity romances and a daughter, Alula, from the irrepressible Elvina Ibru. The bride was the beautiful Ozioma (Nee Mkparu) and she dragged Sammie to her village in Nnewi, Anambra State and back to Lagos in a space of six days (Saturday, June 26 and Thursday, July 1, 2010) for the Traditional and White Weddings respectively.
2. MUMA GEE’S MARRIAGE: Muma Gee’s was another belated musical marriage. The makeup loving Afrotastic diva whose age can be put at any number between the thirties and forties was also reported to have finally hooked a man to herself. The man, obviously younger than her was the upcoming actor and budding model, Prince Eke. They have variously been seen together at events prior to and after the secret traditional marriage rites which purportedly took place in her hometown Odiabidi, Rivers State, during the month of August this year.
3. JEREMIAH GYANG’S MARRIAGE: The “Na Ba Ka” crooner was another musician who settled down with his sweetheart this year. Back in their home city of Jos and witnessed by just a few friends and family members, Jeremiah said I do to his P.A, Ladi at a ceremony held on Sunday, August 8, 2010.
4. AY. COM’S MARRIAGE: AY. Com’s love did not pass him this year as he joined the list of married artists in Nigeria with his wedding to former Miss Joy Albert in Maryland, Lagos on Saturday, December 4.
5. COBHAMS’ MARRIAGE: The talented blind producer who has also had a few notable romances including one with actress, Kemi Lala Akindoju, ended up his bachelorhood this year. He finally said goodbye to bachelorhood this year and took his girlfriend of sometime now, former Miss Ojuolape Veronica Olukanni, back home after a marriage service at the Christ is Coming Soon Parish, Redeemed Camp on the Lagos Ibadan Expressway on Thursday, December 2, 2010.
6. KWEEN ONAKALA WEDS: The “Jebele” crooner finally said I do to her long time sweetheart, Dotun Omotoye, on Tuesday, December 21, 2010. They have been together for a long time now and have a son.
7. STEEL WEDS: Singer, Sexy Steel got married to his UK-based lover, Omolua Falua, on Saturday, December 18, 2010. She is the mother of his two children.
8. CYNTHIA OKPALA WEDS: This was probably one of the weddings that took a host of admirers by surprise. The young MTV VJ Search winner after enjoying a couple of high profile relationships (one was with Dominic Mudabai of GUS 6), was revealed to be getting married. Very few people still took her seriously but on Saturday, October 23, 2010, at a low profile event held at the Sheraton Hotels Ikeja, she publicly tied the knot with Mr. Ozoemena Mbanefo and continued with her life.
9. KC PRESH WEDS: KC Presh’s Kingsley Okonkwo didn’t get married to his long term girlfriend, actress, Ebube Nwagbo as many expected rather he opted for Ijeoma Oduah and they wedded on Saturday, April 24, 2010.
10. ROGBA MARRIES: The C.E.O of KNIGHTHOUSE as Aderogba Arimiro is more popularly known wedded in December at the Archbishop Vining Memorial Cathedral, Ikeja, Lagos.
11. SAINT JANET WEDS: The self-acclaimed leader of Sinners Chapel, Saint Janet got married to her heartthrob, Olukayode Samuel Iyun at the Oke-Odo registry in Lagos on Thursday, May 20, 2010.
12. TUVI JAMES: He is primarily known as an actor but Tuvi James earns a spot on the music review courtesy of his newly released album, TUVI ON FIRE. He got married to a South African model, Tshimologo Igwebe on Sunday, December 19.
13. BELLA ADENUGA WEDS: The wedding of billionaire, Mike Adenuga’s favourite daughter, Bella to Jameel Disu also gets a mention here because of the musical news it generated. Firstly, it was rumoured that Beyonce was being flown in to perform and all musical antennas switched to their highest frequency. But when the still very successful wedding took place on Saturday, April 24, 2010, it was the Mo’ Hits, Darey, Shuga Band and Chidynma that had the stage.
BAD NEWS and CONTROVERSIES
So many bad news, deaths, controversies, disagreements and a major divorce series…
14. DA GRIN’S DEATH: This was unarguably the lowest point of 2010 for Nigerian music. The Chief Executive Omoita, Da Grin, was involved in a ghastly motor accident on the night of Wednesday, April 14, 2010 where he rammed his newly-bought Nissan Maxima 3.5 SE into a stationary cement truck in front of Alakara Police Station, Mushin, Lagos. He was later admitted to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital where he finally gave up the ghost on the evening of Thursday, April 22, 2010. He was 25 years old and the amount of grief that poured out at his burial at the Atan Cemetery was last seen during Fela and Abiola’s burials.
15. 9ICE SEPARATES FROM TONI PAYNE: The impunity, high-handedness, selfishness and effrontery that went into this act haunted the music industry for the entire 2010. 9ice and his advisers decided to serve us a Press Release of his separation from his wife of barely two years in the very first week of the New Year as if it was good news. That they have agreed to go their separate ways and that their son would reside with the wife and that their privacy should be respected and that they would not be granting any interviews as regards it and so on and so forth. Later revelations showed that the wife was never part of the plans to put such a dish out but the story borne by the Press Release which came out on Friday, January 8, 2010, was the first music news of 2010 and it was bad news.
16. 9ICE VS RUGGEDMAN: The 9ice and Toni Payne separation story quickly became a tripartite arrangement as 9ice’s album, TRADITION, gradually gathered pace in the market. A track on it, entitled, “Once Bitten Twice Shy” quickly became an object of interest as people began dissecting the lyrics. In it 9ice has described how he caught his babe giving his best friend “nodding.” The descriptions in the song seemed to point to rapper, Ruggedman, who was Toni’s friend and the person that introduced her to 9ice. Ruggedman made the song a case and demanded that 9ice offer an explanation of who he was singing about because eyes were on him. This case is still open as more heads are being roped in. Ruggedman had his protégé, Chinaydu drop a track entitled, “Ingrate” while 9ice featured his own ALAPOMEJI artist, Seriki to record, “Talk I’m Listening” for Ruggedman on his birthday, September 20. Ruggedman then added the track, “A Word is Enough for the 9ice” in his recently released album, UNTOUCHABLE, which dropped on November 26, 2010.
17. THE TELEPHONE CONVERSATION: In October, the 2010 musical calendar already heavily punctuated by fallouts of 9ice’s separation with his wife received another impression. Rapper, Ruggedman, who had been imploring 9ice to clear the air on the identities of the persons referred to in his song “Once Bitten, Twice Shy” went ballistic by releasing the transcript and audio of his private telephone chat with 9ice to the public through the print and web media.
18. ASA’S ARREST STORY: After the year opened with the unwelcome news of 9ice’s marriage breakup, it was inevitable that more bad news could hit the music industry in the country and it came in the shape of the arrest story of none other than the petite songbird, Asa. Rumours about her arrest at London’s Heathrow Airport surfaced from nowhere a little bit 9ice’s separation from his wife. She quickly dispelled of the story in an interview with Beat FM’s Gbemi Olateru Olagbegi on Tuesday, January 12, 2010 together with the gay tales surrounding her and her manager, Janet Nwose.
19. SAMMIE OKPOSO’S ARREST IN SCOTLAND: Sammie Okposo took his wife on honeymoon and ended up being arrested. He was charged with “Disturbing the Peace” and acting in a “Racially aggravating manner” after acting up in a Jimmy Chung Restaurant on Aberdeen’s Beach Esplanade and appeared in a Scottish court as a result. Sammie on his part stated that the manager of the restaurant, Mr. Ronny Shui Hung Yung, assaulted his wife and that he was defending her. This incident occurred on Wednesday, July 7, 2010, barely a week after their wedding.
20. COSON Vs MCSN: On Tuesday, May 20, 2010, the Adebambo Adewopo-led Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC) recognized the Copyright Society of Nigeria (COSON) headed by Tony Okoroji as the sole Collective Management Organisation (CMO) in Nigeria. They would be the only body in charge of collecting royalties for music and sound records in the country and others bodies were asked to join it. These other bodies were: Wireless Application Service Providers Association of Nigeria and the Musical Copyright Society of Nigeria. The former has gone under quietly while the MCSN led by the enigmatic Charly Boy and Mayo Ayilaran have refused to give up and this has led to a continued tussle for the rights to the collections of the royalties of Nigerian artists. Most organizations still don’t pay because they are confused as to whom to pay to while those that do pay to either COSON or MCSN. We don’t know who has more clients.
21. THE WAR ON TWITTER: Having chosen not to grant any interviews to the press as regards the reasons for their separation, 9ice went on with his music while Toni continued with her artists. But on Thursday, September 9, 2010, they went on a Twitter rant where they called each other all sorts of names and raised up the issues of the manager, Oladeinde Fajana, who Toni accused of being a homosexual and wrecking her marriage and the song, “Talk I’m Listening” on 9ice’s album, which has been the bone of contention all year.
22. THE BURNING OF ULTIMA STUDIOS: The multi-million studio which was home to Who Wants To Be A Millionaire and MTN Project Fame West Africa was gutted by fire on the night of Sunday, August 22, 2010. The fire raised the studio owned by Mr. Femi Ayeni and located at Omole, Lagos to the ground. The MTN Project Fame which was on course then and had its remaining contestants housed there had to relocate after they and the staff of the studio escaped with their lives.
23. D’BANJ AND GLO PART WAYS: It came in rumours but turned out to be true – the Kokomaster finally ceased to be a Globacom ambassador this year. This happened towards the end of October after a breakdown in contract discussions. Glo has previously had problems with D’ banj last year when he made various highhanded demands during the Glo Campus Tour that the telecom giants weren’t willing to meet. The alliance then ended this year allegedly because D’ banj demanded an upward review of his N70 million deal after Glo signed P-Square for N240 million.
24. ALABA KING OF PIRATES FACES THE LAW: On Tuesday, February 11, 2010, Mr. Tony Onwujekwe popularly called the Alaba King of Pirates was arraigned before a Federal High Court in Ikoyi for his deeds. Present at the event were most of the industry heavyweights as the man who was caught with the pirated works of virtually all the artists in this country and beyond faced justice.
25. TIMAYA AND TERRY G CAUSE A RIOT IN LONDON: One of the major shows packaged by the Nigerian community during the Independence Celebrations apart from the Nothinghill Carnival in London was the Carnival Music Festival which was organized by DJ Douglas for Bank Holiday Monday, August 30, 2010. It was to feature Timaya and Terry G as the major acts but both of them failed to turn up and this led to a breakdown in law and order in the Troxy area of London where the event was to hold. Timaya made it to London but refused to attend the show or perform unless the balance of his fee was paid him while Terry G didn’t get his visa in time.
26. TERRY G AND SIDEONE: They both made one of the biggest hits of 2009 in the song, “One By One” which is actually owned by Sideone. But as obtainable in most collabos, any of the artists could perform it at a show but the main owner of the song could withdraw the right if he feels so. Probably this has happened already but Terry G refused to stop performing it and at a show organized by Edo Boy, Slizzy E, in Benin, Sideone accosted Terry G because of this but ended up being beaten to coma by Terry G’s boys, House of Ginjah. This happened in the wee hours of Saturday, September 28, 2010.
27. TERRY G’S ACCIDENT: Barely a week after the fight in Benin, Terry G was involved in a car accident. He was on his way home, after hanging out with friends in Ikeja, Lagos, when he ran the Toyota Camry he was driving into the road demarcation around Chemiron, close to Sunday Market, in Ogba. The car was a write-off but Terry G and the occupants which included another member of the House of Ginjah were taken to Triumph Hospital Ikeja where they stayed till Wednesday, September 8, 2010.
28. The RETURN OF EEDRIS ABDULKAREEM: Whatever business Eedris feels he had with the industry must be finished by now. With his album entitled, UNFINISHED BUSINESS, the “Jaga Jaga” crooner failed to regain whatever seat he may have been calling his throne. There are so many wonderful musicians in the country now and even those that we would be willing to call kings are not claiming such. So with his, “Calabar Girl” featuring Kenny Ogungbe being the biggest track on his latest album, there was no way we were going to crown him any king whether musical or whatever in this country. A quarrel with former Super Eagles captain, Jay Jay Okocha at his “Number 10” nightclub on the island on the night of Goldie’s album listening party did not help his cause.
29. IKECHUKWU FIGHTS AT TRIBECA: Rapper, Ikechukwu took out his frustrations on the bouncers at Rehab Night Club on the night of Saturday, December 11, 2010. He fought shamelessly in public as he was refused entry into the club.
30. WANDE COAL’S NAKED PICTURES: This was another very low point of 2010. Pictures of the beloved chubby Mo’ Hits artist, Ojosipe Wande Coal, sleeping and lying stark naked first appeared on Twitter on Wednesday, July 15, 2010 and as the buzz spread, Wande Coal began trending. Nobody owned up to first uploading the pictures but Mo’ Hits immediately ran helter-skelter to arrest the crisis. They issued a statement disclaiming the pictures as those of Wande but everyone knew who it was and the young man is yet to fully recover from the trauma.
31. IKECHUKWU LEAVES MO’ HITS: Rapper Ikechukwu Onunaku who is simply known as Onunaku left his record label, STORM RECORDS, for the Mo’ Hits last year. He went on to release three very successful singles all produced by Don Jazzy, but in September this year, news came that he had left the Mo’ Hits crew again. Rumours then followed that he had fought with or beaten up D’ banj and this had left to his expulsion from the group. Then the Mo’ Hits through their manager, Sunday Are came out to say that Ikechukwu was never signed on to the label at all.
32. AYINDE BARRISTER: Barry Wonder as he is fondly called finally succumbed to the cold hands of death on the morning of Thursday, December 16, 2010. He had been hospitalized abroad for some time now and was aged 62.
33. HOWIE T AND SKUKI PART WAYS: The October week which began on Sunday 17 saw the story that popular show promoter and manager of the young music duo, Skuki, who had been named the Next Rated acts at the Hip Hop World Awards 2010 had parted ways with the group. He cited unseriousness on the part of the brothers as his major reason but a couple of weeks later, Mr. Daniel Attiogbe, CEO of Daphella Entertainment which originally signed Skuki, rejected the story and stated that the problem was between Howie T and the record label rather than the boys.
34. KSA AND EBENEZER OBEY IN ONE NIGHT STAND: We don’t know what happened but the mouthwatering clash of the musical titans entitled the One Night Stand and originally slated to hold on Friday, October 22, 2010 at the Expo Centre was postponed and later suspended. Till now no real explanation has been proffered by the organizer, Azuka Jebose of Faaji Concepts.
35. CLARENCE PETERS FIGHTS WITH D’ BANJ: This happened on Monday, October 18 at the Ikeja studios of photographer … venue of the shoot of the video of the MTV Independence Anniversary Song. The Kokomaster was reported to have insulted the ace video director for overbilling him for the shoot of the video of his song, “Scapegoat.”
36. THE DEATH OF SAZZY OMONBUDE: The news of the death of the upcoming rapper and music producer shocked the Nigerian music world on the morning of Saturday, October 23, 2010. He was based in Abuja and aged 26 at the time of his death.
37. DENRELE AND CHARLYBOY GAY TALES: These two eccentrics released pictures that depicted them kissing each other in October this year. A lot of people took it on face value but what actually happened was that last year when Charlyboy did the first edition of his magazine, he and Denrele were on the cover. The pictures released this year were part of that photoshoot but not many bothered to investigate preferring to feed the public with whatever news they had.
38. NIGEZIE PULLS OUT OF HI TV: After the withdrawal of the rights to the English Premiership were withdrawn from HiTv, Kwame and his Nigezie outfit also pulled out and the outfit had to source for another music channel to satisfy its audience.
39. KEL AND CAPITAL HILL: One of the major quarrels of the year was between rapper Kel and the Clarence Peters owned Capital Hill Records. She fell out with them and this stunted her musical growth as her songs and videos were pulled off air and she couldn’t do any major musical work. However, SOULMATE, appointed her an ambassador and she has still retained most of her fans as we await her next year.
40. GT THE GUITARMAN LEAVES STORM RECORDS: GT the Guitarman said goodbye to Storm Records after releasing his debut album with them. He has gone on to form his own label named, Ember Records and has released a couple of singles already. He revealed that he signed a three-year contract with them in 2005 and only stayed a couple of years more to grow more.
41. SHAKOMENDED’S WIFE’S ILLNESS: Upcoming musical act, Lanre “Shakomended” Fakeye was struck with a bigger challenge than he could manage alone as his young wife, Tomilayo, was diagnosed with a kidney disease. He called out for help and in May 2010, a large number of his fellow musicians including Ras Kimono, Kefee, Sunny Nneji, Sammie Okposo, Sound Sultan and so many others held a show tagged the: Tomi Alive Concert at the LTV premises in Lagos to raise part of the N6 million needed for her surgery.
42. MUSICIANS FOR PRESIDENT JONATHAN: It wasn’t just a case of musicians but quite a number of Nigerian musicians came out to publicly show their support for the president’s presidential ambition. Musicians like Sammie Okposo, Onyeka Onwenu, D’banj and Zaaki Azzay among others have already recorded both commissioned and uncommissioned campaign songs for him and when he formally declared on Saturday, September 18 more of them plus actors and so many others were in Abuja for the show.
Watch Out for Part 2 with with reviews of AWARDS, CELEBRATIONS, SHOWS, ACHIEVEMENTS, ENDORSEMENTS, TALENT HUNTS COMPETITIONS and THE STARS THAT WERE MADE.
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