10 Things You Didn't Know About Burna Boy

Burna Boy isn’t who you think he is. From serving jail time in London to winning a Grammy award and even selling out stadiums worldwide, here are ten things you didn’t know about Burna.

Number 10 - He started making his own music at the age of 10


Burna Boy

While most kids were playing hide and seek or video games, Burna Boy was already chasing his musical dreams. 

Imagine a ten-year-old boy with an intense love for making tunes. He used a program called FruityLoops, borrowed from his classmates to create his own music. And that's not all! While still in school, Burna Boy formed a band that rocked the stage at thrilling concerts. He even became a DJ and MC, entertaining people at local events.

However, Burna Boy faced challenges early on in his musical career. People judged him and treated him unfairly because he was young and had an Afrocentric style. But he never gave up! He kept going, working hard to achieve success. 

Burna Boy's journey in music shows how talented and determined he is. He's an inspiration to young people everywhere who dream of a career in music. 

Number 9 - His grandfather worked closely with Fela Kuti

Where did Burna Boy's passion for music come from? Well, Burna Boy's love for music traces back to his extraordinary grandfather, Benson Idonije

This amazing man was in charge of a band and managed the renowned musician Fela Kuti, who had a huge impact in Africa. Idonije worked closely with Fela for many years, helping to spread his music and messages.

He worked hard to produce Fela's albums, organize tours, and introduce his music to more people. He also wrote about Fela's music and shared his thoughts in articles.

Thanks to Idonije's dedication, Afrobeat became famous worldwide and his contributions to Afrobeat are still celebrated today.  Fela's music inspired other musicians and became known all over the globe for its political and social messages.

Growing up, Burna Boy listened to Fela’s music, and it deeply influenced him. He even got a tattoo of Fela on his arm, showing his profound admiration for the late afrobeats legend.

Burna Boy aims to honor his grandfather's legacy by using his own music to promote African culture and identity. He wants to carry the torch forward, continuing the powerful impact of Fela Kuti's music.

Number 8 - He was born into a wealth family

Many people would not believe this, but contrary to his public image as a poor boy from Port Harcourt who turned to gangsterism, Burna Boy was actually born into a wealthy family.

His father owned a welding company, while his mother excelled in business and education. He attended private schools in Nigeria and two prestigious universities in the UK, which is not something that most people from humble backgrounds can afford to do.

Interestingly, Burna Boy has often presented himself as a hood boy. He has shared stories of his life in the slums and has also used his music to talk about street life and violence.

However, some people believe that Burna Boy's claims about his upbringing are exaggerated. They also say that his music is not actually about street life, but is more about his own personal experiences and struggles.

Whether or not Burna Boy was actually a hood boy, there is no doubt that he has come a long way from his humble beginnings. He is now one of the most successful musicians in Africa and his music is celebrated by fans all over the world.

Number 7 - His mother is his manager. 

Meet Bose Ogulu, a powerhouse mom who's been steering the ship for her talented son. She's been Burna Boy's manager for quite a while now, but it was around 2019 when she really grabbed the spotlight because Burna Boy was this close to snatching that Grammy!

But wait, there's more to this amazing lady than just being a manager. She is a savvy businesswoman and an educator. She's even worked as a translator for the Federation of West African Chambers of Commerce and as a lecturer at the University of Port Harcourt. 

Bose Ogulu is a strong and supportive mother who has helped Burna Boy to achieve success in his music career.  She has helped him to secure deals with record labels, book tours, and collaborate with other artists. She is also a close advisor to Burna Boy and helps him to make decisions about his music and his career.

If you want to get to him, you better go through his mama first. Yes, he's a true mama's boy, and he wears that badge with pride. 

Number 6 - He is an ex-convict. 

Burna Boy's past has been a rollercoaster of troubling incidents. He was once involved with a gang accused of murder, which led to his arrest and time behind bars. Despite being released for good behavior, he had to complete parole and community service. However, he defied the rules by traveling to Nigeria, resulting in a 15-year ban from entering the UK.

His reputation for confrontations and clashes continued, with a dramatic incident in 2022 adding fuel to the fire. During a disagreement at a club in Lagos, Burna Boy's police escorts allegedly fired shots. A journalist named David Hundeyin confirmed this shocking claim with evidence, including text message screenshots and victim statements.

Ultimately, the victims settled out of court, resulting in no criminal conviction for Burna Boy. Nonetheless, this ignited debates about his accountability, with calls for him to be stripped of awards and face performance bans.

These controversies, coupled with other allegations such as assault and controversial lyrics, have swirled around Burna Boy. Nevertheless, his popularity as an African artist remains steadfast, captivating audiences with his undeniable talent and unique style.

Number 5 - He was the first Nigerian artist to headline at UCL Final

Burna Boy made history in 2023 when he became the first Nigerian artist to perform at the UEFA Champions League final. The final was held in Istanbul, Turkey, and Burna Boy performed his hit song "Ye" before the match.

Burna Boy's performance was a major moment for African music. It showed that African artists are now being recognized on a global stage. It also helped to put Afrobeats on the map and showed the world that African music is here to stay.

And let me tell you, Burna Boy absolutely nailed it! His performance earned thunderous applause, both from critics who were left in awe and fans who were left screaming for more. 

Burna Boy himself said that it was "an honor" to perform at the final and that he was "proud to represent Africa."

Number 4 – He’s the first Nigerian artist to receive back-to-back Grammy nominations.

Burna Boy is not just a musical genius, but he's also a record-breaker and an award magnet. He made history as the first Nigerian artist to score not just one, but two Grammy nominations in a row. And guess what? He even took home the prestigious Grammy Award in 2021!

Let's break it down. In 2020, Burna Boy got nominated for the Best World Music Album for his incredible work, "African Giant." Although he didn't win that year (props to Angelique Kidjo for snagging the prize with her album "Celia"), he showed the world his undeniable talent.

But the story doesn't end there. Fast forward to 2021, and Burna Boy was back in the Grammy race. His album "Twice as Tall" got nominated for Best World Music Album, and guess what? He came out on top! He snagged that Grammy Award and made history as the first Nigerian artist to do so in over a decade. 

Burna Boy's award collection doesn't stop at the Grammys. He's scooped up some serious recognition at the BET Awards, the MTV Africa Music Awards, MTV Europe Music Awards, MOBO Awards, Brit Awards, NME Awards, and The Headies. And that's just naming a few! 

This man has a jaw-dropping trophy cabinet that would make anyone jealous.

Number 3 - Burna Boy became the first Afrobeat artist to sell out the OVO Arena Wembley 

Burna Boy made history when he became the first-ever Afrobeat artist to completely pack the OVO Arena Wembley in London, England, with a jaw-dropping capacity of 12,500 people. And guess what? Every single ticket was snatched up within hours!

This monumental concert was an absolute game-changer for Afrobeats music. It sent shockwaves through the industry, proving that the genre had skyrocketed enough to sell out a massive venue in the heart of London. It was an unforgettable moment that firmly established Burna Boy as one of Africa's most extraordinary superstars.

The concert was part of Burna Boy's "Love, Damini" tour, where he performed across the United States, Canada, and Europe. With a mix of his classic hits and fresh tracks, Burna Boy's performance was electric.

Number 2 - His first album sold thousands of copies 

His debut album, "L.I.F.E.," created a seismic impact, selling an astounding 50,000 copies on the very first day of its release in Nigeria. This extraordinary feat etched Burna Boy's name in Nigerian history as the fastest-selling debut album ever.

Critics and fans alike couldn't help but shower praise upon the album, recognizing its outstanding fusion of Afrobeats, reggae, and dancehall. It showcased Burna Boy's exceptional talent for blending genres seamlessly. The album also boasted collaborations with some of the most revered names in African music, including Wizkid, Olamide, and 2face Idibia. 

Burna Boy's success with "L.I.F.E." put him on the map as one of the most promising new artists in Africa.

Number 1 - He has a net worth of around $20 million!

Although Burna Boy implied that he made $100 million in 2022, according to various sources, his net worth is estimated to be around $20 million as of 2023.

Now, let's dig into how he's piling up the cash. 

Well, it's all thanks to his epic music career. You know those catchy tunes like "Rollercoaster," "Common person," and "Last Last"? They've been hitting the charts and filling his pockets. But that's not all! Burna Boy's also been stacking cash through touring, and savvy investments.  

When it's showtime at those fancy events, you better believe that our Afrobeat singer brings in the big bucks. He charges around $400,000 per performance, and let me tell you, he's rocked the stage at all the hottest spots. From the glamorous Grammy Awards to the legendary Hollywood Bowl, he's conquered them all.

Burna Boy is also Spotify royalty! He has almost 20 million monthly listeners. Can you even imagine that? With numbers like that, he's making bank—around half a million dollars every year just from Spotify alone.

Oh, and did I mention he's a brand ambassador too? Yes, Burna Boy's the face of multiple brands like Oraimo. He's also the poster boy for Mortell Cognac and Star Lager Beer. 

All in all, it's safe to say that Burna Boy is swimming in riches. And there's no doubt it'll keep on growing in the years ahead. 

So, there you have it! That's all for today's rundown of facts about Burna Boy. 

John Paul

John Paul is a senior editor at HotNaija. twitter

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