Akon was once one of the most popular hip-hop musicians in the world before he suddenly disappeared from the spotlight.
Having worked with many of the most popular artists of his generation such as Michael Jackson and Snoop Dogg, nobody could have expected that Akon would nearly abandon his musical career.
During his time away from the public eye, Akon was working on projects even bigger than anything he had worked on before.
What Happened To Akon?
Akon stepped away from his music career as a singer to focus on his work as a philanthropist who works on bringing basic needs to vulnerable communities across Africa.
The Senegalese singer was motivated to put his musical career on hold after discovering that many of the charities claiming to help African communities weren’t successful.
After doing more research into what separated a successful charity from an unsuccessful charity, Akon found that it was necessary to have African executives in charge of these nonprofit organizations.
Many of the foreign charities that claim to help African citizens come with policies and stipulations that the citizens must follow in order to receive help.
Akon believes by having three African executives leading his philanthropic efforts, they have managed to find the necessary leaders who have personal connections to their cause and lack ulterior motives.
Through the success and fame Akon has found in his music career, he managed to become a major positive influence across Africa.
Akon’s organization is called Lighting Africa and serves 15 countries by providing access to electricity and improving public infrastructure.
Lighting Africa was so successful that Akon was able to launch another charity called Konfidence Foundation, which serves underprivileged African children.
The popular singer hopes to help African countries advance to the point where they can regularly attract tourism and begin to earn more money, which in turn will allow the countries to have more money for improving the lives of their citizens.
In Akon’s eyes, his main career is working as a philanthropist, and he simply uses his successful music career to channel more money and recognition to his charity organizations.
Since focusing on his philanthropy, Akon has become a producer for artists while working on his own bilingual music.
This artist has willingly sacrificed popularity in the name of charity.
What City Does Akon Own?
Akon owns Akon City, which he announced on Instagram in a picture of him holding the rights to a city in his home country of Senegal.
The popular singer agreed to purchase the city in order to bring more tourism to Senegal.
Akon City now has plans to become a fully sustainable city where tourists can enjoy the culture and people of Senegal without having to feel guilty about their vacation’s impact on the environment.
This major land purchase was settled shortly after Akon released his own cryptocurrency called Akoin.
Akoin was created to help bolster the economies of African countries where their local currency had been affected by steep inflation or corrupt governments.
However, the plans for Akon City came well before the cryptocurrency craze.
Akon originally announced his plans for the city when Senegal’s President Macky Sall gave the musician 2,000 acres of land right outside the country’s new international airport.
During an interview with Nick Cannon on Power 106 Los Angeles, Akon explained that Akon City was going to be at least 10 years in the making and would be entering its second phase by 2025.
In the same interview, Akon discussed why celebrities holding on to billions of dollars felt like a waste to him.
The musician felt that having all that money sit in the back of a bank while people were suffering and starving was beyond his comprehension.
To help fund his work in Akon City and other cities across the continent, Akon expanded the Akon Lighting Africa Initiative to create the Akon Lighting America Initiative.
This secondary organization focuses on creating sustainable energy sources across the United States and invests the profits made from their efforts back into Africa.
Akon wants to improve the planet through his environmental and humanitarian efforts.
Does Akon Have Any New Music?
This multilingual musician wrote and performed his new album in Spanish and included multiple other popular Spanish-speaking musicians such as Pitbull, Anitta, Farruko, and Becky G.
Akon plans on diversifying his discography to include multiple genres of music that are popular all over the world because he believes that his fanbase wants music as diverse as they are.
The singer felt that not all of his fans were into rap or R&B, so he wanted to make more music catering to a variety of audiences.
On October 25th of 2019, Akon dropped his Afrobeats album Akonda, coming only 21 days after his Latin album.
Similar to the first return album, Akon wanted to work alongside his favorite Afrobeat and Afrobeat-inspired musicians.
Akonda features 10 songs and guest artists such as Afro B, Olamide, and Skales.
At the time of releasing El Negreeto and Akonda, Akon had promised two more upcoming rap albums called Konnect and The Konnection.
Sadly, these albums never saw the light of day. Fans were concerned that Akon had once again stepped away from the music scene until August of 2022 when Akon dropped a new rap single called Enjoy That.
This first single is part of a seven-song musical project called Ain’t No Peace, which is meant to replace Konnect and The Konnection.
These songs are meant to reflect the difficult times occurring around the world today.
Akon felt that it was important for him to speak on the pressing matters occurring around the world through his music rather than simply through his words or interviews.
He knows that his fanbase connects with him best through his music and hopes to encourage them to care.
Does Akon Still Perform?
Yes, Akon is set to return to the live, international stage at Fridayz Live 2022, which is a popular Australian music festival.
This Senegalese singer was one of the multiple musicians in the lineup who first found fame in the 1990s and was incredibly popular during the early 2000s.
Aside from Akon, Fridayz Live 2022 featured TLC, Mackelmore, Shaggy, Craig David, Ashanti, Dru Hill, Jay Sean, Lumidee, Havana Brown, and Resident DJ Yo! Mafia.
Akon’s first Australian performance is set to occur on November 4th of 2022 at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne.
The Fridayz Live 2022 tour will continue to HBF Park in Perth, the Adelaide Entertainment Centre, and the Brisbane Showgrounds.
The tour will end at the Giants Stadium in Sydney. Prior to his Australian tour, Akon created and hosted the Atlanta Jollof Music and Food Festival in July of 2022.
This one-day event included Afrobeat and Caribbean DJs, a Jollof contest judged by Akon and other highly esteemed cultural tastemakers, live music performances, food, art, and dancing.
Jollof is a one-pot rice dish that is popular across West Africa and contestants were split into teams to win key prizes.
The Atlanta Jollof Music and Food Festival was held in Piedmont Park and a portion of the proceeds went toward the Akon Lighting Africa Initiative.
This family-friendly event was a hit with the Atlanta locals.
There were live performances from Rotimi, Afro B, Nana Hofi, Nektunez, Focalisti, and Salma Slims.
Their DJs included E Cool, Fly, Kash, Vque, Mix Masta Chu, Chicca, Sam Q, Shine the Best, Smashkash, Dancer Vybz, and Mix Masta Zulu.
Akon wanted to bring this festival to Atlanta to introduce locals to the beauty of West African culture, especially during a time when West African media and cuisine have become more mainstream than ever.
Why Does Akon Defend Kanye West?
Akon has been defending fellow rapper Kanye West recently because he appreciates the work that West does for the homeless community through his YEEZY line.
Kanye West released his Yeezy and GAP collaboration and decided to use containers that looked like trash bags to display his latest clothing line.
The general public became upset with the controversial rapper because they felt that having his fans, who are financially well enough off to afford new clothing, rummaging through the bags is offensive to the homeless people who have to dig through the trash for their basic needs.
Akon felt that anyone criticizing Kanye West without helping the homeless crisis themselves was a hypocrite.
The Senegalese rapper feels that West doesn’t need to apologize for selling his clothes this way because he feels that West was just trying to uniquely display his clothing at GAP.
Akon feels that West’s display can help bring attention to the struggles that homeless people face on a regular basis.
From a musician who paused their career to take care of their home country, Akon feels that the opinionated public could be doing a lot more good by rolling up their sleeves and supporting their local homeless organization or shelter.
In late 2021, Kanye West met with Los Angeles city leaders to discuss his plans to help out the local homeless community.
A week before he had met with city officials, Ye had donated 1,000 meals to the nonprofit L.A. Missions.
During his visit with L.A. Missions to drop off his donation, West admitted that he was there to speak with the organization’s leader Reverend Troy Vaughn about his four different plans to improve the lives of the homeless.
The rapper wants to use his connections with major businesses to help the homeless community.
What Song Made Akon Famous?
Akon was made famous after releasing Lonely, which was the song that had originally caught the attention of Universal Music label SRC Records and earned Akon his initial contract.
To create the hit song, Akon sampled the 1964 Number 1 hit single Mr. Lonely by Bobby Vinton.
Lonely led Akon to the first position among 10 different countries’ top song lists and hit number four on the United States Billboard Hot 100.
No one expected the track to do as well as it did, but it went on to become one of the most common ringtones in the world.
One of Akon’s most popular songs is I Wanna Love You, which features legendary rapper Snoop Dogg.
This song was played on repeat across popular radio stations throughout all of 2006 and became Akon’s first single to make it on the Billboard Hot 100.
During the 50th Grammy Awards in 2008, I Wanna Love You was nominated for Best Rap/Sung collaboration and eventually peaked at number 14 on the Billboard Hot 100.
While Akon has collaborated with the best-known musicians across multiple genres and languages, no collaboration compares to the one for Hold My Hand.
Hold My Hand featured Michael Jackson and is considered to be the best love song Akon has ever written.
The Prince of Pop and Akon recorded this hit duet in 2007 and the song became an international hit, becoming especially popular in Denmark, the United Kingdom, Norway, and Switzerland.
This song is all about Akon attempting to convince the love of his life to hold his hand by promising to do whatever it takes to keep their love alive.
Hold My Hand reached number 39 on the Billboard Hot 100 and number 33 on the United States Billboard Hot R&B/ Hip-Hop Songs.
What Is Akon’s Full Name?
Akon’s full birth name is Aliaune Damala Dakha Bouga Time Puru Nacka Lu Lu Lu Badara Akon Thiam, which clears up any confusion on why the popular singer and rapper would want to go by a simple stage name.
This Senegalese singer was born on April 30th of 1973 in St. Louis, Missouri, but his family moved back to Senegal shortly after his birth.
Akon spent his early childhood growing up in Senegal as the son of legendary percussionist and jazz musician Mor Thiam.
His father was an expert Djembe player, which is a traditional African drum, and fueled Akon’s passion for sharing African music with the world.
The Thiam family moved back to the United States when Akon was seven years old and decided to settle in Jersey City, New Jersey.
While growing up in Jersey City, Akon found hip-hop after he began to hang around the local thugs.
The local thugs were a bad influence on Akon, who began to sell everything from test questions for every test to guns and ammunition.
Akon was expelled from Snyder High School after they busted him, and he went on to attend Bayonne High School. Shortly after changing schools, Akon was arrested for armed robbery and drug distribution.
In prison, Akon began writing his own music and was able to record the tracks once he was released.
Thanks to his father’s work as a musician, his family had a home recording studio, and Akon was able to focus on his music.
In 2004, Akon released his LP Trouble, which contained hits such as Ghetto, Pot Of Golden, Belly Dancer (Banzana), Locked Up, and Lonely.
Locked Up earned him a Sixshot Award for Best Single of 2004. During the early 2000s, Akon was the artist to collaborate with if you wanted an international hit.
How Many Wives Does Akon Have?
Akon reportedly has at least three wives and nearly had a fourth wife before his former fiancée Rachel Ritfeld decided to call off their relationship right before they planned to get married.
She decided to call off her engagement after she realized that she would be sharing her husband with three other women at the time.
The reality check came for the American model when Akon told her that one of his wives had his fifth child.
Ritfeld had known that Akon practices polygamy, which was common throughout African households.
Akon first opened up about his personal belief during an interview with Angie Martinez on her radio show in the mid-2000s.
The singer told Martinez that polygamy was much more common in Africa and that he could have as many wives as he could afford, pointing to the fact that his father has four wives.
Rachel Ritfeld didn’t feel that she could handle having to share the man she loved with other women and their children.
According to Ritfeld, Akon has wives that live all over the world, and they all have children with the singer.
Despite appearing during the filming of Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood with Tricia Ana, Akon is longer on the show because he asked to be taken out of it.
While they were recording, Ana broke up with him on camera.
This was especially embarrassing for Akon, who had spent $1 million on his girlfriend and fiancée.
The pair had even had a private wedding in Africa, despite never legally being acknowledged as a married couple.