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Akon Biography

Akon Biography

Alioune Badara Thiam, better known by his stage name Akon (pronounced /ˈeɪkɒn/) is a Senegalese-American hip hop and R&B singer, songwriter, occasional rapper and record producer. Akon rose to fame in 2004 following the release of his single "Locked Up" from his debut album Trouble. His second album, Konvicted, earned him a Grammy Award nomination for the single "Smack That". He is the founder of Konvict Muzik and Kon Live Distribution. He is well known for singing hooks and has over 130 guest appearances and 21 Billboard Hot 100 songs to his credit. He is the only artist to ever accomplish the feat of holding both the number one and two spots simultaneously on the Billboard Hot 100 charts twice.

Although he was born in St. Louis, Aliaune Thiam -- aka Akon -- grew up in Senegal before he and his family (including his father, jazz percussionist Mor Thiam) returned to the United States and settled in New Jersey when he was seven. There he discovered hip-hop for the first time, as well as crime. He was eventually jailed, but he used the time to work on his musical ideas. Upon release, Akon began writing and recording tracks in a home studio. The tapes found their way to SRC/Universal, which eventually released Trouble, Akon's debut LP, in June 2004. The album was an interesting hybrid of Akon's raps and silky, West African-styled vocals with East Coast- and Southern-styled beats. The success of the song "Locked Up" raised Akon's profile, and he followed up in the fall of 2006 with Konvicted. Soon enough, two of the album's singles, "I Wanna Love You" and "Smack That," had made their way to the upper regions of the Billboard charts.

Akon's solo debut album, Trouble was released on June 29, 2004. It spawned the hit singles "Locked Up" and "Lonely," as well as "Belly Dancer (Bananza)," "Pot Of Gold," and "Ghetto". Akon served a three-year jail sentence for grand theft auto, an experience that inspired his "Locked Up".[8] "Locked Up" reached the top 10 in the U.S. and the top five in the UK. His manager Robert Montanez was shot to death following a dispute in New Jersey in December 2005. "Ghetto" became a radio hit when it was remixed by Green Lantern to include verses from legendary rappers 2Pac and The Notorious B.I.G. In 2005, he released the single "Lonely" (which samples Bobby Vinton's "Mr. Lonely"). The song reached the top five on the Billboard Hot 100, and topped the charts in Australia, the UK and Germany. His album also climbed to number one in the UK in April, 2005. When music channel The Box had a top ten weekly chart, which was calculated by the amount of video requests, Akon's "Lonely" became the longest running single on the top of the chart, spanning over fifteen weeks. Akon then released another single featuring with a New Zealand rapper, Savage with the single Moonshine, which had become a success in both New Zealand and Australia, becoming number one in the New Zealand charts. In 2005, Akon gained more popularity after being featured on Young Jeezy's debut album, Let's Get It: Thug Motivation 101, on the song "

In 2006-2007 Akon has had one of the most successful spans any singer has ever enjoyed with eleven songs in the Billboard Hot 100. Akon's second album, entitled Konvicted, was released on November 14, 2006. Konvicted included collaborations with Eminem, Snoop Dogg and Styles P. Late August 2006, Akon released the single "Smack That" featuring Eminem, from the album. This single peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 for five consecutive weeks. The music video for "Smack That" was directed by Raymond Garced. "I Wanna Love You", the second single off Konvicted, was released in September 2006. It is a collaboration between Akon and Snoop Dogg. This single earned Akon his first number-one single on the Billboard Hot 100, and Snoop's second. "I Wanna Love You" topped the U.S. charts for two consecutive weeks. In January 2007, Akon released his third single "Don't Matter" which earned him his first solo number one and second consecutive Hot 100 chart topper. "Mama Africa" was released as a European single in July 2007, making it the fourth single. It debuted in the UK at number 47. "Sorry, Blame It on Me" is the album's fifth single which debuted in August 2007, on the Hot 100 at number seven, which also happened to be a career best. The song is not available on the original album, but instead part of the Deluxe Edition of Konvicted, which came out August 28, 2007. The sixth and final single was confirmed in an interview by Akon to be "Never Took the Time". Konvicted debuted at number two on the Billboard 200, selling 286,000 copies in its first week. After only six weeks, Konvicted sold more than one million records in the U.S. and more than 1.3 million worldwide. The album was certified platinum after seven weeks, and after sixteen weeks it was certified double platinum. Konvicted was able to stay in the top twenty of the Billboard 200 for 28 consecutive weeks, where it peaked at number two on four different occasions. On November 19, 2007, the RIAA has certified the Konvicted album triple platinum status with 3 million units sold in th United States. Currently it has sold more than 4 million worldwide.


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