Today, July 10, marks the birthday of one of the greatest living legends in Ghana and African music, Michael Owusu Addo, popularly known in the showbiz arena as Sarkodie. He is 33 years old (don’t rely on Wikipedia).
‘King Sark’, as he is affectionately addressed by his SarkNation fan army, rose to prominence in 2010 with his debut hit “Babe” featuring Mugeez of R2Bees fame, scooping 5 awards at that year's Ghana Music Awards including the “Artiste of the Year” award.
The multifaceted rap performer’s story isn’t different from others – he has endured hardships like most of us. He has never had an easy career.
He started his career as a battle rapper while working under legendary producer Da Hammer before transitioning into a commercial rapper.
As today marks his birthday, Pulse Ghana’s David Mawuli has gathered 10 great things the SarkCess Music record label owner has done to put his country, Ghana, on the world map.
1. First Ghanaian artiste to win BET Awards
In 2012, Sarkodie jointly won the “Best International Act: Africa” award with Nigeria’s Wizkid at the 12th BET Awards in California, becoming the first Ghanaian rapper to ever win the prestigious award. D-Black made the first attempt in 2011 but failed.
Sarkodie so far has 3 BET Awards nominations to his credit.
2. Appeared on BET Cypher twice
After debuting on Ghana’s first BET Cypher with Reggie Rockstone, D-Black, Kwaku T, Lady G, Tinny, and Edem, Sarkodie had a chance to become the first rapper to appear on the cypher twice.
In 2012, Sarkodie was profiled alongside 42 US-based rappers including top MCs like Snoop Dogg (Lion), DMX, T.I, Talib Kweli, E40 and Wu-tang veteran RZA on the year's cypher.
A great achievement for him.
3. International collaborations
Sarkodie, through his numerous international collaborations, has connected Ghana to the world in a way no rapper of his calibre can do. So far, he holds the record of collaborating with more international artistes than any Ghanaian musician.
He has worked with top artistes across the globe – from Nigeria to South Africa to Tanzania to Morocco to the United States to the United Kingdom.
Sarkodie has worked with the likes of Big Narstie (UK), Sway (UK), Acehood (US), Diamond Platnumz (Tanzania), Flavour (Nigeria), Korede Bello (Nigeria), Victoria Kimani (Kenya), Tiwa Savage (Nigeria), Davido (Nigeria), Micasa (South Africa), Ice Prince (Nigeria) and other top international artistes.
4. History at Apollo Theatre
In 2015, Sarkodie became the first Ghanaian solo artiste to ever hold a sold-out concert at the iconic Apollo Theatre in New York. The venue which is noted for African-American performers has had the likes of Michael Jackson, The Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and Elton John hold successful concerts.
5. YouTube viewership record
So far, he is the only African rapper with the highest YouTube video views. His video for “Adonai”, an Afrobeats single featuring Castro, has over 54 million views.
6. Twitter verification
8 years ago, when Twitter verification added more value to brands, Sarkodie become the first Ghanaian entertainer to grab the prestigious blue badge.
7. Made Ghana proud at Harvard University
In 2016, he enriched his life story when he had the rare privilege to address some students of the Harvard Business School in the US state of Massachusetts, one of the world’s most prestigious educational institutions.
The rapper, who was invited to address a conference of students themed ‘The Art Of The Hustle’, shared his life experiences as one of Africa’s successful musicians.
8. International tours
From album tours to headlining concerts, Sarkodie has toured over 17 countries, making him one of the busiest Ghanaian artistes of all time.
9. Social media following
No doubt that Sarkodie has the highest social media following in Ghana, with more international followers as well. He has over 5 million followers on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram combined.
10. Local and international awards
Sarkodie reportedly has the most awards as a rapper in Africa. He has won 78 awards so far in his career. His awards include MTV Base Africa, Headies, Ghana Music Awards, AFRIMA, EMY Awards and BET Awards.