Akon

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Akon made his multi-platinum debut in 2004 with �Trouble�, which was his attempt at redeeming himself after having served time in prison. He was born in Missouri as Aliaune Damala Bouga Time Puru Nacka Lu Lu Lu Badara Akon Thiam, to jazz percussionist Mor Thiam but grew up in Senegal. He was introduced to the world of crime in Senegal but sought to find salvation through his music.

�Trouble�, released by SRC/Universal, included several hit singles such as �Locked Up�, �Lonely�, �Bananza (Belly Dancer)�, �Pot of Gold� and �Ghetto�. Akon wrote �Locked Up� after his release from jail, and it reached the top 10 in the US, and No. 5 in the U.K. Following his manager being gunned to death, �Ghetto� became a radio hit all over. He then sampled Bobby Vinton�s �Mr. Lonely� and released his own �Lonely�, which topped the charts in the U.S., Australia, the U.K. and Germany. The song stayed on the top of the charts for a long while. He became even more popular after being featured on �Soul Survivor� with rapper Young Jeezy.

Following this, Akon now also owns his own record label, called Konvict Muzik. Akon is scheduled to release his sophomore album, �Konvicted�, in November 2006. This marks a rebirth of sorts for him. The album includes collaborations with famous stars like Snoop Dogg, Styles P, Brick and Lace. Earlier this year, Akon collaborated with Eminem to release �Smack That�, along with a video directed by Raymond Garced. This is featured in the upcoming album. Styles P is featured on another new track called �All My Life�.

�Smack That� has been greatly popular and has made its own record. In October, �Smack That� broke records on the Hot 100 by achieving the largest climb on the charts in the last 48 years. It peaked at No. 7 after an 88-spot jump from No. 95. Akon's latest hit, I Wanna Love You, features Snoop Dogg.

From Discogs:

Born: 16 April 1977 in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. American R&B singer-songwriter and record producer. Akon was born to Senegalese parents and raised in a musical setting. He was taught to play several instruments including the djembe. He was born in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, so that he would not have to go through the immigration process, but he lived in Dakar, Senegal until the age of 7, split time between the US and Senegal until he was 15, then he moved permanently to Jersey City, New Jersey, USA. He rose to prominence in 2004 following the release of "Locked Up", the first single from his debut album "Trouble". His second album, "Konvicted", earned him a Grammy Award nomination of the single "Smack That". He has since found two record labels, Konvict Muzik and Kon Live Distribution. He is known as one of the most successful and versatile R&B singers of the 21st century, grossing over US$30 million a year according to Forbes. Akon often sings hooks for other artists and is currently accredited with over 300 guest appearances and 40 Billboard Hot 100 songs. He is the first solo artist to hold both the number one and two spots simultaneously on the Billboard Hot 100 charts twice. He has had 6 Grammy Awards nominations and has produced many hits for artists such as Lady Gaga, Colby O'Donis and Leona Lewis. Son of Senegalese jazz drummer and percussionist Mor Thiam.

From Lastfm:

Alioune Badara Akon Thiam, Born April 16, 1977 in Saint Louis, Missouri, United States, known simply as Akon, is a Senegalese-American R&B singer-songwriter, record producer, businessman, and philanthropist. He rose to prominence in 2004 following the release of the singles "Locked Up" and "Lonely", from his debut album "Trouble". His second album, "Konvicted", earned him a Grammy Award nomination for the single Smack That featuring Eminem. His latest album, "Freedom", was released in 2008.

Read more about Akon on Last.fm.

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From Wikipedia:

Aliaune Damala Badara Akon Thiam (born April 16, 1973), professionally known as simply Akon, is a Senegalese American R&B and hip hop recording artist, songwriter, record producer and businessman. He rose to prominence in 2004 following the release of "Locked Up", the first single from his debut album Trouble.

He has since founded two successful record labels, Konvict Muzik and Kon Live Distribution. His second album, "Konvicted" received three nominations for the Grammy Awards in two categories, Best Contemporary R&B Album for "Konvicted" album and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for "Smack That" and "I Wanna Love You".

He is the first solo artist to hold both the number one and two spots simultaneously on the Billboard Hot 100 charts twice. Akon has had four songs certified as 3x platinum, three songs certified as 2x platinum, more than ten songs certified as 1x platinum and more than ten songs certified as gold in digital sales. Akon has sung songs in other languages including Spanish and Hindi. He was listed by the Guinness Book of World Records as the #1 selling artists for master ringtones in the world.

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