Senegalese singer songwriter Akon has been added to the star studded line-up for this year’s Reggae Sumfest. This will be Akon’s second appearance on the Sumfest stage, his first being in the summer of 2005. The Hip-Hop/ R&B superstar is slated to perform on Friday July 18, 2008 with fellow international act Keyshia Cole. Rap mogul Lil Wayne is now scheduled to hit the stage on the last night of the festival Saturday July 19, to collaborate with friend and colleague T-Pain.
When placed behind bars for armed robbery and drug disposition charges, Akon used his time constructively to focus solely on making music. His commitment and fervour for the entertainment industry would eventually pay off as the multi talented artiste was soon signed to the Universal Record Music Group. Akon’s freshman album “Trouble” was released in the summer of 2004, producing the smash hit singles, “Locked Up”, “Ghetto”, “Lonely” and “Belly Dancer (Bonanza)”. Within weeks of its debut, “Trouble” obtained multi-platinum success, selling three million units in the United States and a whopping four million worldwide.
The record’s follow up release entitled “Konvicted” would confirm Akon’s sustainability within the music industry. “Smack that” the first single off the much anticipated album featuring the controversial rap superstar Eminem, debuted at number 95 on the U.S Billboard Charts. However, in its subsequent week, the single jumped a record breaking 77 spots to land at number 7; and went on to peak at number two on the charts, making it Akon’s highest top ten hit. With the release of Konvicted also came Akon’s record breaking year. A part from the success of his first single, both his second and third released tracks “I Wanna Love You” and “Don’t Matter” managed to top the Billboard Hot 100 Charts. In addition to this he is the only artiste to ever hold both the number one and two spots on the Billboard Charts in the same week.
In a time frame of just five years, Akon has collaborated on over 145 music tracks, 21 of which have made it onto the Billboard Hot 100 Charts. With his unique blend of West African style vocals and Hip-Hop Lyricism the multi-faceted entertainer has already made a tremendous mark in the music industry; and with his unquestionable motivation and aptitude he is definitely guaranteed a lifetime of success.