Aliaune Damala Bouga Time Bongo Puru Nacka Lu Lu Lu Badara Akon Thiam (born April 16, 1973 in St. Louis, Missouri), known as Akon, is an American R&B and hip hop recording artist, songwriter, and record producer.
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 Tamil, Hindi and Spanish.
He was listed by the Guinness Book of World Records as the #1 selling artist for master ringtones in the world. Akon often provides vocals as a featured artist and is currently credited with over 300 guest appearances and more than 35 Billboard Hot 100 songs. He has worked with numerous performers such as Michael Jackson, Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Whitney Houston, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, Gwen Stefani and many more artists.
He has had five Grammy Awards nominations and has produced many hits for artists such as Lady Gaga, Colby O'Donis, Kardinal Offishall, Leona Lewis and T-Pain. Forbes ranked Akon 80th (Power Rank) in Forbes Celebrity 100 in 2010 and 5th in 40 Most Powerful Celebrities in Africa list, in 2011. Billboard ranked Akon No. 6 on the list of Top Digital Songs Artists of the decade. Akon claims that he has six children with three different women in an interview with Blender, all of whom he has great relationships with.
He says he wishes to keep his family protected from the public eye. He also has his own charity for underprivileged children in Africa called Konfidence Foundation. Akon owns a diamond mine in South Africa and denies the existence of blood diamonds (also known as "conflict diamonds") saying, "I don't believe in conflict diamonds. That's just a movie. Think about it. Nobody thought or cared about conflict diamonds until 'Blood Diamond' was released."
However, he has since stated that he does accept that blood diamonds exist, and that he is partial-owner of an African mine that is dedicated to avoiding use of blood diamonds while also donating profits to local communities. Akon is a Muslim. Akon appeared on the ITV2 show The Hot Desk. He stated on the show that he is a fan of English Premier League club Chelsea F.C.
Source, modified: http://wikipedia.org
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