Celebrity Entertainment

Ace Afrobeats Star, Burna Boy: Biography and Net Worth (2024)

Burna Boy
Written by Robin Okwanma

Nigerian Afrobeats megastar, Burna Boy MFR, has grown larger than life in reputation, musical prowess, and energy for activism when necessary. The multiple award-winning and record-breaking musician, songwriter, and producer is popularly tagged “The King of Afrofusion”. He has successfully created a brand of Afrobeats that combines Afro-pop, Afrobeat, Reggae, R&B, and Dancehall. And his followership and influence is now global.


Burna Boy is one of the most influential and heavy-duty promoters of Afrobeats music in Africa and worldwide. Amongst the top ten to twenty names in African music for the 21st Century, you are sure to encounter the name Burna Boy. We will be going down memory lane to celebrate the journey of the ace musician to global fame. And to draw some inspiration from him. 

About Burna Boy: His Origins

He was born Ebunoluwa Damini Ogulu in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, southwest Nigeria in July 1991. His father (Samuel) owned a welding business. While his mother (Bose) worked both as a lecturer, and translator (for the Federation of West African Chambers of Commerce). Burna Boy also has two female siblings. The elder sister (Romani Ogulu) is a scientist and fashion designer. While his younger sister (Nissi Ogulu) is a singer and mechanical engineer. 

His maternal grandfather, Benson Idonijie, was a veteran broadcaster who doubled as the brand manager of late renowned Afrobeat legend, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti. His mother was also reportedly a former dancer amongst Fela’s Kalakuta Queens. And till this day, Burna Boy holds Fela and his music in very high esteem. 

Burna Boy completed his primary school education at Bereton Montessori in Port Harcourt. Then his parents moved to Lagos. He had his secondary education at Corona Secondary School, Agbara, Ogun State (not far from Lagos). He eventually moved to the United Kingdom, where he earned a Bachelor’s degree in Media Technology from Sussex University

Burna Boy was still in high school when he began composing his songs. And being from a family deeply involved with music, he enjoyed the support of his parents. He received inspiration from the songs of notable musicians such as Fela Kuti, Bob Marley, and several others. And he eventually chose to adopt the Afrobeat style of music as his major musical framework. 

Burna Boy’s Sojourn Into the Music Industry

The ace singer at first learnt to create musical beats using the Fruity Loops app. Thus, he was able to record two mixtapes on his own, namely Burn Notice’ and Burn Identity’. Following this, he signed up with Aristokrat Records label in 2012. He released his debut studio album L.I.F.E. in August 2013, which featured his hit single, ‘Like to Party’, under the record label. 

The hit song brought him into popularity. Other very popular singles on the album include ‘Yawa Dey’, ‘Run My Race’, ‘Tonight’, and ‘Always Love You’. L.I.F.E was nominated at the 2014 Nigerian Entertainment Awards for the Best Album Of The Year category. He also got a nomination for the Next Rated Award at the 2013 Headies

However, Burna Boy left the Aristokrat Records label in 2015 to set up his own music label namely Spaceship Entertainment. Under his own record label, he was able to release four successful music albums and other projects. It includes On a Spaceship (2015), and Redemption EP (2016). 

Following his departure from Aristokrat Records, Burna Boy also signed up with Atlantic Records, USA in 2017.  Under the label, he released his third studio album, Outside, in 2018. Outside was so well recognized internationally that it won the Album of the Year award at the 2018 Nigerian Entertainment Awards. The album featured popular songs such as ‘Ye’, ‘Rock Your Body’, ‘Koni Baje’, ‘Heaven’s Gate’, ‘Sekkle Down’ and ‘Streets Of Africa’

In 2019, Burna Boy was invited along with some other African artists, to work on international singer Beyoncé‘s album, The Lion King: The Gift. He single-handedly wrote and recorded the track ‘Ja Ra E’ on that album (the only singer to create his/her own single on the project). And in that same year, he became the first Afrobeats artist to sell out the Wembley Arena.  That same year, in 2019, he clinched four awards at the 2019 Soundcity MVP Awards Festival (including African Artiste Of The Year; Listener’s Choice award;  and Best Male MVP award ).

Burna Boy Earns the Prestigious Grammy Award

Burna Boy released African Giant in July 2019. The highly-acclaimed album got nominated for the Best World Music Album category at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards (2020). However, Beninese singer, Angelique Kidjo won the award for that year. The highly-successful album featured record-breaking singles such as  ‘Anybody’, ‘Killin’ Dem’, ‘Gbona’, ‘On The Low’, and ‘Dangote’ (amongst others). 

But his big win finally came in 2020. He released his fifth album Twice As Tall in August 2020, in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. The album was co-produced by international music mogul, Sean Combs (aka Puff Daddy) and his mother, Bose Ogulu. Twice As Tall went ahead to win the Best World Music Album award at the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards. Furthermore, Burna Boy is said to be the first Nigerian artiste to receive the highest number of Grammy nominations ever:  He has received no less than 10 Grammy nominations, and in 5 consecutive years (from 2019 to 2023).

The popularity of the album Twice as Tall was unmistakable. His song ‘Destiny’, one of the singles on the album, was included in the playlist of President Joe Biden of the USA during his inauguration. Another featured song ‘My Money, My Baby’ was included in the soundtrack album for the film Queen and Slim

Burna Boy released his sixth studio album titled Love, Damini in 2022. The album recorded the highest position climbed for an African album on the Billboard 200 chart. Again, it became the highest-charting African album in France, the Netherlands, and the UK. Come October.2022, Burna Boy received the Nigerian award of Member of the Order of the Federal Republic for his musical achievements. And the  Rolling Stone ranked him number 197 out of the 200 greatest singers of all time in 2023.

His latest album, I Told Them, was released in 2023. 

Burna Boy: Awards and Achievements

In all, Burna Boy has received no less than 17 coveted awards between 2013 and 2023. He has worked with several Nigerian and international music artists. They include the likes of Davido, Kanye West, RudeBoy, Black Sherif, Mr Eazi, Rema, Omah Lay, Wizkid, Oxlade, Sarkodie, Tems, Shatta  Wale, and Stonebwoy. 

He has broken many records in the music industry. His songs have topped several music charts across the world. He has also earned millions of streams of his songs on popular music streaming platforms (such as Boomplay and Apple Music). 

Burna Boy’s songs are also incredibly popular because he is vocal about social ills and the need for a positive change. He is firmly in support of social justice across the world, not just in Nigeria. He even set up a relief fund for the victims of the 2020 #endSARS killings in Lekki Tollgate, Lagos (during a protest against police brutality). 

Burna Boy: Net Worth

He has combined earnings from music royalties, brand endorsements, and music performances in and outside of Nigeria. Burna Boy’s estimated net worth is now worth between 22 million and 25 million US Dollars.

Burna Boy’s Personal Life

For now, the ace singer is still single. He was in a relationship with British rapper, Stefflon Don between 2018 and 2022. There is currently no other information about his personal life. 



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About the author

Robin Okwanma

Hi, I'm Robin Okwanma. Software Engineer || Django, Python || React, React Native || Blogger. Technical Writer.