Celebrity Entertainment

Tiwa Savage – Queen of Afrobeats (Biography and Net Worth 2024)

Tiwa Savage
Written by Omolola Akinyemi

Sultry Nigerian Afrobeats singer, Tiwa Savage has carved out a huge and respected space for herself in African music – with her alluring and powerful voice. And we must give it to her – she is very creative. The Queen of Afrobeats deserves the crown accorded her. She has transformed from a skilled accountant into a music maestro, with skillful use of English, Yoruba and Pidgin languages for added flavour. She is proof that indeed, passion can take you to great places.  Additionally, she is one of the richest and most influential Afrobeats music artists of the 21st Century across the globe.  


We proudly celebrate the journey, life, achievements, and challenges of Tiwa Savage, the Queen of Afrobeats, in this article. There are very few female music artists across Africa who have achieved anything close to her feats. Her music is a curious but interesting blend of Afrobeats, Hip-hop, and R&B; delivered in a smooth rendition of mixed languages. A true, hardworking African mother with guts, scars, and glory to show for it. Kudos once more to the Queen of Afrobeats, as we highlight her journey to the top. 

About Tiwa Savage: Her Origins

Named Tiwatope Omolara Savage, the singer, songwriter and actress was born in February 1980 in Isale Eko area of Lagos State (where she hails from). Tiwa is the daughter of Alhaji Savage (a businessman) and Cecilia Savage; and she has two elder brothers – Wale and Sola. Her parents are obviously a mixed Muslim-Christian couple. Tiwa herself, however, is presently a Christian. 

Tiwa Savage attended Isale Eko Primary School in Lagos. From there, she briefly attended a local secondary school. But at the age of 11 years, she was taken to London, England to complete her secondary education (name of school undisclosed). While in London, she actively participated in her school’s orchestra as a trombone player. Tiwa proceeded from there to the University of Kent, where she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting. And not long afterwards, she secured a job at the The Royal Bank of Scotland as an accountant.

How Tiwa Savage’s Music Career Began

At the age of 16, Tiwa Savage started out as a backup vocal singer for American artists. Namely the likes of George Michael, Mary J. Blige, Emma Bunton, Chaka Khan, Andrea Bocelli, Blu Cantrell, Kelly Clarkson, and Ms. Dynamite. Then she decided to enrol in the Berklee College of Music, from where she obtained a degree in professional music in 2007. A year before she graduated (in 2006), Tiwa Savage entered as a contestant in The X Factor (UK edition). She made it to the final 24, but was the 12th person to be evicted.

Then in 2009, Tiwa Savage signed a publishing deal with Sony/ATV Music Publishing. Thus, she became a songwriter for renowned American artists of that time. Which included the likes of Babyface, Monica, Fantasia, Kat Deluna, Mýa, amongst several others. 

Just to mention, she contributed to Monica‘s song ‘Catch Me’. She also collaborated with Fantasia on the song ‘Collard Greens & Cornbread’. Fantasia earned a Grammy nomination in 2010 for the same song. Tiwa Savage also wrote the songs ‘Oh Yeah’ by Jaicko (featuring Snoop Dogg) and ‘Push Push’ by Deluna (featuring Akon). Whitney Houston‘s album I Look to You (2009) included Tiwa Savage as one of the background vocals as well.

The singer observed the quick growth of Nigeria’s music industry, which encouraged her to return home. Tiwa proceeded to sign a record deal with music executive, Don Jazzy’s Mavins Records in 2012. She was able to feature in Mavins Records’ 2012 compilation album titled Solar Plexus

Tiwa Savage Steps into Nigeria’s Entertainment Scene

The arrival of 2011 brought Tiwa Savage to limelight in Nigeria’s entertainment industry. That year, she did her acting debut in the stage adaptation of the play, For Coloured Girls. She featured alongside veteran Nigerian actresses, Joke Silva and Ireti Doyle. Tiwa has since featured in at least two other television series: MTV Shuga Season 3 (2013-14); and Jenifa’s Diary Season 3 (2016).

Again in December 2011, she co-hosted Nigerian Idols Season 2 with singer IllRymz. Tiwa Savage also set up the 323 Entertainment record label with Tunji Balogun (a.k.a.Teebillz, to whom she got engaged in February 2013). 

To commemorate the 52nd anniversary of Nigeria’s independence (October 1, 2012), Tiwa Savage did a rendition of the Nigerian national anthem for Ndani sessions. Then in November 2012, she teamed up with fellow Nigerian singers Praiz, Timi Dakolo, Waje, and Pamela Egoh to create the Ovation Red Carol theme song ‘Higher’.      

Getting Serious: Tiwa Savage Launches Her First Album

Tiwa Savage reportedly did a cover of fellow singer, Flavour N’abania’s song ‘Oyi’. Then in 2012, Flavour Na’abania invited her to feature in Oyi Remix. 

Thereafter, Tiwa released her 7-track debut album titled Once Upon a Time in July 2013. It featured the songs ‘Kele Kele Love’, ‘Eminado’, ‘Without My Heart’, ‘Ife Wa Gbona’, ‘Love Me (3x)’, ‘Folarin’, and ‘Olorun Mi’. The album received two nominations: 2014 Nigeria Entertainment Awards (Best Album of the Year); and 2014 The Headies (Best R&B/Pop Album). 

The year 2014 was a busy one for Tiwa Savage. In January of that year, she released the song Love in Yellow to commemorate Valentine’s Day. Then she went into a string of collaborations. The singer featured in fellow Nigerian singer, Reekado Banks‘s 2014 single ‘Turn It Up’ (produced by Don Jazzy). By 1st of May, Mavins Records released the star-studded single Dorobucci, also produced by Don Jazzy. It was a collection of vocals done by all the major artists under the Mavin Records label at that time. Namely Tiwa Savage, Don Jazzy, Dr SID, D’Prince, Reekado Banks, Korede Bello and Di’Ja

And on the 19th of May 2014, dancehall singer Patoranking featured Tiwa Savage in his song remix ‘Girlie O’ (produced by WizzyPro). Then in June 2014, the organizers of the 2014 MTV Africa Music Awards invited Tiwa Savage to perform at the event. Other renowned African music artists that performed at the event included Davido, Mafikizolo, Miguel, Flavour N’abania, Oskido, Professor, and Uhuru

Yet again in June 2014, the collective of Tiwa Savage, Davido, Lola Rae, Mi Casa, Diamond Platinumz and Sarkodie released a song collaboration titled ‘Africa Rising’. It was a DStv campaign (of the same name) created to encourage the participation of Africans in community-based social investment projects. The music video for the song was shot and directed by Callback Dreams, a South African production company. The group performed the same song at the launching of the project in Mauritius.

2015 to 2021: Tiwa Savage Releases Two Albums and Two EPs

Then Tiwa Savage released her second studio album titled R.E.D. in December 2015. It featured the two singles, ‘My Darlin’ and ‘Standing Ovation’. in June 2016, Tiwa signed up with Roc Nation in a management and publishing deal. September 2017 came, and the singer released her debut EP titled Sugarcane. And in November 2018, Tiwa Savage became the first woman to win the award of Best African Act at the 2018 MTV Europe Music Awards.  

May 2019 arrived, and Tiwa Savage announced her exit from Mavins Records. At the same time, she had signed a distribution and publishing deal with Universal Music Group (UMG). The UMG deal would last 7 years, and cover 60 countries. Again, she signed up with Motown Records in September 2019, under which she released the single ‘49-99’.

Thereafter, the singer released her third studio album with 13 tracks, titled ‘Celia’, in August 2020. The album featured songs such as ‘Dangerous Love’; ‘Attention’; ’Temptation’; and ‘Koroba’. The album also featured popular music artists, the likes of Sam Smith, Davido, Stefflon Don, Naira Marley, amongst others. In June of the same year, Tiwa Savage co-wrote the track ‘Keys to the Kingdom’ with Nigerian singer, Mr. Eazi. The song was amongst the compilation for American singer Beyoncé‘s award-winning soundtrack album The Lion King: The Gift.

August 2021 arrived with the release of Tiwa Savage’s second EP titled Water & Garri. Then she went on a North American Tour to promote the Water and Garri EP in March 2022. And in July 2022, the University of Kent bestowed Tiwa Savage with a honorary degree during a graduation ceremony.     

Tiwa Savage: Philanthropy 

Tiwa Savage has been active in many acts of philanthropy and social responsibility over the years. She has been involved in breast cancer screening projects, youth empowerment schemes, and fundraising activities.    

Tiwa Savage: Net Worth

Tiwa Savage has signed quality endorsement deals with notable brands such as MTN Nigeria, Forte Oil, Konga, Tecno, Pepsi, and Maggi over the years. She has also performed at many international shows and events. These are in addition to her earnings from record sales and online streams of her songs. Today, Tiwa Savage is currently the richest female musician in Nigeria; and one of the richest music artists in Africa. Her combined net worth is estimated to be at least 8 million US Dollars (as of 2024). 

Tiwa Savage: Her Personal Life

Tiwa Savage got married to Tunji Balogun in 2013. They gave birth to a son named Jamil Balogun in 2015. However, the marriage ended in 2016. While Tunji accused Tiwa of infidelity, the latter debunked the claim; and counter-accused him of drug addiction and financial recklessness. Tiwa Savage is presently single.

She also lost her father following an undisclosed illness in January 2021. 



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About the author

Omolola Akinyemi

A Computer Science graduate of UNILAG, I hail from Ekiti state of Nigeria. An astute teacher, learner & admin assistant of many years experience. I love technology, innovation, and Nature. A problem solving mentality is important to me. The future is only seconds away, and I believe I can define the future now. You can also.