Aliaune Damala Bouga Time Puru Nacka Lu Lu Lu Badara Akon Thiam, often going by the shorter Aliaune Thiam (born 14 October 1981 in St. Louis, Missouri; raised in Dakar, Senegal), and better known by stage name Akon, is a Grammy Award-nominated Senegalese hip-hop and R&B singer, songwriter, record producer, and record executive. He is the founder of both Konvict Muzik and Kon Live Distribution. Other sources have his name as Alioune Badara Thiam.
Akon is the son of jazz percussionist Mor Thiam. He grew up in Senegal until he was seven, split time between Senegal and the U.S. until he was fifteen, then his family permantently moved to Jersey City, New Jersey and as such he speaks English, French, and Wolof. In Jersey City he attended Snyder High School, where he discovered hip hop music. His first song was entitled "Operations of Nature," which he recorded at age 15. However, he was jailed for armed robbery and drug distribution charges, and used his time in prison to work on his music. Upon release, Akon began writing and recording tracks in his home studio. The tapes found their way to SRC/Universal, which released Akon's debut LP Trouble in June 2004. The album is a hybrid of Akon's silky, West African-styled vocals mixed with East Coast and Southern beats.
Akon's solo debut album, Trouble was released on June 29, 2004. It spawned the hit singles "Locked Up" and "Lonely," as well as "Belly Dancer (Bananza)," "Pot Of Gold," and "Ghetto." "Locked Up" reached the top 10 in the U.S. and the top five in the UK, and was written after Akon served time in jail for grand theft auto. His manager Robert Montanez was shot to death following a dispute in New Jersey in December 2005. "Ghetto" became a radio hit when it was remixed to include verses from legendary rappers 2Pac and The Notorious B.I.G. In 2005, he released the single "Lonely" (which samples Bobby Vinton's "Mr. Lonely"). The song reached the top five on the Billboard Hot 100, and topped the charts in Australia, the UK and Germany. His album also climbed to number one in the UK in April, 2005. When music channel The Box had a top ten weekly chart, which was calculated by the amount of video requests, Akon's "Lonely" became the longest running single on the top of the chart, spanning over 15 weeks. In 2005, Akon gained more popularity after being featured on Young Jeezy's debut album, Let's Get It: Thug Motivation 101, on the song "Soul Survivor" which became a top five hit on the Billboard Hot 100. Akon served a three-year jail sentence for grand theft auto, an experience that inspired his Locked Up.
AKON lyrics and albums