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B’day Jukebox: Akon Turns 46, We Can’t Stop Grooving to His Tunes

Celebrating Akon’s 46th birthday with his chart-busting music. Read everything you didn’t know about the rapper.

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Did you know that Akon is in the Guinness Book of World Records? Yes, the birthday boy was listed as the number one selling artist for master ringtones in the world! Now that says it all. He rose to fame in 2004 following the release of his album, Locked Up.

The Grammy-nominated R&B and hip-hop artist rocked clubs and discotheques with his 2005 single Lonely. Did you know that he learned to play the drums, guitar, and djembe before he was seven? Or that he collaborated on the song Hold My Hand with Michael Jackson, which was the last song he created before his death.

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Surprisingly, neither his fans nor the media had any clue about his date of birth for the longest time. But a legal document shared by The Smoking Gun website declared April 16th 1973 as the rapper’s big day. So let the party begin!

Akon first got noticed with his hit singles Lonely and Belly Dancer. In fact Lonely became the longest running single and sat right on top of musical charts for more than 15 weeks after its release.

Now this one’s a real shocker. The American rapper’s real name is Aliaume Damala Badara Akon Thiam. Akon’s second album Konvicted received three Grammy nominations in two categories, Best Contemporary R&B Album and Best Rap/Song Collaboration for Smack That and I Wanna Love You.

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Akon is also the first solo artist to have held the top two positions on the Billboard Hot 100 simultaneously! That’s not it, he did that twice with his chart-busting single Don’t Matter.

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Akon’s hat hardly has room for more feathers. Not only is he a rapper, but also owns a clothing line and runs a charity for underprivileged children in Africa by the name of Konfidence Foundation. Believe it or not, this guy even has his own diamond mine in South Africa!

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Not only does Akon have America swooning to his rap music, he even got Shah Rukh Khan to dance to his tunes. Check out this video of his Chammak Challo recording session for SRK’s Ra One.

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Akon revealed in an interview with Blender that he has six children with three different women, all of whom he has great relationships with. Though he’s a private man and likes to keep his family away from the public eye, his music trumps his personal life as far as we’re concerned.

Happy birthday rockstar!

(This piece is from The Quint’s archives. It was first published on 16 April 2016 and is being republished to mark Akon’s birthday.)

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