Oyenike Laoye, better known by her stage name Nikki Laoye, is a celebrated Nigerian recording artist, singer, songwriter, dancer, humanitarian, stage performer, and occasional actress. Laoye is a recording artist who has won numerous honours for her music, including the All African Music Awards (AFRIMA) in 2014 for Best Female Artiste in African Inspirational Music and The Headies Award in 2013 for Best Female Vocal Performance. She is also well known for her remixes of the heartfelt ballad “Only You,” which she did in 2016 with Seyi Shay; the love song Onyeuwaoma, which she did with Banky W; the dance track “1-2-3,” and the 2006 smash song “Never felt this way before.”
Nikki Laoye Biography
19 December 1980
Lagos State, Nigeria
Osun State, Nigeria
Gospel, urban, contemporary, alternative rock, R&B, pop, hip hop, soul
Singer, songwriter, media personality, actress, humanitarian
Wahala Media Entertainment
Early Life and Education
Laoye was born on December 19, 1980, in Lagos State, Nigeria, but has Osun State as a state of origin. She is the only child of Olori Christiana Yetunde Laoye and Prince Olushola Isaac Laoye. Laoye has a mixed heritage because her father, Olushola, is descended from Europeans (Dutch), Ghanaians, and Nigerians. She has three brothers: Femi, Bola, and Ade, who goes by the stage name Xblaze and is a rising young music producer and hip-hop musician in Lagos, Nigeria. At age five, she started taking dancing lessons and singing in choirs.
Laoye began her academic career at the Grace Children’s School in Gbagada, Lagos. She soon became the focus of the attention of her music teacher, who personally offered her free piano lessons at the conclusion of each school day after noticing her musical talent at such a young age. Laoye’s musical talent was further developed while she was a high school student at Federal Government Girl’s College in Sagamu (where she graduated in 1998) and at the University of Ibadan, respectively, where she participated in school choirs and joined groups like Exousia, Soul Alliance, and the girl group trio Soul Sistas.
In 2006, Laoye debuted as a solo artist with the release of “Never Felt This Way Before,” her debut track, which was created by Nigerian music producer Cobhams. Laoye became one of the few modern Christian musicians in the Nigerian music business with broad popularity thanks to the single’s widespread acceptance and broadcast on popular radio stations in the country. Her hip-hop collaboration record, “Taka Sufe,” with Rooftop Mcs and Rap2Sai, which was released, further cemented her appeal to Nigerian youths and gave her brother, Xblaze, who produced the song, a forum for expression. Laoye’s 2013 dance single, “1-2-3,” and the majority of the tracks on her debut album were produced by Xblaze Ade Laoye. He was a principal producer for the West African edition of X-Factor, held in Lagos, Nigeria.
In 2008, Laoye followed up with the release of her debut album, Angel 4 Life, which featured famous Nigerian musicians such as Rooftop Mcs, Blaise, Jeremiah Gyang, and others. It was a collection of modern sounds. The singer quickly came to fame as her singles spent weeks at the top of the Nigerian Chart Show, and she was a prominent figure in the MTV Base Rockumentary program Advance Warning. At the 2009 Experience Concert in Lagos, Nigeria 2009, Laoye performed alongside American and worldwide gospel performers Kirk Franklin, Cece Winans, and Donnie McClurkin in front of 500,000 spectators. Laoye was one of the five female artists on the 2009 Tetmosol Girl Power Tour, which was a national tour across several states of Nigeria. She also performed in the Nigerian-Broadway stage play, OLURONBI, in October 2009.
With the release of the single “Never Felt This Way Before,” the Nigerian music scene was introduced to a brand new urban Christian current vibe. The 2009 Hip Hop World Awards’ Best Vocal Performance (Female) and Hip Hop World Revelation’s “Best New Artist,” the Kora Awards’ “Best Spiritual Artist and Best Arrangement,” the 2009 City People Entertainment Awards‘ “Musician of the Year (Female),” the 2009 Nigerian Entertainment Awards in the US’ “Gospel Artist of the Year,” and the 2009 SoundCity Music Video Awards‘ “Best Female Video”) (Darey Art Alade and Tuface coming 1st and 2nd respectively, out of the 10 performances at the awards).
At The Experience Concert in Lagos in 2009, Laoye performed with Kirk Franklin, CeCe Winans, and Donnie McClurkin in front of 500,000 spectators. Laoye’s music has received praise from critics outside of Africa because she was one of the first three Nigerian musicians to be featured on the American entertainment channel BET in 2009 and because she served as one of the preliminary judges for the Sunday Best Auditions of BET, which were held in Lagos, Nigeria, in December 2009. “BET Spotlight-Nikki Laoye,” a special programme on BET in 2011, featured Laoye’s biography and profession. After taking a break after losing her father in 2011, the singer returned to the music world in 2013.
In June 2013, Laoye received a commission from Nigerian TV producer Mo Abudu’s Ebony Life Television to record her own rendition of the Nigerian National Anthem. The video is well known as the first official music video for the Nigerian anthem. The Presidency’s anthem has been requested to be played at Aso Rock, Abuja, and at other public events ever since its release in June 2013. As of 2013, she had released the singles “No Be Beans” with Yoruba hip-hop artist Base One, “1-2-3” (a dance single), and the ballad “Only You” (a song dedicated to her late father’s memory, produced by Rotimi Keys). For this last single, she was honoured with the Best Vocal Performance (Female) prize at the 2013 Headies Awards in Lagos, Nigeria.
Laoye also contributes her vocal style to radio jingles, including MTN’s “Everywhere You Go” jingle and Fidelity Bank’s “No Greater Feeling,” which featured R&B singer Banky W in the song “0809aija 4 Life” by Etisalat. Major Nollywood films like Bent Arrows, Where the Heart Lies, Mission 2 Nowhere, and the ensemble movie Journey to Self have featured the singer on their film soundtracks.
Laoye has a radio and television show of her own. As of 2013, she runs her own radio programme, Girls Rock with Nikki Laoye, on the Nigerian internet gospel radio station Praiseworld Radio. She formerly presented the TV show The New Breeze Show on Silverbird Entertainment Television in 2005. As one of the hosts for the gospel reality TV competition Stars 4 Christ, Laoye was the featured performer at the Nigerian Corner at the Nottinghill Carnival in August 2013 in the UK, which draws thousands of Nigerians from all across the country. In the same year, Laoye visited London, Manchester, Loughton, and Warrington as part of a church tour of England. Laoye performed with R&B icon Mary J. Blige at the “Sisters with Soul” performance in Lagos, Nigeria, in September 2013. In December 2014, Laoye served as the host of both the 10th Anniversary of the Rhythm Unplugged Concert and the 2014 Headies Awards.
In January 2016, Laoye and American R&B superstar Brian McKnight performed at the Butterscotch Evenings event at the Eko Hotels and Suites in Lagos, Nigeria. Two days before Valentine’s Day, on February 12, 2016, Laoye released the love duet Onyeuwaoma with Nigerian R&B singer Banky W. The song received positive reviews, and the official video was released on April 14, 2016.
Laoye married Alexander Oturu in Lagos, Nigeria, on December 11, 2011. After seven years of marriage, the two divorced, allegedly for irreconcilable disagreements. The pair are not parents to any children. She is, however, married to another musician known as Soul Snatcha.
Laoye established the “Angel 4 Life Foundation” in December 2010, a non-governmental organisation through which she mentors and supports the creative skills development of gifted young people with physical disabilities and also helps manage the music therapy clinic at the Modupe Cole Home for the Physically and Mentally Challenged in Lagos, Nigeria.
The 2012 International White Cane Day was commemorated in October by Laoye’s Angel 4 Life foundation and the Nigeria Association of the Blind (Lagos Chapter, Nigeria). The celebrities Sammie Okposo, Femi Kuti, Tiwa Savage, Dipp, Lamboginny, and Kiki Omeili supported the event, which included a Sing for the Blind unplugged fund-raising concert in the hallways of The Palms Shopping Mall in Lekki.
The charity offered physically challenged youths a full day of excursions and delights across the city of Lagos on December 25 in both 2012 and 2013. The Art in Me project, a youth empowerment programme for creative, physically challenged individuals, is also managed by the charity. At Modupe Cole Home, Yaba, Lagos, Angels 4 Life assisted in the construction of a fully operational music recording studio for Akeem, a producer who is physically challenged. This was made possible by a Guaranty Trust Bank Training School set.
For her activism and support of the social and educational advancement of the physically challenged in Nigeria, Laoye received an honorary 234Giver Award in 2013. The award was given out by 234Give, the nation of Nigeria’s first online fundraising platform, a business committed to enabling people and organisations to raise money for initiatives that benefit and enhance their communities.
- Angel 4 Life (2008)
- The 123 Project (2014)
- No, Be Beans
- Mighty God
- Taka Sufe
- Joy Comes
- African Dance
- Someone 2 Love
- Never Felt This Way Before
- Who’s Your Daddy?
- Victory Belongs to Jesus
- In your name
- Can’t Hold Me Down
- Your number
- Superhuman Superwoman
- Baba L’oke
- None + U
- Healing waters
- Family Affair
- Angel 4 Life
- Whatever It Takes
- Get Your Praise On
- Thank You
- Only You
- Nigerian National Anthem
|2016||“Onyeuwaoma”||Nikki Laoye/Banky W||Frizzle and Bizzle Films|
|2015||“African Dance”||Temisan/Nikki Laoye||Frizzle and Bizzle Films|
|2014||“123”||Temisan/Nikki Laoye||Frizzle and Bizzle Films|
|2013||“Only You”||Nikki Laoye||Shabach|
|“Nigerian National Anthem”||EbonyLife Television|
|2010||“Taka Sufe (Remix)”||Nikki Laoye||Frizzle and Bizzle Films|
|2007||“Never Felt This Way Before”||Nikki Laoye||Clarence Peters|
Laoye has received numerous nominations and honours for her work, including nominations for the prestigious KORA Awards, HipHop World Awards (now Headies), Soundcity Music Video Awards, City People Entertainment Awards, NEA Awards (US), Nigeria Music Video Awards (NMVA), Africa Gospel Music Awards (UK), Crystal Gospel Awards, Nigeria Gospel Music Awards (NGMA), and a special appearance on MTVBase Advance Warning Reality TV Show.
In a competitive field that featured vocalists Waje, Niyola, Seyi Shay, and Zaina, Laoye was announced as the winner of the Best Vocal Performance (Female) category on December 26, 2013, at The Headies 2013 Award ceremony in Lagos, Nigeria.
Laoye was introduced as “The Voice for Refugees” by the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants, and Internally Displaced Persons in southwest Nigeria in April 2014. (NCFRMI). She has participated in a number of events hosted by the commission to raise awareness of the struggles faced by refugees and internally displaced people as part of her position as a celebrity voice. She has also performed at several events in support of the cause and donated money to it.
Laoye was nominated for an African Muzik Magazine Awards (AFRIMMA) 2014 Best Gospel Artiste award on May 21. The award presentation took place on July 26, 2014, at the Eismann Centre in Dallas, Texas. Later that month, Laoye was also nominated for Best Gospel Artiste of the Year by the Nigerian Entertainment Awards (NEA).
Laoye won the Crystal Award for Best Worship Song for “Only You” on July 20, 2014, at the 2014 Crystal Awards in Lagos, Nigeria. She was also nominated for Artiste of the Year and Best Female Vocalist honours at the ceremony. On August 24, 2014, Laoye won the Female Artiste of the Year award at the 2014 Africa Gospel Music Awards (AGMA), which were held at the Fairfields Hall-Croydon in London, England. Laoye received the 2015 World Humanitarian Day Humanitarian of the Year Award on August 19 from the World Hope Foundation in recognition of her humanitarian work.
|2013||234Give||234Giver Award for Advocacy and contribution to the Social and Educational Development of the Physically Challenged|
|2015||World Hope Foundation||Humanitarian of the Year|
|Project ASHA, UK||Honorary Award for Service to the Less Privileged|
|Exquisite Lady of the Year (ELOY)||Special Recognition Award for Ladies who inspire in the Humanitarian/Charity /Community Work|
Awards and Nominations
- Received nominations for best vocal performance (female) at the 2009 Hip Hop World Awards.
- Received nominations for the 2009 Hip Hop World Awards for the Award for Best New Artist.
- Received Awards at the KORA Awards for Best Arrangement and Best Spiritual Artist.
- Received nominations for best female video at the SoundCity Music Video Awards.
- Received nominations for the musician of the year (female) at City People Entertainment
- Received nominations for Gospel Artist of the Year at the Nigerian Entertainment Awards, USA:
- Nominated for the 2010 “Taka Sufe” Nigerian Music Video Awards for the award for Best Afro-Hip Hop Video.
- Nominated for Best Gospel Video at the Nigerian Music Video Awards
- Nominated for Song of the Year at the 2013 African Gospel Music Awards, UK.
- Nominated for Worship Song of the Year at the Nigerian Gospel Music Awards.
- Nominated for Song of the Year at the Crystal Gospel Awards
- Received Nominations for Best Goodwill Video at the Nigerian National Anthem Nigerian Gospel Music Video Awards.
- Received nominations for Best International Song of the Year at the Gospel Music Awards.
- Nominated for Best International Female Artist of the Year at Gospel Music Awards, Italy
- Received Nominations for Best International Gospel Hip-Hop of the Year at the Gospel Music Awards, Italy.
- Received Award for the Song of the Year from the Nigerian Gospel Music Awards.
- Award for Best Vocal Performance (female) by the 2013 Headies Award.
- Nominated for the Best Gospel Artiste at the 2014 African Muzik Magazine Awards (AFRIMMA 2014)
- Nominated by the 2014 Nigeria Entertainment Awards for the Award for the Gospel Artist of the Year
- Received Nominations for the Best Worship Song Award by the Crystal Awards 2014
- Nominated by the Crystal Awards 2014 for Artist of the Year Award.
- Nominated for the Best Female Vocalist by the Crystal Awards 2014
- Received Awards given by the All Africa Music Awards (AFRIMA) 2014 for Best Female Artiste in African Inspirational Music.
- Won the award for Female Artist of the Year given by the 2014 Africa Gospel Music Awards.
- Nominated for the Artiste of the Year (West Africa) by the Africa Gospel Music Awards in 2014
- Received Award for the Best Soft Rock/Alternative Video at the 2014 Nigerian Music Video Awards (NMVA).
- Received awards for the Music Video of the Year selection by the 2015 Yadamag Readers’ Choice Awards (2015)
- Nominations for the Best Gospel Artiste of the Year by the African Muzik Magazine Awards (AFRIMMA 2015): Best Gospel Artiste Nominated
- Received nominations for the Video of the Year Award for the “123” The Crystal Awards 2015
She has an estimated net worth of $2 million.
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