He lived in Senegal, West Africa, as a kid and attended high school in America. He’s also faced controversy due to his exaggerated criminal history and his occasional provocative conduct on stage.
Akon’s mom, Kine Thiam, is a dancer; his dad, Mor Thiam, is a well known jazz percussionist. Thanks for their sway, Akon heard and adored music from a very young age.
After growing up in Jersey City, New Jersey, Akon started singing and performing as a teen. He attended Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia, to get a term before dropping out. Instead, he turned his focus on the music business, making home recordings and becoming buddies with Wyclef Jean of the Fugees.
Akon’s debut album, Trouble, premiered in 2004. The record coupled Akon’s melodic, R&B-style vocals with hip hop beats and made several hit singles, including “Locked Up” and “Lonely.” His second record, 2006’s Konvicted, was an even larger success. Several singles in the record became hits that topped the Billboard charts. His third record, Freedom (2008), was somewhat less of a sense.
Akon has also added his vocals to records by musicians in an extensive array of music genres, including Whitney Houston, Gwen Stefani and Lionel Richie. He also sang with Michael Jackson to the duet “Hold My Hand,” which premiered in 2009 after Jackson’s departure. He co-composed Lady Gaga’s hit song “Just Dance,” in addition to making records to get several musicians.
Beyond his work in music, Akon is whoever owns two clothes lines—Konvict and Aliaune—and various real estate investments. He also founded the Konfidence Foundation together with the mission of empowering disadvantaged youth in Africa as well as America.
Akon has also faced numerous controversies and legal issues. In 2008, it had been disclosed that he’d exaggerated his criminal background: he’d not, as he frequently asserted in interviews, run a car-theft ring or composed his first record in a three-year prison sentence.
In 2007, Akon faced criminal charges after he threw a buff off the stage in a concert in Poughkeepsie, Ny. Exactly the same year, he was broadly criticized for improper sexual conduct onstage with the underage girl in Trinidad and Tobago. He’s also drawn fire because of his choice to spend money on an African diamond mine.