Birth name: Aliaune Thiam
Date of birth: 28 December 1979
Place of birth: Dakar, Senegal
Height: 5′ 11¼” (1.81 m)
- Born and grew up in Senegal, and from the age of seven, New Jersey.
- In New Jersey, he discovered hip-hop for the first time, as well as crime. He was eventually jailed, but he used the time to work on his musical ideas.
- Akon was jailed for three years for armed robbery.
- He is the son of jazz percussionist Mor Thiam, whose expertise for playing the Djembe, a traditional African drum.
- Upon release, Akon began writing and recording tracks in a home studio. The tapes found their way to SRC/Universal, which eventually released Trouble, Akon’s debut LP, in June 2004.
- The album “Trouble” was an interesting hybrid of Akon’s raps and silky, West African-styled vocals with East Coast- and Southern-styled beats.
- Akon’s ‘Bananza’ Inspired By A Post-Jail Trip To The Strip Club, also gearing up for role in flick called ‘Trouble.’
- T-Pain’s Akon-Approved ‘Hard R&B’ Calms His Fear Of Sounding Soft, Pain said about Akon. “Even when he knows I know what I’m doing, he still coaches me.”
- In 2006, Akon started his new record label Kon Live Distribution under Interscope Records. His first signed artist was Ray Lavender.
- He was featured on Gwen Stefani’s latest album, The Sweet Escape. He made an appearance on the title track and second single, “The Sweet Escape.” Akon produced the song. On December 10, 2006, Akon and Stefani appeared as musical guests on Saturday Night Live, however they did not perform the song as Stefani had not yet learned the lyrics. He performed the song live, however, on American Idol on March 28, 2007 due to Gwen Stefani’s appearance as a coach the night before. “The Sweet Escape” has reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100.
- Akon collaborated with Chamillionaire on his mixtape, Mixtape Messiah 2, featuring on the track “Ridin’ Overseas” which he also produced. The mixtape was available for download on Chamillionaire’s website from December 24, 2006.
- In 2006, after their 2005 Akon-produced single, “Soul Survivor,” the duo of Akon and Young Jeezy said that there is a lot more to expect from them in the future. The pair announced there are currently plans for a collaborative album.
- Akon also appeared on Bone Thugs-n-Harmony’s album Strength and Loyalty and Three 6 Mafia’s eighth studio album, Last 2 Walk, We The Best by DJ Khaled, Fabolous’s album, From Nothin’ to Somethin’, with 50 Cent on some tracks for Curtis, T.I.’s 5th album, T.I. vs. T.I.P., Mario’s third solo album Go!, and produced with Daddy Yankee” in the song called “Bring It On” on the album called El Cartel: The Big Boss which was released on June 5, 2007.
- On July 7, 2007 Akon performed at the American leg of Live Earth.
- In November 2007, Akon recorded a remix of “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’” with Michael Jackson. In February 2008, the remix was released on the 25th anniversary rerelease of Michael Jackson’s Thriller. Akon produced the track entitled “Echo” on Latin Boy band Menudo’s latest album, released in the spring of 2008.
- ‘Konvict Music’ would be responsible for the re-release of Kat Deluna’s debut album 9 Lives (album) which would feature Akon on the single “Am I Dreaming.”
- In July 2008 a song called “Hold My Hand” circulated the internet. The song is an R&B duet/collaboration between Michael Jackson and Akon, composed by Claude Kelly. There also exists another version featuring only Akon. There is also no official mention of the recording on either artists’ websites although Akon has spoken about the track on various other websites. It was not included in the track list for Freedom as Akon previously stated. During an interview with Tavis Smiley, Akon said that Jackson had planned on a high-profile release including a music video until the track had leaked. This is Jackson’s last known song before he died on June 25, 2009. In late July of that year a Tribute song by Akon known as “Cry Out Of Joy” was leaked onto the internet.
- Akon was also the executive producer of Kardinal Offishall’s fourth solo album Not 4 Sale, released September 9, 2008. The promo single “Graveyard Shift” features Akon as does the first single “Dangerous”, which peaked at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100, and won the award for Single of the Year at the 2009 Juno Awards.
- Akon co-wrote and recorded “Put It on My Tab” with New Kids on the Block for their 2008 reunion album The Block.
- Akon co-wrote and produced Leona Lewis’ hit record Forgive Me, off her debut album Spirit.
- He is currently working with X Factor 2008 winner Alexandra Burke on her upcoming debut album.
- Akon co-wrote Kon Live artist Lady Gaga’s worldwide hit “Just Dance”, which also featured Colby O’Donis, and which earned a Grammy nomination for Best Dance Recording at the 51st Grammy Awards.
- Flo Rida’s new album R.O.O.T.S. features Akon on the track “Available”.
- Akon has recorded a song with E-40 titled “Wake It Up” for E-40′s album, The Ball Street Journal. Akon experiments with the auto-tune effect in the song.
- Rap singer Nelly confirmed that Akon, Pharrell, and T-Pain have talked about forming a rap supergroup in 2009.
- Akon and Konvict Muzik are also producing hip hop/rock group Flipsyde’s 2009 release, State of Survival, which will be released via Kon Live Distribution and Cherrytree Records.
- Akon worked with Whitney Houston for her 2009 comeback album I Look to You. He appears on the track “Like I Never Left”.
- In May 2009, Akon collaborated with Taiwanese artist 潘瑋柏 (Wilber Pan) and released another version of the song, Be With You.
- Akon worked with bachata group Aventura and Reggaeton duo Wisin y Yandel on All Up 2 You the second single from Aventura’s album The Last that dropped in June. The song received two nominations at the Premios Lo Nuestro 2010 for “Urban Song of the Year” and “Video Collaboration of the Year”.
- Akon recently signed Jayko, a Hispanic R&B and Reggaeton artist, to his label and is working with him on his debut album titled “Marcando Territorio”
- Sexy Bitch was released in July 2009, a collaboration with French DJ David Guetta.
- In August 2009, Akon released another version of Beautiful featuring BoA, a popular and legendary Korean singer. However, this version was for the Japanese market.
- Akon also sang in a song with Colby O’Donis called “What You Got”.
- In 2009 Akon collaborated with Pitbull on the single “Shut It Down” from the album “Rebelution”.
- Akon worked to help Matisyahu remix his single “One Day” on his album Light.
- In 2010 Akon collaborated with up and coming pop singer JRandall on a song entitled oo la la” which premiered on JustJared.com on October 6th.
- In 2010 he is one of over 70 artists singing on “We Are the World: 25 for Haiti”, a charity single in aid of the 2010 Haiti earthquake. He also entered into the Indian market, working with composers Vishal Dadlani and Shekhar Ravjiani on the soundtrack to the Bollywood action film Ra.One.