Scandals, breakthroughs, deaths that rocked 2019

This year was expected to be a big one for many celebrities in the entertainment industry, with some already recording huge successes and others showing signs of things to come. SEGUN ADEBAYO and KOLA MUHAMMED chronicle some of the events that shaped the entertainment industry this year.

From the look of things, the entertainment industry appeared to have emerged as one of the industries that have continued to lift the image of the country. Despite the myriad of challenges confronting the nation, many people have said that the industry’s growth and expansion would not have been possible if some of the practitioners had not taken the bull by the horns.

From music to movies, the dominance of Nigerian contents could be felt within and beyond the African continent.

In terms of achievements, many entertainers performed beyond expectations, blitzing landmarks and setting their own records, but some fell below the bar while others are already anticipating an eventfully better year.

In a year which featured celebrity marriages, Grammy nominations, international collaborations, sold-out foreign concerts, mouth-watering endorsements, box-office records, disqualifications, full-blown ‘Star Wars’ and even EFCC arrests, entertainment lovers had quite the fill with unusual news almost on a daily basis and countless memorable moments.


The music industry in particular had another packed year with numerous headlines and unforgettable moments. Quite a number of artistes could call 2019 their breakout year, some built on the successes of previous years to up their game while some others simply drifted along with time. With many already referring to the year as heading towards the end of a decade, some established acts saw 2019 as the perfect year for consolidation.

The Breakouts

When Cobhams sang “give me one hit song Lord, let me blow like Olamide…”, it was an apt reflection of the prayers of many up-and-coming artistes in the industry and in 2019, the prayers of some were answered.


Teniola Apata, who is simply called Teni, released UyoMeyo very latein 2018 but the song did very well into 2019 alongside Case, catapulting her into prominence, setting the pace for what has been a fantastic year for the Lagos-born musician. She followed up on her Headies’ Rookie of the Year award in 2018 to win no less than four awards in 2019, among other recognitions. With an EP to her credit, 2019 has no doubt been Teni’s year.

Zlatan Ibile

Once you hear the trademark kapachumarimarichupaku¸ you need not ask who the singer is. Zlatan ruled the year. From music to banters, he was all over the scene. The 25-year-old rapper became a hot cake and everybody wanted to feature him. In the words of KingP, a fast-rising musician and CEO, “Zlatan is one of the hottest acts right now and having him on your song also means that you get the much-needed street swag.” Not even EFCC could stop his meteoric rise to fame and it was a crowning moment bagging three awards at AFRIMMA.

Naira Marley

The leader of the Marlian movement, Afeez Fashola, popularly known as Naira Marley, can lay claim to having ruled the streets in 2019 with his street-hop lyrics, with many believing that his rise was inversely proportional to Small Doctor’s decline. From Soapy, Opotoyi, O Por to Ma fo, he had the Midas’ voice which became gold in the ears of listeners. Despite allegations of cybercrimes and EFCC entanglement, the 25-year-old musician rose to become a cult hero and can lay claim to being one of the winners of 2019.


Two singles, and 2019 became an entirely different year for Joeboy. He went from an industry nobody to a stellar act that has become a mainstay on majority of playlists in the country, as he dropped consecutively Baby and Beginning. With the dream 2019 has been, he is one act who looks set to continue his great form into the coming year.

Fireboy DML

When Olamide announced the signing of Fireboy DML alongside Picazo and Yomi Blaze in barely two days into his record label, YBNL, speculations were rife whether he would cope with the burden of expectations that has characterised a record label which had produced stars such as Lil Kesh and Adekunle Gold. If this year were to be a yardstick, he certainly crushed the obstacles in his path. If “What if I say” still left some room for doubt about the 23-year-old rookie, “Jealous” obliterated whatever skepticism that was still directed towards him. But he didn’t stop there. He took his success a notch higher by releasing his first album, Laughter, Tears and Goosebumps.

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