Iyanya Onoyom Mbuk popularly known by his stage name, Iyanya is a Nigerian Afropop singer and performer. From humble beginnings to becoming one of the music artists with potentials, Iyanya has taken the entertainment industry by storm.
Early life and background of Iyanya
Iyanya was born on the 31st of October, 1986 in Palm Street, Calabar, Cross River State. His mother was a school headmistress while his father was a forester. He attended Qubi Centre Nursery School Calabar and Government primary school for his elementary education. For his secondary education, he attended government science school Calabar. Iyanya went ahead to bag a degree in Business Management from the University of Calabar. He lost his parents and elder brother to the cold hands of death in 2008.
His Rise to Fame
Upon graduation from the University, he worked as a bar manager at a hotel. Then, he used to sing karaoke at Fiesta Fries Bar, Mirage Nite Club, and West-Life. The Afro-pop artiste was inspired by Craig David, Bob Marley, West Life, Backstreet Boys, and R. Kelly. He was motivated to pursue his musical career after watching the celebrity lifestyle of 2 Face Idibia and Olu Maintain. Iyanya launched his music career as a rapper, going by the name “Lofty”.
He got his big break in 2008 after participating and emerging winner of the first season of MTN Project Fame West Africa. Since then, he has remained relevant in the entertainment industry. In 2009, he released his debut album “My Story” which was a commercial failure due to problems with distribution and promotion. He rose to prominence after releasing Kukere in 2011. Famous for the Etighi sound, Kukere was critically acclaimed and achieved commercial success. Since then he’s been making exploits and encountering numerous challenges which he’s been able to surmount. He has released numerous hit songs including Ur Waist, No time, Le Kwa Kwu, Fever among others.
The renowned singer has been opportuned to perform and grace world class events. He gave stellar performance at the world-renowned New York Fashion Week. He has performed at the African Muzik Magazine launch and serenaded Grammy Award nominee Melanie Fiona at the LTB Jean store. Iyanya was the first artist from Africa to have his songs (Kukere and Ur Waist) as the most used for caller tunes. He recorded a milestone of 3 million. Known for flaunting his well-chiselled body which drives many women crazy, the performer is likened to a sex symbol. Due to this, he’s been able to garner huge following on social media accounts.
The sexy singer has bagged a couple of endorsement deals with corporate brands like MTN, Solo Phones, Zinox Computers and Dunes Centre.
The Kukere crooner has been involved in lots of high profile relationships. He once dated Yvonne Nelson, Freda Francis and many married women.
Awards and Nominations
Nigeria Music Video Awards (NMVA) nominee for the Best Contemporary Afro (Live Beats choice) – 2012
The Headies award for Best Pop Single – 2012
Song of the Year nominee at the Headies – 2012
Soul Train Music Awards nominee for Best International Performance – 2013
Channel O Music Video Awards nominee for the Most Gifted Male Video – 2013
Nigeria Entertainment Awards nominee for Best Pop/R&B Artist of the Year – 2013
Hottest Single of the Year at the Nigeria Entertainment Awards – 2013
Ghana Music Awards nominee for African Artiste of the Year – 2013
Nominated for Musician of the Year (Male) at the City People Entertainment Awards – 2013
Nominee for Most Popular Song of the Year at the City People Entertainment Awards – 2013
Nominee for Best High Life at the Video Nigeria Music Video Awards (NMVA) – 2013
Iyanya was nominated for Best Use of Choreography at the Nigeria Music Video Awards (NMVA) – 2013
Nominee for Best Use of Visual Effects at the Nigeria Music Video Awards (NMVA) – 2013
The Headies award for Artist of the Year – 2013
Best R&B/Pop Album nominee at the Headies – 2013
Album of the Year nominee at the Headies – 2013
Best Pop Single nominee at the Headies – 2013
Song of the Year nominee at The Headies – 2013
World Music Awards nominee for the World’s Best Song – 2014
Nominated Le Kwa Ukwu for the World’s Best Video at the World Music Awards – 2014
Iyanya was nominated for the World’s Best Male Artist at the World Music Awards – 2014
World’s Best Live Act nominee at the World Music Awards – 2014
Nominated as the World’s Best Entertainer of the Year at the World Music Awards – 2014
City People Entertainment Awards nominated Iyanya for the Musician of the Year (Male) – 2014
African Muzik Magazine Awards nominee for Best Male West Africa – 2014
Best Dance in a Video at the African Muzik Magazine Awards – 2014
Iyanya’s Net Worth
With many endorsement deals to his name, he’s rated amongst the richest and most influential celebrities. His net worth is estimated to be $4.5 million.
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