Nigeria’s Top 50 Songs (1960-2010) – The Complete Music Countdown

Below is the complete list of our choice of Nigeria’s top 50 songs made up of Nigerian oldies and new-ish songs released between 1960 – 2010.

We had to edit out the bios and stories of each artist or else we would have created the longest post in the world. To reference the bios, kindly visit the following links:

50 down to 41.

40 down to 31.

30 down to 21.

20 down to 11

10 down to 1

No 50:  Oby Onyioha – I Want To Feel Your Love

(1981, “I Want To Feel Your Love”, Time Communications Ltd)

Oby Onyioha – I Want To Feel Your Love

No 49: – Monika

(1991, “Fufu Flavour“, Storm Productions)

Junior & Pretty – Monika

No 48: – Baby Kilode

(1983, “Be My Friend“, EMI (Nigeria))

Dizzy K Falola – Baby Kilode

No 47: Ofege – Try and Love

(1974, “Try And Love“, EMI (Nigeria))

Ofege – Try & Love

No 46: Remedies – Shakomo

(1998, “Peace Nigeria“, )

Remedies – Shakomo

No 45: Alex Zitto – Walakolombo

(1989, “Walakolombo”, PolyGram)

Alex Zito – Baby Walakolombo

No 44: Kris Okotie – I Need Someone

(1980, “I Need Someone”, Phonodisk)

Kris Okotie – I Need SomeOne

No 43: & his Zigima Sound –

(1990, ”, Rogers All Stars Music)

Bright Chimezie – African Style

No 42: ft Pastor Goody Goody – My Car

(2001, “My Car”, )

Tony Tetuila – My Car

No 41: Chris Mba – Baby Don’t Cry

(1983, “Love Everlasting”, Chris Robinson Studios)

Chris Mba – Baby Don’t Cry

No 40: Felix Lebarty – Ifeoma
(1989, “One Life To Live
“, Tabansi Records)

Felix Liberty – Ifeoma

No 39: Olu Maintain ft LKT – Yahoozee
(2006, “Maintain Reloaded”, Reloaded Records)

photo credit: Getty

Olu Maintain ft LKT – Yahoozee

No 38: Stephen Osita Osadebe – Osondi Owendi
(1984,
Osondi Owendi”, Polydor [LPs]; Premier Music [CD])

Stephen Osita Osadebe – Osondi Owendi

No 37: Dr Victor Olaiya – Omo Pupa
(
1982, In the Sixties”, Polydor)

Dr Victor Olaiya – Omo Pupa

No 36: Evi Edna Ogholi – Happy Birthday
(1989, “Happy Birthday”, Polydor Nigeria
)

Evi Edna Ogholi – Happy Birthday

No 35: Oliver De Coque & His Expo 76′ – Identity
(1980, “Identity”, Olumo)

Oliver De Coque – Identity

No 34: Mike Okri – Time Na Money
(1988, “Concert Fever”,
CBS Records (Nigeria))

Mike Okri – Time Na Money

No 33: Funmi Adams – Nigeria My Beloved Country
(1989 (?), “All We Need Is Love”, Supra)

Funmi Adams – Nigeria My Beloved Country

No 32: Oritz Wiliki – Heart Of Stone
(199?, “Heart Of Stone”, Premier Music)

Oritz Wiliki – Heart Of Stone

No 31: Harry Mosco – Sugar Cane Baby
(1982, “Sugar Cane Baby”, Samba)

Harry Mosco – Sugar Cane Baby

No 30: – Gangar Bashi

Dan Maraya Jos – Gangar Bashi

No 29:
(1984, ”, Tabansi Records)

Veno Marioghae – Nigeria Go Survive

No 28: Sunny Neji – Oruka
(2003, “Unchained”, Blue Pie
)

Sunny Neji – Oruka

No 27: Bongos Ikwue – Still Searching
(1978, “Still Searching“, EMI Nigeria)

Bongos Ikwue – Still Searching

No 26: Blackky – Rosie
(1991, “About Tyme”, Premiere Music
)

Blackky – Rosie

No 25: P Square – No One Like U
(2007,
“Game Over”, Squared Records)

P Square – No One Like U

No 24: Daddy Showkey – Diana
(1999, “The Ghetto Soldier“)

Daddy Showkey – Diana

[DOWNLOAD]

No 23: Femi Kuti – Beng Beng Beng
(1998, “Shoki Shoki”, Barclay)

Femi Kuti – Beng Beng Beng

No 22: Nelly Uchendu & Mike Obianwu – Love Nwantinti-ada Eze-onye Nwulu Ozuluike
(1976, “Love Nwantinti”)

Nelly Uchendu & Mike Obianwu – Love Nwantinti-Ada Eze-Onye Nwulu Ozuluike

No 21: IK Dairo – Mo Sorire

IK Dairo – Mo Sorire

No 20: Sonny Okosun – Which Way Nigeria
(
1984, “Which Way Nigeria?” EMI Nigeria)

Sonny Okosun – Which Way Nigeria

No 19: William Onyeabor – When The Going Is Smooth & Good
(1985, “Anything You Sow”, Wilfilms Records)

William Onyeabor – When The Going Is Smooth & Good

No 18: – Tongolo
(2005, “
No Long Thing”, Mo’ Hits)

D’Banj – Tongolo

No 17: Majek Fashek – Send Down The Rain
(1988, “Prisoner of Conscience”, Tabansi Records)

Majek Fashek – Send Down The Rain

No 16: Onyeka Onwenu – Ekwe
(1984,
“In The Morning”, Ayollo Records)

Onyeka Onwenu – Ekwe

No 15: Fela Anikulapo  Kuti – Zombie
(1977, “Zombie”, Coconut Records/Phonogram)

Fela Kuti – Zombie

No 14: Bobby Benson – Taxi Driver
(1950s)

Bobby Benson – Taxi Driver

No 13: Chief Commander Ebenezer Obey – Board Members
(1972, “Board Members”, Decca)

Chief Commander Ebenezer Obey – Board Members

No 12: Cardinal Rex Jim Lawson – Love Me Adure
(1972, “Love M Adure“, Akpola)

Cardinal Rex Jim Lawson – Love Me Adure

No 11: Lagbaja – Konko Below
(2001, “We Before Me”, Lagbaja)

Lagbaja – Konko Below

No 10: 2Face – African Queen
(2004, “Face 2 Face”, Kennis Music)

2Face – African Queen

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2oWyB39dwY

No 9: Shina Peters – Afro Juju(Ace)
(1989,
Ace (Afro-Juju Series 1))

Shina Peters – Afro Juju(Ace

No 8: Sonny Okosun – Now Or Ever
(1986, “Now or Never”, EMI)

Sonny Okosun – Now Or Never

No 7: Femi Kuti – Wonder Wonder
(1995, “Femi Kuti”, Tabu Records)

Femi Kuti – Wonder Wonder

No 6: King Sunny Ade – The Way Forward 1
(1994, “The Way Forward“, Sigma Park)

King Sunny Ade – The Way Forward 1

No 5: Sir Victor Uwaifo – Joromi
(1969, “Big Sound”, Phonogram/Phillips)

Sir Victor Uwaifo – Joromi

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKd0pSysaf0

No 4: Christie – Seun Rere
(1981, “Ever Liked My Person”, Lagos International Records)

Christie Essien Igbokwe – Seun Rere

No 3: Fela Kuti – Water No Get Enemy
(1975, “Expensive Shit” )

Fela Kuti – Water No Get Enemy

No 2: Onyeka Onwenu – Iyogogo
(1992)

Onyeka Onwenu – Iyogogo

No 1: Prince Nico Mbarga – Sweet Mother
(1976, “Sweet Mother”, Roger All Stars)

Prince Nico Mbarga (1 January 1950 – 24 June 1997) was a highlife musician, born to a Nigerian mother and a Bakassi father in Abakaliki, Nigeria. He is renowned for his hit song “Sweet Mother“, recorded with his band – Rocafil Jazz. He played the xylophone, conga, drums, and electric guitar in school bands and he made his professional debut as a member of a hotel band, the Melody Orchestra, in 1970.

Although he only recorded one significant hit, “Sweet Mother,” in 1976, which sold more than 13 million copies (and which is recognised as one of Africa’s greatest songs), Mbarga played an important role in the evolution of African popular music. With his soulful vocals set to the light melodies of his acoustic guitar, Mbarga created a unique hybrid of Igbo and Congolese guitar playing and uplifting highlife rhythms. He formed his own group, Rocafil Jazz, to perform regularly at the Naza Hotel in the eastern Nigerian city of Onitsha.

After releasing a disappointing single in 1973, Mbarga and Rocafil Jazz had their first success with their second single, “I No Go Marry My Papa”, which became a regional hit. The band’s inability to break past their local following resulted in their recording contract being dropped by EMI, a decision that proved ill-fortuned when the band signed with Rogers All Stars, a Nigerian recording company based in Onitsha, and recorded “Sweet Mother

Sung in Pidgin English, “Sweet Mother” became one of the top sellers in the history of African music. In the six years that Mbarga and Rocafil Jazz remained with Rogers All Stars, 1975 to 1981, they recorded nine albums.

Temporarily relocating to England in 1982, Mbarga became known for his flamboyant, 1970s glam rock-inspired performances. While he continued to appear with Rocafil Jazz, Mbarga also performed with London-based highlife band the Ivory Coasters and Cameroonian vocalist Louisiana Tilda. Despite launching his own Polydor-distributed record label, upon returning to Nigeria, Mbarga and the original members of Rocafil Jazz separated after several Cameroon-born members were deported. Although he later formed the New Rocafil Jazz Band, Mbarga failed to match his early success. Leaving music, he turned his attention to managing the two hotels that he owned, Hotel Calabar and the Sweet Mother Hotel.

Prince Nico Mbarga was killed in a motorcycle accident on June 24, 1997, leaving behind “Sweet Mother” as the most popular song amongst Nigerians. “Sweet Mother” is sometimes called Africa’s anthem and has been voted Africa’s favourite song by BBC readers and listeners.

Prince Nico Mbarga – Sweet Mother

Sweet mother I no go forget you
for the wey you Suffer Suffer for me.

Sweet mother I no go forget you
for the wey you Suffer Suffer for me.

When I dey cry, my mother go carry me, she go say,
‘My Pikin’ wetin you dey cry ye, ye,
stop stop, stop stop make you cry again oh no. “

When I won sleep, my mother go pet me,
she go lie me well well for bed,
she cover me cloth, sing me to sleep,
“Pikin sleep sleep oh my.”

When I dey hungry, my mother go run up and down.
Something she go find me when I go chop oh.

Sweet mother I no go forget you for the wey Suffer me Suffer for you

When I dey sick, my mother go cry, cry, cry,
INSTEAD say she go when I go die make she die.

O, she go beg God,
“God help me, God help, my Pikin oh.”

If I do not sleep, my mother no go sleep,
if I no chop, my mother no go chop, she no dey oh pull.

Sweet mother I no go forget you,
for the wey you Suffer Suffer for me.

Another wife you get fit, you fit Get Another husband,
But You Get Another fit mother? No!

And if I forget you, Therefore I forget my life and the air I breathe.

And Then on to you men, forget, verily, forget your mother,
for if you forget your mother you’ve lost your life.

lifted from wiki

Nigeria’s Top 50 Songs (1960 – 2010) was chosen from 237, 516 Songs by a strong panel of 6 music lovers whose collections span from 8-tracks to 12 & 7 inch vinyls to tapes to CDs to iTune Libraries to iPODs to mp3s to ogg files. Their ages are 16, 24, 32, 41, 49 & 68.

The selection process took ‘4weeks, 2broken glasses, a purchase of an Awolowo picture (?), 1 angry landlord & 1 work query’ to conclude.

Hope u enjoy it. Constructive criticism is fully allowed. Please no insulting comments. Just WORK IT OUT!

No record sales or related information were used to determine them and they were chosen based on personal opinions, popularity, quality, originality, creativity & the VOCAL DROPS Rating System

This top 50 Nigeria Songs does not in any way represent the whole Nation’s opinion.  We sincerely apologize for any songs we may have missed out on during the selection process. We will always be your biggest fans

As we count down, let us know which songs u think should be in Nigeria’s top 50 and which ones shouldn’t have made it.

Please list your own Top 50 Songs and post it in the comment box or send to [email protected].

We apologise to any of the artists/music labels/bodies  that are/will be featured in this article who may find it abusive, disrespectful or unsuitable. Upon notification to remove any of their materials, we will do so immediately.

Special thanks to Comb & Razor & Likembe (John B. Milwaukee) – their blogs were immensely useful; all the websites especially wiki we referenced, our friends, parents, egbons & aunties.

This has been a rewarding experience for everyone involved.

LETS KEEP MAKING MUSIC!!! I’m outty!

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