Music Industry Diary

2Baba The Ageless Phenomenon

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2Baba's musical legacy is undeniable
’s musical legacy is undeniable

2Baba’s music never gets old!

 

Real name: Innocent Ujah Idibia
Stage name: 2baba
Date of birth: September 18, 1975
State of Origin: Benue
Nationality: Nigerian
Genre: Afropop, Reggae, R&B, Afrobeats

 

Arguably, the greatest music artist in the country, the phenomenon known as 2Baba is one of the industry’s pillars, holding strong as one of Nigeria’s foremost artists in a career that has spanned decades of achievements.

When his unique voice captured hearts in 2000, many knew that the singer was destined for greatness and he has proved to be a true legend in the music industry, outliving and outshining a lot of others in his journey to the top.

2Baba is a Nigerian singer, songwriter, record producer, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and activist who previously went by the stage name 2Face Idibia.

He is one of the most decorated and successful artists in Africa and also one of the most bankable stars in the music industry on the continent.

Idibia

The lanky legend hails from the Idoma ethnic group in the southern part of Benue State, Nigeria and attended Mount Saint Gabriel’s Secondary School in Makurdi, Benue State.

He studied at the Institute of Management and Technology, Enugu (IMT) where he did his preliminary National Diploma in Business Administration and Management.

As a student at IMT, 2Baba performed in different shows and parties organized by the school, as well as other nearby educational institutions like the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and Enugu State University of Science and Technology.

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He dropped out eventually to pursue a career in music, something that he had already started indulging in as an IMT student when he started composing and singing jingles at the fan club at Enugu State Broadcasting Services (ESBS) in 1996.

It was in that same year (1996) that he adopted the stage name ‘2Face’ (Tuface), his reason being that he wanted to create a separation between his personal life and his business life.

2Baba moved to Lagos and started performing with rapper Blackface Naija, having met him while in secondary school in Benue. With Blackface (Ahmedu Augustine Obiabo) and musician (Chibuzor Oji), he would go on to form the popular trio band Plantashun Boiz.

Plantashun Boiz released two successful albums: Body and Soul (2000) and Sold Out (2003) with Nelson Brown’s Dove Records. They disbanded in 2004 with its members going solo. They came back together in 2007 to record a third and final album titled Plan B which was released in the same year.

After the disbandment of Plantashun Boiz in 2004, 2Baba released his debut album Face 2 Face (2004). It established his status as a viable solo artist.

Grass 2 Grace, his second solo album, was released in 2006. It contained the hit songs One Love, True Love, and For Instance. 2Baba also founded Hypertek Entertainment.

His song African Queen was used in the soundtrack for the movie Phat Girlz (2006) which was released internationally. This further boosted the singer’s rising influence in the entertainment scene.

In 2009, 2Baba dropped the experimental album The Unstoppable, which was promoted by the single Enter the Place. The following year, he released the “International Edition” of the same album, making him the first Nigerian artist to have a priced international album.

The King

The international edition of The Unstoppable won two awards at the 2010 SoundCity Music Video Awards. The artist also won the Channel O Music Video Awards, Best African Western Award, and the MTV Africa Music Awards for Best Male and Artist of the Year.

2Baba was part of the Sony All African One8 Project alongside seven other musicians in Africa who recorded a single with R. Kelly titled Hands Across the World.

With over two decades in the entertainment industry, he remains one of the most influential forces and has had several collaborations across the globe.

On September 20, 2015, the FORTYfied All-Star Tribute Concert (#FORTYfied), an all-star tribute organized to celebrate 2Baba’s 40th birthday and influence in the Nigerian music scene, took place at the Eko Hotel and Suites.

Hosted by comedian , the event was well-attended by notable dignitaries and saw performances from artists like Wizkid, Burna Boy, Timaya, D’banj, Sound Sultan, Patoranking, Vector, Wande Coal, and Sheyi Shay.

The icon

2Baba’s collaboration with other singers has given them the opportunity to win awards for each duet such as Street Credibility by 9ice, Possibility by the defunct P-Square, and others.

In October 2019, 2Baba staged his 20 Years A King concert at the International Conference Center, Abuja to mark his 20th Anniversary in the music industry.

The event was a huge success as it recorded a massive turnout. Organized by 2Baba’s Hypertek Digital in collaboration with Delphino Entertainment, it was hosted by alongside Basketmouth.

With wife

As an artist adored by his colleagues, 2Baba is seen as a role model by many and is the first non-Liberian to become an honorary member of the Liberian music society in recognition for his outstanding contribution to the growth of African music.

He is married to Nigerian award-winning actress Annie Macaulay and they have two girls together. 2Baba is father to seven children (five from 2 previous relationships).   

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