President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated music legend, King Sunny Ade, on his 70th birthday, which is on Sept. 22. Information on the felicitation is contained in a statement issued by Mr Femi Adesina, the president’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity in Abuja on Wednesday. Adesina stated that “President Buhari joins friends, family and fans of the multi-talented instrumentalist, songwriter and dancer in celebrating his remarkable life.” The President noted with delight that Sunny Ade had been graced with numerous awards for outstanding performances, including nominations for the Grammy.
Buhari added that the Septuagenarian had over the years brought pride to his country by mastering his art against all odds, taking the African musical genre to the global stage. He, therefore, commended him for not only bringing joy to many hearts and homes through his music, but for serving as an inspiration and a mentor to upcoming artistes. The President saluted “King Sunny Ade’s love for humanity, especially the less privileged, by setting up a foundation that caters for the needs of others.’’ He prayed that almighty God would grant “the versatile entertainer longer life, good health and more strength.”
Born on Sept. 22, 1964 in Osogbo, Sunday Adeniyi, the King of Juju and popularly called the minister of enjoyment, had been actively in music since 1960s. His father was a Church organist, while his mother was a trader. Adé left grammar school in Ondo under the pretence of going to University of Lagos but there in Lagos, his mercurial musical career started. Sunny Adé’s musical sound evolved from the early days. His career begun with Moses Olaiya’s Federal Rhythm Dandies, a highlife band, but he left to form a new band, The Green Spots in 1967.
Over the years, Sunny Adé’s band changed its name several times, first to African Beats and then to Golden Mercury, for various reasons ranging from changes in his music to business concerns. In the 1970s and 1980s Adé embarked on a tour of America and Europe. His stage act was characterised by dexterous dancing steps and mastery of the guitar, which he played beautifully well to the admiration of the Americans and Europeans. His music albums earned him many awards, including his first Grammy Award nomination in the folk/ethnic music category.