2face is unarguably the most successful contemporary Nigerian music act. He celebrated his 41st birthday on September 18, here are 47 highlights of his life and career.
1. 2face was born in a hospital in Rayfield, Jos, Plateau state on September 18, 1975.
2. He has three other brothers: Steven, Hyacinth (former member of music group, Natives) and Charles. 2face is the 2nd child.
3. Music came to him naturally. He was never in a choir, he just discovered he could sing. His family attended a Catholic church back in Jos.
4. He grew up in Jos and his native Benue and constantly moved around as a kid because of the nature of his father’s job.
5. At the age of four, 2face moved to the US where his dad was studying with his family. He was there for three years and returned home in 1982 at the age of seven.
6. In 1992, 2face made his first visit to Africa’s entertainment capital Lagos and was inspired to one day return to rock the city.
7. 2face obtained his OND in Business Administration at the Institute of Management and Technology, Enugu in 1997.
8. After concluding his OND, he teamed up with Blackface, who had also completed his education from the same school. The duo performed and attended different gigs around campus.
9. After his OND, 2face decided to do music full time but this was frowned at by his parents who persuaded him to complete his HND. They eventually gave their support when he remained adamant.
10. Later in 1997, 2face and Blackface started the group Plantashun Boiz and eventually moved to Lagos where they lived in Blackface’s uncle’s house in Festac.
11. The duo met Faze in Festac and initially planned featuring him in their debut album. However after a few recordings, they discovered that they all had a powerful synergy which could work out as a group. This was how Faze joined 2face and Blackface in Plantashun Boiz.
12. The first professional pay they earned as a group was N10,000 when they performed at the Rothmans Groove which was gotten through the help of veteran event planner, Eddie Lawani. They went on to perform at 31 shows for Rothmans and eventually got paid N310,000.
13. The group was signed to Nelson Brown’s Dove Records under whom they released their albums.
14. They dropped their first album, Body and Soul in 2000 and it was a commercial success. The album contained popular songs like ‘You and I’, ‘Knock Me Off’ and ‘Cousin’s Cousin’.
15. Their sophomore album Sold Out was released in 2003 and was also produced by Nelson Brown.
16. In 2004, 2face left Plantashun Boiz to begin a solo career. He got signed to Kennis Music where he dropped his solo debut single, ‘Nfana Nbaga’.
17. His debut album, Face 2 Face sold over two million copies. It had songs like ‘Ole’ (whose video was the first video aired on MTV Base), ‘Right Here’ and the internationally acclaimed ‘African Queen’.
18. 2face was featured in Wyclef’s ‘Proud to be African’ in 2004. The single also had Faze and Sound Sultan and was one of the songs which was released in Wyclef’s 5th studio album, Welcome to Haiti: Creole 101.
19. In 2005, he won the MTV Europe Music Award for Best African act.
20. In 2006, his love influenced track, ‘African Queen’ was included in the sound track of Hollywood movie, Phat Girls which stared Monique and Jimmy Jean-Louise.
21. He dropped his second album, Grass to Grace in 2006 and it was also a commercial success. The album sold over a million copies in its first week of release.
22. He emerged the first Nigerian act to win MOBO awards in 2007 defeating D’banj and other top African music acts.
23. 2face reunited with his former group Plantashun Boiz in 2007 and they released another album, Plan B which is the last musical project they worked on as a group.
24. 2face left Kennis Music in 2007 and started his own outfit, Hypertek Entertainment teaming up with Efe Omorogbe’s Now Music.
25. He released his 3rd album, Unstoppable in 2008 with tracks like ‘Enter The Place’, ‘Excuse me Sister’ and ‘Flex’ which featured RnB singer, R. Kelly.
26. 2face became a NAFDAC ambassador in 2009 and released the conscious song, ‘Man Unkind’ which spoke about the ills of fake drugs.
27. 2face teamed up with R Kelly, Ali Kiba, Prince Lee and four others in 2010 to record the song, ‘Hands Across the World’, a Sony sponsored project which seeks to alleviate poverty in Africa.
28. In 2010, he repackaged the Unstoppable album and had an international release. The album had some songs from his third record as well as new songs.
29. 2face is the first Nigerian act to sell an album for a retail price of N1,000.
30. On March 23, 2013, 2face married his long-time girlfriend, Annie Macaulay in an exquisite ceremony in Dubai.
31. His 5th album, Away and Beyond dropped in 2012 with songs like ‘Spiritual Healing’ and ‘Rainbow’.
32. In January 2012, 2face signed Dammy Krane to his Hypertek imprint.
33. He also signed veteran musician, Sir Victor Uwaifo in November, 2013.
34. In his over 10 year solo career, 2face has won numerous awards including five Headies, four MAMAs, four Channel O Music Video Awards, one Kora and one BET awards.
35. 2face has survived several armed robbery attacks including one in 2007 when he was shot in his left leg.
36. In 2013, 2face was awarded with the prestigious NET HONOURS for his contribution to the Nigerian music industry
37. 2face has seven kids with three different women. Three from Pero Adeniyi, two from Sumbo Ajaba and two with his wife, Annie Macaulay.
38. In 2014, 2face starred in Ivie Ikujaye’s musical film, Make a Move. 2face played the role of a dance show judge alongside Denrele Edun and Omawumi.
39. In 2015, the only book on the life and times of 2face Idibia, A Very Good Bad Guy, was published.
40. In June 2015, 2face was unveiled as an Airtel ambassador alongside, Patoranking, Phyno, Bovi and Ik Osakioduwa.
41. He was decorated with NET Honours at the debut edition of Nigerian Entertainment Conference on April 26, 2013.
42. 2face Idibia’s biography, A Very Good Bad Guy, by NET Books (TheNETng) was launched on October 20, 2015
43. In April 2016, he was made a Campari ambassador at the 4th annual Nigerian Entertainment Conference.
44. In May 2016, 2baba received a honorary degree from Igbinedion University courtesy of the Esama of Benin Kingdom and founder of the university, Gabriel Igbinedion.
45. In June 2016, a street was named after the musician in Lagos by Haven Homes. Innocent Idibia Street can now be found inside Richmond Estates in Lekki, Lagos.
46. He became Youth Ambassador for the National Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN) in August 2016
47. He held the biggest music concert of the year, ‘Buckwyld ‘n’ Breathless’ alongside rapper M.I Abaga on September 3, 2016 at the Eko Hotels in Lagos.
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