Akon (born Aliaune Damala Bouga Time Puru Nacka Badara Akon Thiam), is a Senegalese-American R&B singer-songwriter, rapper, record producer, and businessman.
He rose to prominence in 2004 following the release of "Locked Up," the first single from his debut album “Trouble.” The album has reached platinum status in the United States with over 1.6 million sales.
His second album, “Konvicted,” earned him a Grammy Award nomination of the single "Smack That." “Konvicted” debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart. After only six weeks, “Konvicted” sold more than one million records in the U.S. and more than 1.3 million worldwide. The album was certified platinum after seven weeks, and after sixteen weeks it was certified double platinum. It stayed in the Top 20 of the Billboard 200 for 28 consecutive weeks and peaked at #2 on four different occasions. The RIAA certified the album 3x platinum with 3 million units sold in the U.S. It has sold more than 4 million copies worldwide. He has since founded two record labels, Konvict Muzik and Kon Live Distribution.
Akon often sings hooks for other artists and is currently accredited with over 300 guest appearances and 40 Billboard Hot 100 songs. He has worked with numerous performers such as Michael Jackson, R. Kelly, Quincy Jones, Eminem and Whitney Houston.
He is the first solo artist to hold both the #1 and #2 spots simultaneously on the Billboard Hot 100 chart twice. He has had six Grammy Awards nominations and has produced many hits for artists such as Lady Gaga, Colby O'Donis and Leona Lewis.
His third studio album, “Freedom,” which he released in 2008 was led by the Top 20 single, "Beautiful" featuring Colby O’Donis and Kardinal Offishall. A second single, "Right Now (Na Na Na)" peaked at #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was Akon's twelfth Top 10 hit on the chart. The album peaked at #3 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and #7 on the Billboard 200.