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Throwback Thursday: King Sunny Adé

Throwback Thursday: King Sunny Adé
Credit: Getty Images/David Corio/Redferns

By Beverly Bryan | January 17, 2013

Fela Kuti’s global pop cultural profile is so high now that his towering legacy threatens to overshadow some of his finest contemporaries in Nigerian music. It can’t be helped, perhaps, but would he have wanted it that way? What we’re saying is: There’s more music out there.

If you are looking to expand your Afropop collection, you could do worse than to check living juju legend King Sunny Adé (full name: Sunday Adeniyi). The innovative guitarist and vocalist signed to Island in 1982 and was misguidedly marketed as the next Bob Marley, but he was already a musical icon in his native Nigeria. He famously introduced lapsteel, wah-wah guitar, and dub influences to juju, a style characterized by Yoruba talking drum rhythms, earning himself a worldwide reputation for endless grooves.

Start with this sweet 1983 live video, but keep in mind that Adé is still touring. You could see him this year.

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