President Muhammadu Buhari has warmly congratulated music legend, Sunday Adeniyi Adegeye, otherwise known as King Sunny Ade, as he turns 70 on Thursday 22 September.
Buhari, who is now in New York for the 71st session of the UN General Assembly noted in his birthday message that Sunny Ade has over the years brought pride to Nigeria and joy to many hearts and homes through his music.
Sunny Ade, he said has mastered his art against all odds, taking the African musical genre to the global stage, and serving as an inspiration and a mentor to upcoming artistes.
The Nigerian leader joined all friends, family and fans of the multi-talented instrumentalist, songwriter and dancer in celebrating Sunny Ade’s remarkable life, which has been graced with numerous awards for outstanding performances, including nominations for the Grammy.
President Buhari also commended King Sunny Ade’s love for humanity, especially the less privileged, by setting up a foundation that caters for the needs of others.
Sunny Ade was born in 1946 to a royal family in Ondo, western Nigeria., His father was a church organist, while his mother was a trader.
He left grammar school in Ondo under the pretence of going to further his education in Lagos. He never did, but rather joined Moses Olaiya’s Federal Rhythm Dandies, a highlife band.
He left to form a new band, The Green Spots, in 1967.
Years later, the man who taught himself how to play the guitar changed his band’s name first to African Beats and then to Golden Mercury.
Apart from Fela, Sunny Ade is the most popular Nigerian musician in Africa and the western world. He had been nominated twice for Grammy Awards.