Aliaune Damala Bouga Time Bongo Puru Nacka Lu Lu Lu Badara Akon Thiam, born April 16, 1973, in St. Louis, Missouri, known as Akon, is an American R&B and hip hop artist, songwriter, and record producer. He became famous in 2004 following the release of "Locked Up", the first single from his debut album Trouble. He has founded two successful record labels, Konvict Muzik and Kon Live Distribution. His second album, Konvicted received three nominations for Grammy Awards in two categories; Best Contemporary R&B Album for Konvicted album and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for "Smack That" and "I Wanna Love You". Akon has had four songs certified as 3x platinum, three songs certified as 2x platinum, more than ten songs certified as 1x platinum and more than ten songs certified as gold in digital sales. Akon has sung songs in other languages including Tamil, Hindi and Spanish. He was listed by the Guinness Book of World Records as the #1 selling artist for ringtones in the world.
Engagement in Cultural Diplomacy
Akon is one the faces of a new multimedia campaign launched on November 2014. It´s called Ebola:What are we waiting for? and its aim is to demand world leaders do more in fighting ebola in West Africa.
He also supports many charities and foundations, such as Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes, Clothes Off Our Back, Peace One Day, and more.
Akon co-founded the Konfidence Foundation in 2007 which is dedicated to youth empowerment in Senegal, West Africa and the USA by promoting education and supporting families. Another project was launched in 2014 by Akon in cooperation with Give1Project and AIDS Global Corporation SA. It is called Akon Lighting Africa Project and its goal is to bring electricity to one million households in Africa by the end of the year 2014.