Over the last decade, the Nigeria celebrity space has seen the birth and continuous rise of several celebrities.
Take it or leave it, these particular set of celebrities have carved niches for themselves that we can describe as legacies that would remain in existence for a long time. They have become not only household names but held in high esteem in the corridors of power and influence.
As the year winds up, we’ve carefully selected those celebrities who never left our consciousness either through their achievements, shenanigans or scandals.
For the year 2019, Pulse put together a list of the 10 most-talked about Nigerian celebrities of the year.
1. Burna Boy
Burna Boy turns from a pretender to a contender – in the early days of his career – and then the ultimate candidate for the throne in 2019. With the release of his fourth album African Giants, Burna became the most talked-about Nigerian musician with the instant success and international acclaim that followed.
He grabbed attention over his reservations about Coachella but went on to perform at the music festival and on some of the biggest talk shows in the United States. He also won a host of awards including BET, VGMA and EMA and also got nominated for a Grammy.
As his successes kept his name in the news all year round, Burna also made the headlines with his personal life.
From his relationship with British rapper Steflon Don to his sold-out concert at the Wembley Arena and his spat with South Africans, Burna hugged the headlines all year.
Tacha was nobody of note as of January 2019. Although she was quite popular for getting a tattoo of Davido’s popular crest, OBO, between her breasts, the level of fame she has now is nothing compared to what she had at that time.
It all changed the moment the young lady stepped into the 2019 Big Brother Naija show and what we have now is one of the most popular people in the country.
Tacha was a controversial character in the house but for some reasons, she connected with millions of fans and should have won the show if not for the moment of madness that saw her disqualified and thrown out of the house.
That did nothing to her fame, instead, it galvanised her fan base who are now known as ‘Tacha Titans’. It’s now been months since she left the show, yet the Tacha Titans have continued to grow while her brand and fame keep soaring.
Nigerian music star Davido had had another good year with both his music and his personal life. He first made news in 2019 when he sold-out the 20,000 capacity O2 Arena in London.
He continued with his massive collaboration with Chris Brown on the song, ‘Blow my mind,’ which although was released in July, is among the most-streamed Nigerian songs this year.
This year also saw the release of his sophomore A Good Time, seven years after his debut Omo Baba Olowo.
His relationship with his girlfriend Chioma drew media attention as he proposed to her while the couple also welcomed a baby together.
Wizkid does not need a good year to remain culturally relevant. The music star continues to be one of the biggest, if not the biggest music act out of the country.
In 2019, he made news globally as one of the featured acts on ‘Brown Skin Girl’ the most popular record off Beyonce’s Lion King album.
His relationship with Tiwa Savage continues to be a topic of conversations while his fanbase, called Wizkid FC continues to be the most intense celebrity-worshipping group in the Nigerian internet space. He ended the note with the release of an EP, ‘Soundman,’ from his music family, ‘Starboy’
5. Naira Marley
Naira Marley was just another budding artiste from the UK before his arrest by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) in May blew him into a cultural figure.
Marley first became a newsmaker when he made a series of comments on social media that seemed like he was in support of internet fraudsters. These got the attention of the EFCC who arrested him and charged him to court with incriminating evidence against him.
What was supposed to bring a snag to his career, became the springboard to the phenomenon he is right now.
Now, being a Marlian, the term he uses for his fans, is now considered cool in Nigerian pop culture while his music career has become even more successful since that time.
6. Regina Daniels
First popular for being a child star in Nollywood movies of the mid-2000s, 2019 saw Regina Daniels become the wife of a billionaire which made her Instagram famous.
Still, 21, her relationship and wedding to billionaire businessman and politician, Ned Nwoko became the talk of social media and gossip blogs.
From there she garnered massive social media followers who she held spellbound with her luxurious lifestyle.
As at the time of writing, Regina has over six million followers on Instagram as one of the most followed Nigerians on that platform.
7. Genevieve Nnaji
Genevieve Nnaji lives such a regimented lifestyle that has seen her remain in the limelight, a strategy which has worked massively for her brand.
Genevieve remains one of Nigeria’s biggest celebrities but this year, she dominated conversations with her 2018 movie ‘Lionheart’.
The movie got acquired by Netflix and also had an Oscar buzz around it before it was rejected by the Academy for having too much English dialogue in one of the most talked-about moments in Nollywood this year.
Having set himself apart as the most stylish man in Nigeria, Ebuka Obi-Uchendu continues to set fashion trends either through his Instagram page or through TV.
His brand as a fashion trendsetter has continued to soar and he had another good year hosting Big Brother Naija, one of the most-watched TV shows in the country.
9. Mike Edwards
Mike Edwards was just an English-born Nigerian athlete before he joined the Big Brother Naija house this year. As one of the housemates, Mike charmed his way into the hearts of millions of Nigerians with his demeanour.
There was something about him. The way he carried himself, a smooth-talker and the way he stayed away from controversy while in the house.
He soon became the model man as girls were in awe of how he stayed away from other women in the house to remain faithful to his wife.
He eventually came second at the end of the show. And since then his social media presence has skyrocketed.
10. Mercy Eke
Little or nothing was known about Mercy Eke as the beginning of 2019 until she took part in the reality TV show, Big Brother Naija. The moment she walked into the house on the night of the premiere, we all knew a star was born. She became a popular housemate in the house mostly for her massive buttocks.
However, she won the hearts of millions of viewers of the show because of her character, and her in house relationship with housemate, Ike.
Mercy’s road to stardom and prominence kicked off after she emerged as winner of the reality show. More importantly, was the fact that she emerged as the first female winner of Big Brother Naija.
Since leaving the house, she has become the toast of many blogs and tabloids. Her social media page has become a mini temple for her one million fans.
Source: Pulse Nigeria