The Rise of Female Nigerian Artists: Breaking Barriers in the Music Industry

Over the years, the Nigerian music industry has been highly dominated by male artists. Still, in the last 8 years, there has been incredible and positive change because there are several great and talented female Nigerian artists who are now breaking barriers and going head to head with their male counterparts in the Nigerian music industry.

Tiwa Savage and Yemi Alade are some of the active female Nigerian artists who have been relevant in the industry for the past 10 years. There have been other successful female music artists in the past, such as Waje, Asa, Omawumi, and others.

Technically, there are no gender advantages when it comes to the music business globally, likewise, in the Nigerian music industry. Anyone can succeed regardless of their gender. It all depends on their hard-working spirit, financial investment, talent, support, and other incredible factors that are needed for an upcoming artist to become a successful music artist in Nigeria.

At the moment of writing this article, several female Nigerian music artists are breaking barriers in the Nigerian music industry. Although the list is unlimited, these are the ones that are doing so much better than others when it comes to the female music artist category in the Nigerian music industry.

Tiwa Savage

Tiwa Savage is one of the most successful female Nigerian music artists who has been in the industry for over 10 years and is still relevant at the moment of creating this content.

Tiwa Savage is a talented Nigerian female singer, songwriter, and actress who sings in English and Yoruba, and she is known for her unique music, which is a combination of Afrobeats, R&B, and Afropop. At the moment, she is considered the most successful and richest female Nigerian music artist.

Tiwa Savage was born on February 5, 1980, in Lagos Island, Nigeria; the 44-year-old mother of one started her music career after she graduated from Berklee College of Music before she signed a publishing deal with Sony/ATV Music Publishing in 2009.

She relocated to Nigeria and then signed with Mavin Records in 2012.

Over the years, Tiwa Savage has dropped several music projects, including singles, EPs, and albums. She has worked with several music artists in the Nigerian music industry, such as Olamide, Asake, Don Jazzy, Patoranking, Flavour, and others.

Likewise, several music producers like Don Jazzy, who is her former record label Boss, during her years in Mavins Record.

In 2019, Tiwa Savage left Mavins Record; currently, she is signed to Universal Music Group.

Yemi Alade

Yemi Alade is also one of the most talented female Nigerian singers, songwriters, and show performers. She came into the limelight in the Nigerian music industry when she dropped her first single, Fimisile, in September 2009.

Yemi Alade was born on March 13, 1989. The 35-year-old singer was born in Abia State, and she is a graduate of Geography from the University of Lagos.

Although she started her career at age 16 in a girl group known as Noty Spices in 2005, she was not known at that time.

Over the years, Yemi Alade has dropped several albums, including King of Queens in 2014, Mama Africa in 2016, Black Magic in 2017, Woman of Steel in 2019, Empress in 2020, African Baddie in 2022, and other projects.

Yemi Alade is internationally recognized because of her unique and incredible music style, and she has a net worth of over $5 million.


Temilade Openiyi is a popular Nigerian singer-songwriter and record producer. She came into the limelight in the Nigerian music industry after she was featured on Wizkid’s 2020 single “Essence,” which peaked at number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart after dropping the remix version together with popular Canadian singer Justin Bieber.

Tems was born on June 11, 1995, in Lagos, Nigeria. The 29-year-old female singer is one of the top music singers in Nigeria at the moment, and she is going head-to-head with her male counterparts in the Nigerian music industry.

The RCA Records signee has one of the biggest songs in Nigeria at the moment of writing this article. She recently dropped her debut studio album titled Born in the Wild.
Tems’ debut album was released on Friday, June 7, 2024, through RCA Records, and Since ’93, after dropping two EPs, For Broken Ears in 2020 and If Orange Was a Place in 2021.

Aside from being a successful music artist in Nigeria, Tems is also internationally recognized; she won a Grammy award.

In 2023, Tems won the Best Melodic Rap Performance category for her contribution to the Wait for U song with Future and Drake.

Tems is one of the new generation of female Nigerian music artists who are pushing boundaries in the Nigerian music industry. Even though she dropped her debut single, Mr Rebel, on July 18, 2018, she started her professional music career less than 8 years ago, and she has achieved a lot in the Nigerian entertainment industry. Likewise, she has so much to offer in the future.

She has been nominated for 90 awards, and she has won 27.

Tems has won BMI Awards, Grammy, BET Hip Hop Awards, All Africa Music Awards, BET Awards, Billboard Women in Music Awards, and others.

Ayra Starr

Ayra Starr is the youngest Nigerian female music artist who made the list of the top female Nigerian singers in Nigeria at the moment.

Ayra Starr is a talented Nigerian singer-songwriter who was born on June 14, 2002; the 22 years old Mavins Record signee came into the limelight after she was discovered by Don Jazzy, a popular Nigerian music producer and CEO of Mavins Record, a popular Nigerian record label.

She dropped her first single, Away, on January 22, 2021. She went on to drop more music projects.

Ayra Starr EP in 2021 and 19 & Dangerous album in 2021. She recently dropped The Year I Turned 21 album, which was released on May 30, 2024.

Aside from the top female Nigerian singers that made the list, several talented and hardworking female music artists in the Nigerian music industry are trying their best to break through in the industry.

While some have made a significant impact on the Nigerian music industry.

Fave, Di’ja, Simi, Teni, Seyi Shay, Niniola, DJ Cuppy, Ugoccie, and others are among the incredible and talented singers who are adding value to the Nigerian music industry.



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