22 September 2016
Over the years, Sunny Adé’s band changed name several times, first to African Beats and then to Golden Mercury, for various reasons ranging from changes in his music to business concerns.
In the 1970s and 1980s Sunny Ade toured America and Europe extensively.
His stage act is characterised by dexterous dance steps and mastery of the guitar, which he played to the admiration of global audiences.
Felicitating with the music maestro, President Muhammadu Buhari said that the Septuagenarian had over the years brought pride to Nigeria by mastering his art against all odds, taking the African musical genre to the global stage.
In a statement issued through his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, the president also commended Sunny Ade for not only bringing joy to many hearts and homes through his music, but for serving as an inspiration and a mentor to upcoming artistes.
Buhari saluted “King Sunny Ade’s love for humanity, especially the less privileged, by setting up a Foundation that caters to the needs of others.’’
He prayed that almighty God would grant “the versatile entertainer longer life, good health and more strength.”
His contemporary in Nigeria’s Juju music scene, Chief Ebenezer Fabiyi (Obey) who many thought was Sunny Ade’s traducer on account of career rivalry, also showered encomiums on the “King” of Juju music and prayed that he lives for many more years to come and “in active service to fatherland”.
In his own message of felicitation, Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has described Sunny Ade as a cultural icon and a trail blazer.
The minister hailed King Sunny Ade’s contribution to the growth of Nigerian music, which is fast becoming a global brand, crediting him and other musical stars of his generation for charting the path for today’s generation of “’Young Turks” in the industry.
He said it is particularly delightful that in spite of his age, King Sunny Ade has remained active on the music scene, thus reinforcing his position as a cultural ambassador, who has done so much to project a positive image for the country over the years.
Alhaji Mohammed prayed that God will grant King Sunny Ade many more years in good health so that he can continue to be a source of inspiration to aspiring music artists in particular and indeed the entire Nigerian youth in general.
Many fans of King Sunny Ade have also been congratulating him for attaining the age of 70 years and in good health.