Tiwatope Savage known by her stage name Tiwa Savage, is a Nigerian singer-songwriter, recording artist, and performer.
The award-winning artist has made a significant mark in the music industry both locally and internationally.
Here are a few facts worth knowing about her as she turns the big ’40’.
Early life and Education
Tiwa Savage was born on 5 February 1980 in Ikeja, Lagos State, Nigeria. Her family relocated to London from Nigeria when she was 11 years old. After graduating with a degree in Business administration from the University of Kent, Savage started working at The Royal Bank of Scotland.
She enrolled at Berklee College of Music and graduated with a degree in professional music in 2007.
Tiwa did backup vocals for George Michael at the age of 16 and lent vocals to other musicians such as Mary J. Blige, Chaka Khan, Blu Cantrell, Emma Bunton, Kelly Clarkson, Andrea Bocelli, and Ms Dynamite among others.
Furthermore, she has performed on stage with Sting, 50 Cent, The Black Eyed Peas, Eminem, Robbie Williams, and Destiny’s Child to name a few.
Tiwa Savage established her own label imprint, 323 Entertainment, with her then-manager and husband Tunji “Tee Billz” Balogun.
In 2012, She joined Don Jazzy’s Mavin Records after the label she co-owned teamed up with the executive producer.
She released her debut album ‘Once Upon A Time’ on July 3, 2013. The album had hit songs like KeleKele Love, Ife Wa Gbona, Love Mi, Eminado, Without My Heart etc.
Once upon a Time was nominated for Best Album of the Year at the 2014 Nigeria Entertainment Awards and Best RNB/Pop Album at the 2014 Headies.
On 19 December 2015, Savage released her second studio album R.E.D, which is an acronym for Romance, Expression, and Dance. The album features guest appearances from Don Jazzy, Olamide, Dr SID, Iceberg Slim, 2face Idibia, D’Prince, Busy Signal, and Reekado Banks. It featured hit singles ‘My Darling’ and ‘Standing Ovation’.
R.E.D was nominated for Best Album at the 2016 Nigeria Entertainment Awards.
In May 2019, she signed an international recording deal with Universal Music Group.
Savage released “49-99”, her first single with Motown Records on 5 September 2019, she followed it up subsequently with ‘Attention’ on 19 November 2019.
In 2006, Savage participated in UK’s X-Factor and made it to the final 24 while attending the aforementioned music school.
In 2009, Sony/ATV Music Publishing signed Savage to a music deal. The deal solidified her to write for Babyface, Kat Deluna, Fantasia Barrino, Monica and Mýa, among others.
In December of 2011, she co-hosted Season 2 of the Nigerian Idol alongside IllRymz. Moreover, she made her film debut with Joke Silva and Ireti Doyle in the stage adaptation of “For Coloured Girls”.
On 29 July 2016, she officially announced via her Instagram account that she had signed a management and publishing deal with Roc Nation making her the first Nigerian artist signed to the label.
Tiwa also became the first African female artist to be associated with the Pepsi brand after signing an endorsement deal with them in 2014.
Vogue named her one of the most stylish celebrities in February 2018.
In July 2019, Savage was featured on “Keys to the Kingdom”, a track she co-wrote for Beyoncé’s soundtrack album The Lion King: The Gift. She appeared on the track alongside Mr Eazi.
5 February 2013On November 23, 2013, Tiwa and Tunji “Tee Billz” Balogun held their traditional marriage at the Ark in Lekki. The couple’s white wedding was held on 26 April 2014, at the Armani Hotel in Dubai.
On 22 July 2015, Tiwa Savage gave birth to her son Jamil Balogun.
Awards and nominations
In 2010, Tiwa Savage bagged the Dynamix All Youth Awards, Promising Artiste of the Year.
In 2011 she won the Tush Youth Awards for Female Musician of the Year and Song of the Year. She also won Next Rated that same year at the Headies.
In 2012 she won the Nigeria Entertainment Award for Best New Act of the Year.
In 2013 she won the Channel O Music Video Awards for Most Gifted Female and Musician of the Year (Female) for the City People Entertainment Awards
In 2014 she won the Best International Act: Africa at the 2014 BET Awards
In 2015, she won the Artiste of the Year(Female) at the City People Awards
In 2016, she won the African Artiste of the Year at the Vodafone Ghana Music Awards
In 2018, she became the first African woman to win the Best African Act at the MTV Europe Music Awards.
Tiwa can be said to be Nigeria’s most endorsed female artist. She has endorsement deals with top brands like MTN, Pepsi, Maggi, Forte Oil.
In May 2019, she signed a major deal with Star Lager’s citrus variant, Star Radler becoming the first female brand ambassador of the beer brand.