Akon, a.k.a. Aliaune Badara Akon Thiam, was born April 20, 1973, in St. Louis, Missouri. He is a Senegalese-American R&B singer-songwriter who became popular in 2004 with the debut of his first album, Trouble. Many songs on the album -- such as the singles “Locked Up” and “Lonely” -- were inspired by the prison time he served prior to the making of the album. (He served three years for grand theft auto.) For his second album, 2006’s Konvicted, he worked with artists such as Eminem, Snoop Dogg and Styles P. The single “Smack That” received a Grammy nomination for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration. Since then, he has released two more albums, Freedom in 2008, and Akonic in 2009. Akon has also formed two record labels, Konvict Muzik and Kon Live Distribution. He has won many music awards, including the 2007 American Music Award for Favorite Male Artist -- Soul/R&B.
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