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Segun Adewale

While King Sunny Ade is the "king" of juju music, Segun Adewale is the music's "crown prince". Taking the music of Ade one step further, Adewale incorporated funk, reggae, pop and Highlife influences to his juju roots to create an offshoot that he calls, "Yopo", short for Yoruban pop. Like Ade, Adewale was born to a Yoruban royal family. Although he was encouraged to become a lawyer or a doctor, he left school to seek his fame and fortune as a musician. His first break came when he was invited to join I.K. Dairo's band in Lagos. A year later, he left Dairo's group to perform with Chief S.L. Atolagbe's Holy Rainbow. Adewale formed his own group, the Superstars, in 1973. The band, however, lasted for a little more than a year. Following the disbanding of the Superstars, Adewale took a position as co-leader, along with Sir Shina Peters, of Prince Adekunle's Western Brothers Band. He remained with the group until 1977 when he and Shina and six other members of the band formed Shina Adewale And Superstars International. After Peters left in 1979, Adewale assumed leadership of the group. A year later, he formed his second incarnation of the Superstars with twenty musicians. Although Adewale and the Superstars initially played in the juju style pioneered by Ade, they began to create their own sound with the 1982 album, Endurance. Two years later, the group's album, Play For Me, which featured English lyrics, was released in the United Kingdom on the Stern's label. Songs from the band's early Nigerian albums were comprised and released as Ojo Je in 1985. Although Adewale and the Superstars performed three critically-acclaimed concerts at the Edinburgh International Festival, in 1985, their popularity appeared to have waned by the late-1980s. ~ Craig Harris
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