Sarkodie: A Multifaceted Icon in Ghanaian Music

Michael Owusu Addo, widely known by his stage name Sarkodie (/sɑːrˈkɔːdiɛ/), is a renowned Ghanaian rapper, songwriter, and entrepreneur hailing from Tema. Born on July 10, 1988, Sarkodie has made significant contributions to the Ghanaian and global music scene. He is celebrated for his versatility and has earned numerous accolades, including the prestigious Vodafone Ghana Music Award (VGMA) for “Artiste of the Decade.” In 2019, he became the first recipient of BET’s Best International Flow Artist award at the BET Hip Hop Awards.

Sarkodie Early Life and Career Beginnings

Sarkodie, the fourth of five children, was born on July 10, 1985. Raised in Koforidua, his family later relocated to Tema, where he began his education. He attended Tema Methodist Day Senior High School and later earned a degree in graphic design from IPMC College of Technology. Sarkodie started his music career as an underground rapper, gaining recognition through rap competitions such as Adom FM’s Kasahare Level. During this time, he met his former manager Duncan Williams and musicians Edem and Castro, who introduced him to the renowned record producer Hammer of The Last Two. This collaboration led to Sarkodie recording two tracks for Edem’s debut album, Volta Regime.

Rise to Fame: 2009–2012

Sarkodie’s debut album, Makye, was produced primarily by Killbeatz and Jayso, featuring artists like Kwaw Kese, J-Town, Sway, and Paedae of R2Bees. The album received positive reviews and its lead single “Baby,” featuring Mugeez of R2Bees, became an instant hit. In 2010, his songs “Push” and “Baby” ranked ninth and thirteenth respectively on Joy FM’s Top 50 songs of 2009.

His second studio album, Rapperholic, released in 2012, featured collaborations with Efya, Chidynma, Mugeez, Obrafour, Jayso, and EL. The album was supported by a nationwide tour and earned Sarkodie his first BET nomination and subsequent win. He also performed alongside international artists like Busta Rhymes and Ludacris.

Continued Success: 2013–2014

In 2013, Sarkodie released the remix of “You Go Kill Me,” which topped various charts in Ghana. His third studio album, Sarkology, was released in January 2014, featuring artists like Fuse ODG, Davido, Tiwa Savage, and Burna Boy. The album’s launch concert at the Accra Sports Stadium was a major success.

Sarkodie also launched the Sarkcess Music record label in 2014 and released hit songs like “Adonai” (Remix) featuring Castro. He performed at various high-profile events, including the Ghana Music Awards and the MTV Africa Music Awards.

Milestones: 2015–2018

In 2015, Sarkodie released “New Guy,” featuring Ace Hood. He followed this with the live album Mary, dedicated to his late grandmother. In 2017, he released his fifth studio album, Highest, which included collaborations with Jesse Jagz, Moelogo, Flavour, and more.

Recent Works: 2019–2023

Sarkodie’s EP Alpha was released in June 2019, followed by his fifth studio album Black Love in December 2019. The album featured collaborations with Mr Eazi, Efya, Stonebwoy, and others. His seventh studio album, No Pressure, was released on July 30, 2021, featuring artists like Wale, Vic Mensa, and Giggs. In 2022, he released Jamz, featuring Black Sheriff and King Promise, among others.

Tours and Recognition

Sarkodie announced the JAMZ World Tour in 2023, performing across Africa and Europe. Despite a minor setback due to flight issues, the tour was a success, showcasing his exceptional talent and stage presence.

Philanthropy and Business Ventures

He founded The Sarkodie Foundation in 2013, supporting underprivileged children. He launched his clothing line, Sark by Yas, in 2013 and has endorsement deals with major brands like Samsung, FanMilk Ghana, and Tigo Telecommunications Ghana. In 2021, he and his daughter were featured in Pepsodent Ghana’s #BrushWithMe campaign.

Personal Life and Controversies

Sarkodie married Tracy in a private ceremony in 2018, and they have two children. He has faced controversies, notably with actress Yvonne Nelson and dancehall artist Samini, but continues to maintain a strong presence in the music industry.


Sarkodie’s journey from an underground rapper to an international music icon is a testament to his talent and dedication. With numerous awards, successful albums, and a growing global fanbase, Sarkodie continues to be a dominant force in the African music scene.

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