Aliaume Damala Badara Akon Thiam (/ˈeɪkɒn/; born April 16, 1973), known mononymously as Akon, is a Senegalese-American singer, songwriter, record producer, entrepreneur, philanthropist and actor from New Jersey. He rose to prominence in 2004 following the release of "Locked Up", the first single from his debut album, Trouble.
He has since founded two successful record labels, Konvict Muzik and KonLive Distribution. The labels served as a stepping stone for many soon-to-be successful acts, such as Lady Gaga, T-Pain, R. City, Kardinall Offishall, and Red Café. His second album, Konvicted received three nominations for the Grammy Awards in two categories, Best Contemporary R&B Album for Konvicted album and Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for "Smack That" and "I Wanna Love You".
He is the first solo artist to hold both the number one and two spots simultaneously on the Billboard Hot 100 charts twice. Akon has had four songs certified as 3× platinum, three songs certified as 2× platinum, more than ten songs certified as 1× platinum and more than ten songs certified as gold in digital sales. Akon has sung songs in other languages including Hindi and Spanish. He was listed by the Guinness Book of World Records as the #1 selling artist for master ringtones in the world.