Aliaune Damala Badara Akon Thiam , also known mononymously as Akon, is a Senegalese-American singer, songwriter, record producer, and entrepreneur from New Jersey. He rose to prominence in 2004 following the release of "Locked Up" (featuring Styles P), the first single from his debut album Trouble (2004), followed by the second single "Lonely".
His second album, Konvicted (2006), received three Grammy Award nominations for Best Contemporary R&B Album, and for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for "Smack That" (featuring Eminem) and "I Wanna Love You" (featuring Snoop Dogg). Both singles became Billboard Hot 100 top ten hits, followed up by "Don't Matter" and "Sorry, Blame It on Me". His third studio album Freedom (2008) was led by the single "Right Now (Na Na Na)".
Akon often provides vocals as a featured artist and is currently credited with over 300 guest appearances and more than 35 Billboard Hot 100 songs, resulting in five Grammy Award nominations. 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 by the RIAA. He was listed by Guinness World Records as the number-one selling artist for master ringtones in the world.