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2Baba… Fellow of the school of music

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For his contribution to the music industry not just in Nigeria and Africa but the world at large, Afro-pop superstar, Innocent Ujah Idibia well known by the stage name 2Face Idibia or 2Baba has been honoured with the award of Fellow of the School of Music by the Department of Music, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife.
  
At the event, which held on Wednesday, March 20, at the University, the music legend was also a guest lecturer at the department’s first public lecture and fellowship award, where he delivered a paper titled: Two Decades of Afro-pop in Nigeria: The Perspective of 2Baba.
   
With the honour, 2Baba as he is fondly called, who has stayed relevant in the Afro-pop scene for two decades, becomes the pioneer recipient of the award, which was presented to him at the department’s first public lecture and fellowship award.Speaking shortly after receiving the award, the African Queen crooners said, “Being the torch-bearer for the new pop movement is a role I do not take lightly, and I am honoured to have been found worthy of such noble albeit enormous responsibility.”

   
The public lecture and award ceremony was followed by a one-hour energetic and eclectic performance in the Oduduwa hall, which was filled to capacity.It will be recalled that this is not the first time the Implication singer will be honoured with special recognition from a higher institution. In 2016, Igbinedion University Okada, Edo State honoured the rave of the moment Disappointment crooner with honorary degree (Master of Arts in Music).
  
As one of the most decorated and successful pop artistes in Africa, and also one of the most bankable artists in Africa, the singer, songwriter, record producer and entrepreneur is the first non-Liberian to become an honorary member of the Liberian music society in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the growth of music in Africa.
   
He has received numerous music awards including one MTV Europe Music Award, one World Music Award, five Headies Awards (formerly Hip-hop Award), four Channel O Music Video Awards, one BET, four MTV Africa Music Awards, one MOBO award, and one KORA award, among numerous nominations.
  
Born in Jos, Plateau State, an Idoma from Benue State; he attended Mount Saint Gabriel’s Secondary School Makurdi, Benue State. He enrolled at Institute of Management & Technology (IMT) Enugu, where he did his preliminary National Diploma course in Business Administration and Management.
  
While at IMT, the pop star began composing and singing jingles at the GB Fan Club, Enugu State Broadcasting Services (ESBS) in 1996. He went on to adopt the stage name ‘2Face’ (Tuface), which he said connote “trying to demarcate my personal life with my business life.”
   
He moved to Lagos and team up with rapper Blackface Naija, who was later to be known as BlackFace. They met while studying at IMT. With Blackface (Ahmedu Augustine Obiabo) and Faze (Chibuzor Oji), they formed a three-man singing group known as Plantashun Boiz.
  
The group released two successful albums: Body and Soul (2000) and Sold Out (2003) under the Nelson Brown’s label, Dove Records before disbanding in 2004 and each person went his solo way.Long after the break-up known as the ‘Faze vs Tuface’ beef, the group came together in 2007 for the purpose of recording a third and final album entitled Plan B.
  
2baba in 2004, released his debut solo album Face2Face, which established him as a viable solo artiste. He followed up with the release of his second album titled Grass2Grace in 2006, which contained hits One Love, True Love, and For Instance. Also, in 2006, his critically acclaimed hit, African Queen was used in the soundtrack for the film Phat Girlz, which received international acclaim.

In 2008, he released a promotion album titled The Unstoppable, which had the club banger Enter the Place. Due to challenges of distribution in 2007, there was a shift in release date from 2008 to early 2009. 

He followed up in 2010, with the released of an international version of the album, retaining the title with a little modification: The Unstoppable International Edition, making him the first Nigerian artiste to have an appropriately priced international album.
  
With two more singles released from the international version, 2face won two awards at the 2010 SoundCity Music Video Awards, and the Channel O Music Video Awards for Best African (Western) and the MTV Africa Music Awards for Best Male and Artiste of the year.He is part of the Sony All African One8 Project alongside seven other musicians across Africa recording a single with R. Kelly and Prince Lee titled ‘Hands Across the World’. 


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Innocent Ujah Idibia
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