Veteran musician, Tunji Oyelana turns 80

Pam Jenny/

He needs no introduction when it comes to music in this clime. Notable musician, Tunji Oyelana is 80years old today. Highly revered, widely travelled, with a knack for composing melodious tunes, Oyelana was born on October 4, 1939.The multi-award-winning Nigerian musician, actor, folk singer, composer was once a lecturer at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. Tunji Oyelana is of the Yoruba ethnic group and is a native of Nigeria. Most of Tunji Oyelana’s songs are in Yoruba. Oyelana is credited with having sold the most albums by a Nigerian High Life musicians. In 2012 he released A Nigerian Retrospective 1966-79, an album from Soundway Records. Apart from Fela Kuti and King Sunny Ade, Oyelana is regarded as one of the most played Yoruba musician.He and Soyinka composed I Love My Country and, in 1996, were both charged with treason and forced into exile by Sani Abacha while touring internationally with Soyinka’s play The Beatification of Area Boy. Oyelana, the leader of The Benders currently lives in the United Kingdom.Encomiums have started coming in for the well-respected musician who has registered his name in gold as far as Nigerian music is concerned.

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