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Although he was born in St. Louis, Missouri, singer, songwriter, and producer Aliaune Thiam -- aka Akon -- grew up in Senegal before he and his family (including his father, jazz percussionist Mor Thiam) returned to the United States and settled in New Jersey when he was seven. There he discovered hip-hop for the first time, as well as crime. He was eventually jailed but he used the time -- a total of three years, he claimed -- to work on his musical ideas. Upon release, Akon began writing and recording tracks in a home studio. The tapes found their way to SRC/Universal, which eventually released Trouble, Akon's debut LP, in June 2004. The album was an interesting hybrid of Akon's silky vocals with East Coast- and Southern-styled beats. The success of the song "Locked Up," a Top Ten Billboard Hot 100 hit, made Akon a star and desired collaborator. After appearing on Young Jeezy's "Soul Survivor," his number of guest appearances seemed to multiply each month. Konvicted, his second album, was released in November 2006. Soon enough, two of the album's singles, "I Wanna Love You" and "Smack That," made their way to the upper regions of the Billboard charts. A significant stylistic shift occurred with Freedom, his third album. The December 2008 release avoided the rugged hip-hop/R&B hybrid of his earlier work and courted a broader audience with a dance-oriented Euro-pop sound. Despite the bold change, the album repeated Konvicted's chart success by peaking within the Top Ten of the Billboard 200; "Right Now (Na Na Na)," its most successful single, reached the Top Ten of the Hot 100. Akon slowed his own output but subsequently collaborated with dozens of artists, including David Guetta (the world-wide smash "Sexy Bitch," 2009), Artists for Haiti ("We Are the World 25 for Haiti," 2010), parodists the Lonely Island ("I Just Had Sex," 2010), and close friend Michael Jackson ("Hold My Hand," 2010). A fourth album, Stadium -- originally planned for a 2010 release -- was delayed several times. ~ Johnny Loftus
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Top Tracks

  1.   Track
  2.   Right Now (Na Na Na)
  3.   Beautiful featuring Colby O'Donis
  4.   I Wanna Love You
  5.   Don't Matter
  6.   Smack That
  7.   I'm So Paid
  8.   Locked Up by Akiko
  9.   Can't Say No
  10.   Angel
  11.   Lonely
  12.   Baby I'm Back by Baby Bash
  13.   Sunny Day by Wyclef Jean
  14.   Good Girls Lie
  15.   Shake Down
  16.   Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' 2008
  17.   Chammak Challo
  18.   Sexy Ladies (feat. Don Omar)
  19.   Sorry, Blame It on Me by Akiko
  20.   Locked Up
  21.   Akon - Beautiful
  22.   Kill the Dance (Got Something for Ya)
  23.   Troublemaker by Sweet Rush
  24.   Be with You
  25.   Gangsta Bop
  26.   Keep You Much Longer
  27.   Ghetto
  28.   Como No by Becky G
  29.   Bananza (Belly Dancer) by Akiko
  30.   Against the Grain by Ray Lavender
  31.   Holla Holla by T-Pain
  32.   Want Some by DJ Chose
  33.   Ilove
  34.   Put It on Me
  35.   Birthmark
  36.   We Don't Care
  37.   Bananza (Belly Dancer)
  38.   Innocente
  39.   Wakonda
  40.   Conspiracy
  41.   Call Da Police
  42.   Real Niggas
  43.   Street Life by Big Caz
  44.   Beautiful by Kardinall Offishall
  45.   Tired of Runnin'
  46.   Yey'
  47.   Never Gonna Get It
  48.   Baila Conmigo
  49.   Benjamin
  50.   Gangsta featuring Akiko
  51.   Still a Survivor
  52.   Keep Up
  53.   Time or Money
  54.   Top Chef
  55.   Time Is Money
  56.   I'm Home
  57.   Give It to Em
  58.   Freedom
  59.   Over the Edge
  60.   The Rain
  61.   Never Took the Time
  62.   Once in a While
  63.   Call da Police by Busta Rhymes
  64.   Trouble Nobody
  65.   Solo Tu by Farruko
  66.   Dile
  67.   Boom Boom by Anitta
  68.   Bailame Lento
  69.   Te Quiero Amar by Pitbull
  70.   Naked
  71.   Salute 100 Y'all by Fabolous
  72.   Survivor
  73.   Weekend by Usher
  74.   Street Life
  75.   Be More Careful
  76.   Slow Motion by Money J
  77.   Call Da Police featuring Busta Rhymes
  78.   Salute featuring Fabolous
  79.   Khalice
  80.   Sucker for Love
  81.   Dream Warriors by Harlee
  82.   Be More Careful
  83.   We On
  84.   Long Gone
  85.   Searchin for Love
  86.   Do It
  87.   So High
  88.   Hustle Hard Freestyle
  89.   Whoa
  90.   Death Row
  91.   Get By
  92.   So Blue
  93.   Cashn' Out Akon Remix
  94.   Hurt Somebody by French Montana
  95.   Grady Babyz - Yey'
  96.   Mama Africa