11 years after his debut, Davido remains a force across music and pop culture in Africa. He has seen it all, won it all, and done it all. He has exported Afrobeats to the world, he has shared his wealth with the needy, and he has made music that will stand the test of time. He’s by all metrics a legend.
In honor of Davido’s 30th birthday, we will be exploring the music across his illustrious career in an attempt to rank the top 30 songs from Afrobeats greatest hitmaker.
These songs are selected for their impact, quality, and appeal not only for Davido’s career but in the evolution and exportation of Afrobeats.
30. ‘Holy Ground’ feat Nicki Minaj (A Better Time 2020)
It’s no mean feat to collaborate with one of the biggest artists in the world and while the opportunity could have been better expended on a better song, ‘Holy Ground’ is a decent tune that plays a role in taking Afrobeats to the world.
29. ‘Bless Me’ feat May D (Omo Baba Olowo 2012)
This single gave early glimpses of Davido’s understanding of the music terrain as he linked up with Mr. May D who has lent his talent to P-Square and delivered them a smash hit. ‘Bless Me’ is a one of the best songs of Davido’s debut album.
28. ‘Champion Song’ feat Focalistic (2021)
After thrilling listeners with his contribution on ‘Ke Star’, Davido tapped Focalistic for a speaker-rattling Amapiano hit that serves as a reminder of his ability to deliver across soundscapes.
27. ‘Sweet In The Middle’ feat Naira Marley, Wurld, Zlatan (A Good Time 2019)
Davido put together Street-hop maestros for a tingling single that captured listeners and gave them another dimension to his artistry.
26. ‘Fans Mi’ feat Meek Mill (2014)
This single is one of the early bold attempts (coming after the efforts of the first generation – 2Face, PSquare, D’banj) to take Afrobeats beyond the frontiers of Africa. The single has a nice ring to tune as Davido blended into Hip Hop for a Shizzi masterclass.
25. ‘The Sound’ with DJ Bucks, Uhuru (2015)
Davido joins forces with South Africa’s finest acts DJ Bucks and Uhuru as he delivers a smooth hit that combines Afrobeats and Kwaito sound.
24. ‘D&G’ feat Summer Walker (A Good Time 2019)
While it took a while for many listeners to catch on to the quality of this song, attentive listeners could tell on the first listen that the R&B tune is one of Davido’s best international collaborations. And how can we forget the timeless line it offered – “When I look into your eyes, all I see is your waist.”
23. ‘Lala’ feat CKay (A Better Time 2020)
Surely one of the finest early Amapiano songs from Nigeria as Davido taps the hugely talented CKay for a smooth sailing single whose chorus echoes in the mind at the mere glance of the title.
22. ‘Tchelete’ feat Mafikizolo (2014)
After becoming a superstar, Davido set out to conquer the continent and he linked up with South Africa’s superstar duo Mafikizolo for a captivating single.
21. ‘The Best’ feat Mayorkun (A Better Time 2020)
Davido links up with his protege Mayorkun in this celebratory single where he reminds listeners that he’s the best.
20. ‘The Money’ feat Olamide (2016)
This hit single offers listeners a glimpse of the magic that can happen when two megastars combine.
19. ‘Ekuro’ (Omo Baba Olowo 2012)
This Pop love song is one of Davido’s early hits and a glimpse of his ability to deliver a catchy single that will set him for future domination.
18. ‘Stand Strong’ (2022)
This single will continue to remind listeners not only of Davido’s willingness to explore new sounds but of his resilience in the face of trials and loss.
17. ‘Risky’ feat Popcaan (A Good Time 2019)
Not a lot of artists can turn an awful freestyle that turned into material for mockery into a hit song. Davido did this with his Dancehall hit ‘Risky’.
16. ‘Intro’ (A Good Time 2019)
Davido delivered one of the best intros of an Afrobeats album with this single which is spell-bounding from the first second down to the last.
15. ‘Jowo’ (A Better Time 2020)
This enchanting love song is one of the best songs off Davido’s third album and its soothing sound, flawless delivery, and captivating composition make it appealing to young and old.
14. ‘1 Milli’ (A Good Time 2019)
His ability to deliver a song is what sets Davido apart from his contemporaries and this single written by Adekunle Gold showcases this ability.
13. ‘Blow My Mind’ feat Chris Brown (A Good Time 2019)
This song is agreed by fans and critics alike as Chris Brown’s best Afrobeats collaboration. The writing, delivery, and melody combine to make this song a high flyer in Davido’s international collaborations.
12. ‘Back When’ feat Naeto C (2011)
This single was Davido’s announcement into the mainstream and it packed the needed appeal to capture listeners’ attention. For the doors, it opened and the impact it has had on Davido’s career, ‘Back When’ is an important song in his catalog.
After finding love, Davido decided to bear his heart to his love interest in this song that went on to become a hit.
10. ‘FEM’ (A Better Time 2020)
After getting drawn into a beef with fellow megastar Burna Boy, Davido recorded a reply in the form of ‘FEM’ and the song would become a smash hit. Perhaps the song’s most important legacy is its use in the October 2020 ENDSARDS Protest where it served as the unofficial anthem and soundtrack.
This is a single that rocketed further fame as it delivers the virality needed to assert himself as the biggest music star on the continent.
8. ‘Gobe’ (Omo Baba Olowo 2012)
This song is one of the foundations on which Davido built his status as a serial hitmaker.
7. ‘All of You’ (Omo Baba Olowo 2012)
This song was a turning point for Davido’s career as it saw him confront the establishment after boasting about his superiority. The single offered a glimpse into Davido’s confidence and ability to walk the talk.
This is one of the singles in Davido’s blistering 2017 run that saw him dominate the year. The single had all the makings of a hit song and it ranks high in his discography.
This song is one of Davido’s best albeit terribly underrated. The single is a smash hit that gets the party going whenever it comes on.
The single contributed immensely to the exportation of Afrobeats and showed that Nigerian artists don’t have to alter their sound in a desire for international appeal.
This is the leading single off Davido’s incredible 2017 run. The Tekno-produced track delivered a hit single that will reposition Davido for dominance after a disappointing international endeavor in the preceding year.
This is a classic that showed that sometimes, a hit is just not only about the song but the artist behind it. ‘Aye’ was one of the biggest Afrobeats songs in 2014 and a high-ranking song in Davido’s discography.
Perhaps the greatest Afrobeats party anthem ever made, ‘Dami Duro’ is the song that ensured that Davido didn’t have to spend time as an upcoming artist.
For propelling Davido to superstar status, for the Quotables it delivered, for the incredible appeal it packs, for sound tracking Nightlife in Nigeria and beyond, and for being one of the greatest Afrobeats hit songs, ‘Dami Duro’ deserves its place as Davido’s greatest single.
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