Veteran singer and journalist, Onyeka Onwenu, rapper Jude Abaga, popularly known as M.I. and Ghana’s Reggie Rockstone, have been named as judges in the debut season of Glo’s X-Factor music television show, the world’s biggest singing reality television show.
Onwenu’s experience and versatility come handy for the music show that aims to discover some of West Africa’s upcoming talents. Popularly referred to as Queen of African pop music, Onwenu made several hit albums in the ‘80s and 90’s.
She is also an actress and politician. She made her mark in the music world with several hit tracks including ‘Tetanu n’Ula”, “One Love”, “Iyogog”, “Peace” and “Wait for me” which she sang with Sunny Ade. In 2006 she won the African Movie Academy Award for Best Actress in a supporting role. She is currently the Chairperson of Imo State Council for Arts and Culture.
Jude Abaga, popularly known as M.I, is a Nigerian rap artiste. He has won several awards including the MTV Africa Music Awards in 2009 and the City People Artiste of the Year 2012, and was nominated for BET 2010 Awards for the Best International Act Category. He rose to prominence in 2006, when his song “Crowd Mentality” became popular in his hometown Jos. He released his widely acclaimed debut album, Talk About It in December, 2008. M.I. is UN ambassador on drugs and crime.
Rockstone, whose original name was Reginald Osei, is credited as the pioneer of hip-life or Kasahara music in Ghana. He is internationally acclaimed, with several performances throughout West Africa, the UK, France, USA and Switzerland.
Since his exciting debut album, “Makaa Maka” in the early 1990s, he has shown longevity and maintained his grasp on the genre with successive albums such as “Me Na Me Kae”, “Me Ka” and “Last Show; and has also produced and managed several other young talents. He has won a Kora Award for his video “Ah” and has performed with international artistes like Shaggy and Beenieman. Reggie recently announced that he was switching from hip life to hip-hop with his hit song, “Peaches” featuring Sway.
Sulyman Bello, Globacom’s Head of Reality Shows, said the judges would be unveiled today at a ceremony in Lagos. Their first assignment will be to audition contestants who scaled the first audition held two weeks ago in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, he stated.
Bello said the final list of judges was arrived at after thorough screening and assessment of the pedigree of all the artistes earlier shortlisted for consideration for the assignment.
“The X Factor is the number one singing reality TV show in the world and this is the first time it has come to Africa courtesy of Globacom. We therefore had to ensure that we selected judges who match the profile of the show and who will help deliver the objectives of the show” he explained.