Sonni Balli has died at the age of 40, he reportedly passed away after a cardiac arrest. A friend of the artiste, Mark Darlington, made the announcement on Facebook on Thursday, June 9.
The news comes as a shock for many, especially since he celebrated his birthday on Monday, June 6.
“Sonni Balli how could you do this bro! I wished you a happy birthday just this past Monday! This is not fair! I am devastated and heartbroken! How???” Mark wrote in his post.
Born Sonny Kwabena Amoako Akoanor, the Dancehall legend started his music career at the age of 17 after singing in church from his childhood.
Although his parents were against the decision, Sonni Balli was determined to make his mark in the industry.
His first taste of success came at the age of 18 when he was discovered by American based producer, Nana King who worked with him on his first single.
Sonny then went on to start a musical group called ‘G Life’ with three other friends. The group made two successful albums together namely; Kotoho-‘take a bow’ and Abrabo in Ghana- ‘Life in Ghana’ but disbanded shortly after.
For another few years following ‘G Life’, Sonny carried on making successful collaborations with major Ghanaian artistes such as Mary Agyapong on a hit single called Adede meaning ‘sweet taboo’.
He also teamed up with other artistes such as Slim Buster on the single ‘Georgina’ as well as collaborations with Lord Kenya to name a few. In 2001, Sonny migrated to England to expand his musical opportunities.
After a few years of networking, Sonni Balli teamed up with London-based producer, Eugene Nartey and CEO of ‘Bad Habbit’ records Bright Okah to begin work on his debut album entitled ‘First Scene Second’.
A singer, songwriter, poet and avid storyteller, Sonni Balli incorporated all his talents in his debut album while successfully managing to balance the traditional with the contemporary.
His songs were drawn from his personal life experiences and his guiding Rastafarian principles.
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