Ebenezer Obey, born on April 3, 1942, in Egba, Idogo, Ogun State, Nigeria, is a renowned Nigerian highlife juju musician. He gained fame as the leader of The International Brothers, a band known for blending highlife and juju music. Throughout his illustrious career, Obey incorporated complex Yoruba principles into his dance-floor tunes, making him a beloved figure in Nigerian music. Today, let’s delve into the life and achievements of this talented artist.
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Ebenezer Obey Early Life and Education:
Ebenezer Obey was born into an Egba-Yoruba family, specifically the Owu subgroup, in Idogo, Ogun State. His musical journey began at Methodist Primary School in Idogo, where he nurtured his passion for music from a young age.
Ebenezer Obey Career:
In the mid-1950s, Obey moved to Lagos and officially started his musical career. After receiving guidance from Fatai Rolling-Dollar’s band, he founded The International Brothers in 1964. This band later evolved into Inter-Reformers in the early 1970s and gained fame for producing successful juju albums on the West African Decca record label. Obey continuously expanded the band’s musical instrumentation, experimenting with Yoruba percussion and creating a unique fusion of genres.
Notably, Obey’s music often praised wealthy Nigerian socialites and business tycoons, a characteristic feature of Nigerian Yoruba social-circle music. As his career progressed, he delved into Christian spiritual themes, which resonated with his audience.
Ebenezer Obey Personal Life:
In 1963, Ebenezer Obey married Juliana Olaide Olufade. Tragically, his beloved wife, Lady Evangelist Juliana Obey-Fabiyi, passed away on August 23, 2011, at the age of 67, in the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital. The couple had children and grandchildren, including their son Tolu Obey, who is following in his father’s musical footsteps as a singer.
Ebenezer Obey Legacy and Retirement:
Fondly known as “Chief Commander” by his fans, Obey’s musical influence has left an indelible mark on the Nigerian music scene. In his later years, he transitioned into Nigerian gospel music, where he continued to captivate audiences with his exceptional talent.
Ebenezer Obey Net Worth:
Ebenezer Obey’s impressive career and contributions to music have resulted in an estimated net worth of $3 million. His dedication to highlife-juju music and spiritual themes has earned him a special place in the hearts of many Nigerians and music enthusiasts worldwide.
Ebenezer Obey’s journey from a young boy with a passion for music to a legendary highlife juju singer is a testament to his immense talent and hard work. Throughout his career, he masterfully blended genres, embraced his Yoruba heritage, and uplifted his audience through his music. Today, his legacy lives on, inspiring the next generation of musicians, including his son Tolu Obey, to carry forward the musical traditions he so passionately embraced.
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