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Opinion | Jun 22, 2018

Bibie Brew Takes Ghanaian Music To The World

By Dumenu Charles Selorm
Bibie Brew Takes Ghanaian Music To The World

Even though there have been concerns that Ghanaian musicians are not visible on the international music market, there are some who have really made a big mark in outside the country.

The name Bibie Brew may sound familiar to most entertainment enthusiast but there is a hidden success story behind the usual her stories.

Bibie is one of the Ghanaian musicians who have brazened it out to leave their comfort zones – to traverse other music turfs across the globe.

At age 14, Bibie won her first talent show on national television (GBC) and went on to serially perform on TV.

By age 16, she was touring Ghana with the Barbeques Band, founded by his uncle, the legendary King Bruce.

Soon Boombaya, a band she was a member of, got a recording deal with EMI Records and they travelled to London. She won great spurs and she soon was back in West Africa doing major moves in Togo, Nigeria and Ivory Coast.

Did you know Bibie Brew was behind the soothing vocals on Alpha Blondy’s first album 'Jah Glory' and 'Coco de Rasta' that became international hits? Well, she also made the backing vocals on hit songs like 'Fanta Diallo,' and 'Brigadier Sabari' in the early 1980’s.

In March 1985, Bibie Brew had her major break and made history with her smash hit 'Tout Doucement,' released by CBS/Sony Records (France).

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She became part of the first West African International Artiste to sell over a million copies in just three months which is a verifiable fact.

She became perhaps the first African artiste to be signed by CBS/Sony Records (France) and among the first West African female artistes to go international paving way for the likes of Angelique Kidjo and males like Salif Keita who came afterward in the 1990’s – not forgetting Nigeria's Edna Ogholi who released her album in 1987 to become a household name.

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Bibie Brew’s hit song in 1985 was so major that it entered the European Music Market Chart at No. 39 and rose later to No. 2 just behind Michael Jacksons 'We are the world.'

However, she beat Michael Jackson to be No.1 in countries like France, Belgium and Switzerland. She has shared stages with Elton John, Whitney Houston and many more.

Bibie Brew would rightly feel a seat among the highest selling African and Ghanaian international artistes.

She made a conspicuous impact in the music industry at an age where music could sell and was selling.

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Although times have changed and most music lovers have stopped buying music, Bibie has become a good source of inspiration to the new generation of African musicians for selling over 3 million records globally (still selling). She has 6 successful albums to her credit and is working on her 7th record.

As social responsibility she founded 'New Morning Arts Café' located in Tesano Accra, where over the years she has successfully trained, mentored and nurtured talented youth all over Africa and the world through vocal coaching and centre stage grooming.

As an extension of her passion to expose talents, she has helped discover and mentor household names like Efya, Adina, Nancy J, and many others on the popular TV Reality Show, “Stars of the Future” as a sitting judge and also outside the show.

On the African continent, her contribution is equally visible as she has helped discover great Nigerian Stars like Iyanya, Chidinma,Praiz, Jeffrey Oji and many more as a sitting judge on 'MTN Project Fame' TV reality show broadcasted all around Africa. She has starred in international and local movies as well.

Bibie Brew has won countless awards which include Canal Plus Awards (France), Senghor Awards, Platinum Records Award, Gold Record Award. She was presented a Citizen of Honour Award by the City of Chauny.

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Indeed like Osibisa, Bibie Brew is part of the ring of prominent musicians who worked hard to put Ghanaian, West African and African music on the map. Could she be the first female to take Ghanaian and West African music internationally?

Could she be among the highest selling Ghanaian international musicians, if not the highest selling Ghanaian musician by far? Well, this legend and music icon has paid her dues.

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