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Top 10 Akon Songs of All Time

In the early 2000s, you couldn’t turn on the radio for more than 30 minutes without hearing an Akon song. The Senegalese-American R&B vocalist/rap MC Akon (real name Aliaune Damala Badara Akon Thiam) was once at the pinnacle of the Rap and Pop music worlds. Thanks to his commercial-friendly tracks that touched people in many ways.

The top 10 Akon songs of all time are a cool mix of Hip-Hop and R&B-inspired gems that were a bit different from your normal vocalists of that time. He wrote songs that had a social conscience, and he more than backed up his words with actions. 

Anyone who knows anything about Akon will tell you about his philanthropy. And how he used his fortunes to build wind turbines in his home country. But I’m here today to talk about Akon’s best songs. So, let’s take a look at the tracks his fans still adore today.

Top 10 Akon Songs of All Time

Top 10 Akon Songs of All Time

#1 Hold My Hand with Michael Jackson

Nothing says you are an amazing artist like the late Michael Jackson wanting to work with you. “Hold My Hand” is a duet by Akon and Michael, and the accolades don’t get any higher than that. 

This collaboration brought together two fantastic voices that gelled better than anyone could have possibly imagined. It’s a beautiful song that has a lovely message to hold the hand of your partner and to do everything you can to keep the relationship together.

The track was initially released in 2007…

And, of course, it went on to become a massive hit the world over. It placed at #1 on charts across the United Kingdom, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, and many more. 

Hold My Hand” did not have quite reached the same heights in the US. But it still reached #39 on the Hot Billboard 100. And it reached a similar position on the Hot 100 Hip-Hop and R&B Songs charts. If you’ve never heard it before, there’s a reason why it’s at the apex of the top 10 songs by Akon.

#2 Don’t Matter

Don’t Matter” is smoother than the smoothest smoothie in the world. This amazingly inspirational feel-good track was a gigantic hit when it was released in 2007 from his Konvicted album. You might not think you’ve heard it before. But, as soon as it hits, you will remember it. The music uses a sample from Bob Marley’s “Zimbabwe” and a line from “Ignition” by R. Kelly.

In the first week, it was released, it only made #79 on the Hot 100 Billboard charts in the US. But, by its tenth week, it reached #1 on the charts. The more airplay and rotation it received, the more it grew on people. And that is the hallmark of a great song. 

By the beginning of 2008, “Don’t Matter” had amassed more than three million digital sales, just in the USA alone. That shows you how massive it was at the time.

#3 Ghetto

As far as iconic Akon songs go, not many can match “Ghetto.” It was originally released at the back-end of December 2004 as the second single from his debut album TroubleAnd it really helped to put his name on the Pop Music map. 

When it first came out, it was solely released across Europe and Latin America. But, then a bit later, across the USA, and positioned at #92 in the Hot 100 Billboard charts.

The song’s lyrics are about the hardships of growing up and living in the ghetto. He talks about the social issues of living in such a place. It’s a very emotional track that meant something to himself and his fans.

#4 Smack That (feat. Eminem)

Most artists want to distance themselves from collaborating with Eminem. After all, he routinely makes good-quality emcees look mediocre because he’s so outstanding. But I doubt Akon has ever been intimidated by any other artist. 

Smack That” features Eminem, and at the time, it was a massive commercial crossover track. It was released in 2006 and should always be high up on any Top 10 Akon songs of all time list.

Having Em on this track helped it reach #2 on the Hot 100 Billboard Charts, which is Akon’s highest-positioned track ever in America. It was nominated for numerous awards, and it still sounds great today.

#5 I Wanna Love You (feat. Snoop Dogg)

I Wanna Love You” featured Snoop Dogg, and collaborations don’t get any bigger than that. The term “heavy radio rotation” might have been coined to describe the exposure it got at the time. It seemed to be continuously in play for the entirety of 2006. At a time when there were some massive chart hits, this one stood out amongst the others as a bonafide Pop classic.

This track was one of the first times that Akon hit the Hot 100 Billboard charts. And, boy, did he do so in impressive fashion with the Doggfather in tow. “I Wanna Love You” was even nominated at the Grammy’s in the Best Rap/Song Collaboration category. 

#6 Sorry, Blame it On Me

Everybody gets things wrong; it’s part of life. “Sorry, Blame it On Me” is quite possibly Akon’s most famous song for a few reasons. This song is an emotional apology track to Gwen Stefani and all of his fans. 

Akon was caught dancing with a 15-year-old girl, and the outcry caused many sponsors to leave the artist. It apparently cost Gwen Stefani $3 million because of a track she’d made with Akon around that time. So, this was an apology song to say sorry to her and anyone who he upset.

Aside from the controversial subject matter, the song is one of the catchiest Akon ever made. And it was a massive hit. It reached #7 on the Hot 100 Billboard charts and also hit the Top 10 across many music charts internationally. There’s nothing like getting well paid for saying sorry.

#7 Lonely

Lonely” is famous for sampling Bobby Vinton’s 1963 song “Mr. Lonely.” This is the track that made SRC Records from Universal Music sit up and take notice. Even though it was not the lead single from his debut album, it’s the track that essentially got him signed. It topped charts in at least ten different countries from around the globe and made Akon a famous pop star.

Lonely” might not be his largest hit ever, but it was the one that sprung him to prominence. So, it had to be included among the best Akon songs. It still sounds great today, and considering it was almost 20 years ago, it just goes to prove how good it was.

#8 Locked Up (feat. Styles P)

Talking of lead singles, “Locked Up” was the first single from his 2004 debut album, Trouble. It has a real Latin vibe that is cool, fresh, and funky at the same time. The airplay it received on US radio stations at the time was monumental and a big reason why it did so well on a commercial level. It was most people’s first introduction to the artist, and it’s a very good first impression by anyone’s standards.

The production is bass-heavy, like most of the R&B-inspired tracks of the early 2000s. Although the song is very street, it also appeals to lots of female fans who love Akon’s smooth vocals. Having Styles P cameo on the track was also a stroke of genius because he was also so hot at that time.

#9 Right Now (Na Na Na)

Right Now (Na Na Na)” is a song about a subject that many people can relate to. The lyrics talk about a past relationship while currently being in a new one. The relationship in question was one from before he got famous. But he then realized it was a real type of love that had nothing to do with him being famous.

It was the first single from his third studio album FreedomAnd, although it didn’t chart well in the US, it did massive numbers in the UK, where it peaked at #6. It has a very club-style vibe even though it’s about love, so it offered the best of both worlds.

#10 Beautiful (feat. Colby O’Donis & Kardinal Offishall)

Some of Akon’s collaboration tracks are his most successful. And “Beautiful,” featuring Colby O’Donis and Canadian rapper Kardinal Offishall is of the same ilk. It was originally released in January 2009, so in effect was one of his newer tracks. You might have heard a few different versions of this track because there are three mixes where the cameos were replaced by other artists.

However, the original version was a commercial success reaching #19 on the Hot 100 Billboard charts in the US. It also peaked in the Top 10 of charts in the UK and Israel, along with some others. Although it only just made this list, for some fans, it might be a bit higher up, and I could see that. But Akon had so many great tunes that it was difficult to choose this last spot.

Want More Banging Pop and Rap Songs?

If so, check out our thoughts on the Best 90s Dance Songs, the Best 2000s R&B Songs, the Best 2000s Rap Songs, the Best 2000s Dance Songs, the Best Hip Hop Songs Of All Time, and the Best Pop Songs of the 2000s for more amazing song selections.

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Top 10 Akon Songs of All Time – Final Thoughts

Akon was essentially an R&B vocalist, not a rap emcee. But, in the early 2000s, Rap and R&B instrumentals in the Pop charts were pretty much interchangeable. Akon’s Top 10 songs are a quality mix of club bangers and massive commercial Pop songs that sold millions every time they were released.

He’s a legendary artist that collaborated on tracks with musical greats like Michael Jackson, Eminem, and Snoop Dogg. And, to top it all off, he has done lots of charitable work that he is sometimes even more famous for. 

Because of his African heritage, his vibe and vocals sounded a bit different from the norm, and that really helped him to reach the pinnacle of the music industry and set him apart from his contemporaries.

Until next time, happy listening.

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About Corey Hoffman

Corey is a multi-instrumentalist who has played in numerous bands over the years, some good, some not so good. He has also written countless songs and recorded five albums in professional studios across America. Today he is a hobby musician but still loves the guitar after over 15 years of playing.

He considers his writing as a way to share what he has learned over the decades with younger generations ad always can't wait to get his hands on the latest gear.

He lives just outside New York with his wife Barbara and their two German Shepherds, Ziggy and Iggy.

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