Akon is an R&B legend, if we’ve ever seen one. But his latest admission might have just made him that little bit more iconic.
Appearing on The Morning Hustle radio show last week, the Locked Up hitmaker was told that T-Pain previously alleged that Akon’s brother was used as a body double when he was overbooked on shows.
The 49-year-old record producer has said that Akon had so many shows offers coming in during the peak of his career as a performer that he “could not leave all this money on the table.”
So, the entrepreneur did what any person with a look-a-like sibling would do, and asked his brother, Abou Thiam, to step in for him.
When asked if those rumours were true, Akon, born Aliaune Damala Badara Akon Thiam, admitted to doing so on some occasions.
“Let me clear some things up so we all know. ‘Bu was my double. He was, yes. This was before the internet,” he reassured listeners, who surely would have been able to tell in today’s social media-centric climate whether the Akon they were watching was the real thing. “If you saw ‘Bu in one place and you saw me, you couldn’t tell the difference.”
Akon went on to explain “Bu started off as my hype man when we were on the road. We were booked so [much], and I was like, ‘man, all this money I’m leaving on the table. We cannot leave all this money on the table’.”
While his brother has since gone on to become the Executive Vice President of Columbia Records – who manages the likes of Harry Styles, Lil Nas X and Beyoncé, as well as launching his own label BUVISION – Akon admitted that “Bu can’t sing himself”.
“He can’t do none of that,” Akon joked of his sibling, also revealing that there was one other subtle way fans could have told the difference between the two.
“Back then nobody knew that’s how you could tell the difference, ‘Bu wears hats, I don’t.” When Bu [would] wear the hat, you can’t tell!”
African brothers with the double finesse 🤣🤣 pic.twitter.com/2xOzUZVnhU
— ⓘ This user (@ItsLymax) October 11, 2022
Meanwhile, his other brother, Omar, also wanted in on the action – and actually took it upon himself to imitate Akon without his permission.
“Omar, he would do it without getting permission from me or Bu. Omar would be in another country, another city getting money, and I’d be like, ‘what? They booked me already!’”