Your favorite diverse R&B, World and Hip-Hop artist was once just an average guy like you or I. Growing up, Akon spent much of his child in Senegal where he lived without much access to water and zero electricity.

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Traveling back and forth to live between his birthplace of Missouri and his other home in Senegal, the 5-time Grammy nominee speaks of a life much different in the past than that of the one that he has made for himself as of late.

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According to the Senegalese-American rapper, he was on a path far less resilient than the one he eventually was blessed with. chose to take. Serving a short stint in jail for possession of a stolen BMW in 1998, combined with a few other brushes with the law-it’s almost a miracle that Akon has become the philanthropist that he is today.

So where would Akon be today if it wasn’t for his budding career and ambition? FIND OUT NEXT