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Celestine Ukwu Biography
Celestine Ukwu is an Igbo highlife musician during the 60s and 70s best known for his hit songs “Ije Enu”, “Igede” and “Money Palava”.
Celestine Ukwu was born in Enugu, Enugu State, Nigeria to music-oriented parents. His father was a local performer of the igede, ikpa and ode genres of Igbo music while his mother was lead singer in a women’s musical group. At a young age, he began learning how to read music and play the harmonium with the help of his uncle. Upon completing his primary school education, he went to teacher training school for two years but dropped out to pursue music as a career. He went on to join Mike Ejeagha’s group “Paradise Rhythm Orchestra” in 1962 at Enugu as a vocalist and maraca player before he left to join Mr. Picolo’s band who were touring the Democratic Republic of the Congo at the time.
He returned to Nigeria to form his own band known as Celestine Ukwu & His Music Royals of Nigeria in 1966 which was later disbanded in 1967 following the outbreak of the Nigerian Civil War, before releasing a song at the outbreak of the war titled ‘Hail Biafra’. After the war, Ukwu formed another group, Celestine Ukwu & His Philosophers National; with whom he released several albums, including Igede Fantasia which did well commercially.
Celestine Ukwu Albums Includes Igede Fantasia 1976, Ejim Nk’onye 1975, Ilo Abu Chi 1974, Ndu Ka Aku 1974, Tomorrow is so Uncertain 1973, True Philosophy 1971.
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