Akon has been using a body double for years — his own brother.
The singer admitted that he used to have his brother Abou ‘Bu’ Thiam perform as him when he couldn’t make it to a show.
In an interview on The Morning Hustle, the singer and entrepreneur was asked about T-Pain’s claims earlier this year that he used Bu as a double. “Let me clear some things up so we all know,” he said with a smile around the 20:50 minute-mark of the interview, which can be seen above. “Bu was my double. He was my double. This was before internet. If you saw Abou in one place and you saw me, you couldn’t tell the difference.”
Akon confirmed that Bu actually started out as his hype man when he first started touring, but eventually he had to start passing on shows that would pay a lot of money because he didn’t have the time. “I was like, ‘Man, all this money I’m leaving on the table,’” he continued. “We cannot leave all this money on the table.” He said he even sent his brother to perform at a Hot 97-hosted show at one point. Asked if Bu can sing, he simply replied, “No.”
Around the time they did this, Akon noted that the only way people could tell the difference between them is that Bu would wear hats and he wouldn’t. Akon later joked that his brother Omar did the same thing, but without his permission. “That was probably the funnest part of our lives,” he recalled. Rumors have circulated that Akon had Bu perform as his double for a while, but the claim got more traction earlier this year when T-Pain casually spoke about it during a livestream.
We don’t blame Akon for the hustle — you never leave money on the table, if you can help it.