Who Ebony Reigns Was, And Why Her Death Broke So Many Hearts

Ebony Reigns, born Priscilla Opoku-Kwarteng, was a Ghanaian dancehall and afrobeats artist. Born February 16th 1997, she first came onto the music scene when she was discovered in 2015 by musician and entrepreneur Bullet, one half of Ghanaian afrobeats group Ruff n Smooth. He signed her to his Ruff Town Records label at the age of 18. Ebony Reigns, fondly known by most as just Ebony, came out with her first single “Dancefloor” in December 2015 with an audio and video release. The song became a hit on radio landing her a nomination for the coveted “Unsung” category for rising stars at the 2016 Vodafone Ghana Music Awards(VGMAs).

Ebony was a controversial artist, sparking several conversations in the Ghanaian society concerning her wanton demeanor and unrestrained self expression, by way of her sparse use of clothing and sexual innuendo on stage and in her music. Her “bad girl” persona ruffled lots of feathers, with many Ghanaians criticizing her, even to the extent of her being dragged by pastors.

Her loyal fans labeled the critics as hypocrites, one of such being UK based Ghanaian gospel musician Sonnie Badu. Sonnie Badu asked critics to show her love instead of criticizing her, adding that Ebony has a management team who are aware of the kind of brand they are building. For jumping to the defense of Ebony and suggesting that critics of her raunchy dressing are hypocrites, he received an extent of backlash from individuals whom his statements didn’t sit well with.

However, the criticism didn’t bother Ebony as she continued to appear on stage and at some events semi-nude, without a care in the world. She had the full support of her parents, with her father Nana Poku-Kwarteng (who appeared in her “Sponsor” video) shutting down critics, saying he’s supportive of anything his daughter does and wears, that he even helps her choose what she wears and blesses her before she goes out to perform, and adding that some Ghanaians are hypocrites.

He also added that he gave his blessing when she decided not to continue her education after high school and told him she wanted to do music, and that he has no qualms with her fashion sense because as a dancehall artist he understands the need to sell her music with her brand.