Akon was born on 30 April 1973, St. Louis, Missouri, USA , His real names are Aliaune Damala Badara Thiam , grew up in Senegal before he and his family (including his father, jazz percussionist Momar Thiam) eventually settled in the USA, Akon was raised in a musical setting and taught to play several
instruments including the djembe.At age 7, he moved with his family to Union City, New Jersey,splitting his time between the United States and Senegal until settling in Newark, New Jersey.Growing up in New Jersey, Akon had difficulties getting along with other children. When he and his older brother reached high school, his parents left them on their own in Jersey City and moved the rest of the family to Atlanta, Georgia.
Akon has stated in interviews that his full name is Aliaune Damala Akon Thiam and that as a Muslim, he has never drunk alcohol or smoked.although there is some ambiguity and debate about Akon's legal name and birth date. Akon is usually credited as Aliaune Thiam. In addition to the longer form, Akon's full name has been reported both as Aliaune Badara Thiam and Alioune Badara Thiam and the former was used on an official document issues against the rapper by the county of Dutchess, New York.
In regards to his birth date, Akon is very protective of it, which is the reason many media outlets have reported incorrect dates. However, legal documents released by The Smoking Gun list Akon's name as Aliaune Damala Thiam and his date of birth as April 16, 1973.
Akon claims he has six children with three different women in an interview with Blender.Akon claims to have great relationships with all his children, and that he wishes to keep his family protected from the public eye. He also states that his religion made him a better person, and provides guidance to how he acts among others in life.
He also has his own charity for underprivileged children in Africa called Konfidence Foundation. Akon owns a diamond mine in South Africa and denies the existence of blood diamonds (also known as "conflict diamonds") saying, "I don't believe in conflict diamonds. That's just a movie. Think about it. Nobody thought or cared about conflict diamonds until 'Blood Diamond' was released."However, he has since stated that he does accept that blood diamonds exist, and that he is partial-owner of an African mine that is dedicated to avoiding use of blood diamonds while also donating profits to local communities.
"The Smoking Gun" reported in April 2008 that much of Akon's purported criminal and incarceration history has been dramatically embellished.In particular, Akon's claims to be part of an auto-theft ring and his claim to have spent three years in prison were challenged with court records and interviews with detectives involved in Akon's case. According to "The Smoking Gun's" article, Akon was not convicted of any crime and did not serve any time in prison from 1999 to 2002 as previously claimed. He stated that "The Smoking Gun's" attempt to “discredit” him “makes no sense as it is something he is trying to forget.” Akon retorted that he never spent 3 years in prison consecutively, but many shorter sentences that add up to three years, and cites that as the mis-understanding by The Smoking Gun's article.
Akon appeared on the ITV2 show The Hot Desk. He stated on the show that he is a fan of English Premier League club Chelsea F.C.