Akon's "Konvicted" Goes Platinum

Akon arrives for the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas, Dec. 4, 2006.
AP Photo/Chris Carlson
Despite his troubled past, singer Akon is enjoying massive success. His sophomore album, "Konvicted," turned platinum just five weeks after its release.

Featuring songs like "I Wanna Love You" with Snoop Dogg and "Smack That" with Eminem, the album is showing no signs of slowing down. The two singles are sitting atop the charts all over the world.

"I Wanna Love You" is at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 after nine weeks in the top 10 and "Smack That" is No. 5 after 16 weeks in the top 10. At one point, the tracks held the No. 1 and No. 2 spots simultaneously, a feat only reached by Mariah Carey and Usher.

Together, both "Smack That" and "I Wanna Love You" have sold over 3 million ring tones. "Smack That" was nominated for a Best Rap/Sung Collaboration Grammy — Akon's first Grammy nomination.

Yet Akon's story is not all positive. Born Aliaune Thiam, he grew up in Senegal. After his parents moved his family to New Jersey, he began not only pursuing music, but also crime. He spent three years in jail for running a car thief operation, but was determined to pursue a music career after his release.

Akon's first album, "Trouble," was also a smash hit, but with his follow-up he has cemented his hit-making status. He's collaborated with powerhouse Gwen Stefani on her song "The Sweet Escape" and is set to embark on a world tour this year, which will begin in Africa and move through Europe before coming to the United States.

Billboard reported that Akon is considering collaborating with Michael Jackson and is also working on a project with Whitney Houston.