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10 Of Africa’s Greatest Musicians Ever

by John Nyabuto

Africa has great musical voices strewn all over from western to south africa. We have had musicians who have graced major international events overseas infront of the world’s strongest beings to local events before loyal fans, Musicians with mellow voices that were enchanting since 90’s and have never lost their taste.

Africa’s musical legends have amassed fame, wealth and respect altogether.
Here are some of the best musicians Africa has given to the world.

1.Youssou N’dour
Once referred to as the most famous singer alive, N’dour is the face of African music.  The Grammy-Award winner is also a businessman, owner of  a television station as well as a record label to his name.

2.Miriam Makeba
Miriam Makeba is a South African singer and was the first vocalist to put African music onto the international map in the 1960s. Makeba is well known throughout the world known as ‘Mama Africa’ and the ‘Empress of African Song’
She did the cover for malaika song and it went platinum even more than the original song, she also acted In many movies and notably Sarafina.
She died in 2008.

3. Salif Keita
He is notable known not  only because of his reputation as the “Golden Voice of Africa” but because he has albinism. Keita moved to Paris in 1984 to reach a larger audience. His music combines traditional West African music styles with influences from both Europe and the Americas. He performed at Nelson Mandela’s 70th Birthday Tribute concert in 1988 to call for Nelson Mandela’s release from prison.

4. Angélique Kidjo
This  Grammy Award winning Beninoise musician remain one of Africa’s most influential singer till date. I f you have ever heard her version of “Malaika”, then you know why her voice lands her at a cool number 4. She also fiercely champions for the rights of African women

5. Femi Kuti
Fela tried to use his music to fight against vices such as poverty, corruption and other socio-economic matters that are prevailing in Nigeria in particular and Africa as a whole.

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6. Yvonne Chaka Chaka
She is one of Africa’s most acclaimed musicians who made her appearance on the stage at the age of 18 and was catapulted to fame at the height of Apartheid in South Africa. Her contagious pop melodies, girlish attractions and angelic voice could not go unnoticed. Popularly known for her songs such as ‘I cry for freedom’ and ‘I’m in love with a DJ’ this prominent musician and United Nations Goodwill ambassador and UN envoy to Africa now dedicates her time to fighting for the rights of girls in the society.

7. Koffi Olomidé
Famously recognized as a performer of a very famous and specific type of African music known as soukous, Koffi Olomide is a master at his game. During the course of his career Koffi  has released over 30 albums which have sold millions worldwide and he has toured  almost everywhere.
He was recently banned in Kenya after a scuffle at JKIA.

8.Manu Dibango
Probably Africa’s greatest saxophonist  and the oldest musician to perform on stage past the age of 80′

9.Mbilia Bel
Born in Congo,Mbilia  used to perform as a back up vocalist for Tabu ley and later went solo.
She is one of the most sought after Rhumba songstress, with her 90’s hits still causing ripples nowadays like Nakei Nairobi, Esiyo wapi and many more.
She has aged but she can dance to her songs like she is 30’s.

10. Hugh Masekela
Hugh Masekela is an internationally reknown Jazz maestr. He started playing the trumpet at a tender  age of 14 and has used his music to combat slavery, apartheid, as well as socio-economic exploitation.

Others are

Tabu Ley
Oumou Sangare
K’naan
2Baba
Papa Wemba
Awillo Longomba
Suzzanna Owiyo
Emmy Kosgei

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