Africa is home to many musical legends who have made their mark in the world. Many of them were pioneers of different African music genres that have become part of what is called the authentic African sound. This list explores the great men and women who have given the continent amazing music to listen to.
Renowned for his high octane performances, Fela Kuti is acclaimed to be the greatest African artists to have ever lived. He was a multi-instrumentalist, musician, political activist, composer and the pioneer of the music genre known as Afrobeat. Rising to fame in the 70s with his band ‘The Afrika ’70’ he was popular for singing in Yoruba his native tongue and Pidgin English which could be enjoyed by people all over Africa.
Often referred to as Mama Africa, Miriam Makeba is truly the most popular female artist to come out of Africa. Her music dealt with the socio-political plight of South Africans under Apartheid and defined the very sound of South African music. She was a Grammy winner and is recognised all over the world for signature sound and stage performances.
Ali Farka Toure
Multilingual Malian singer and guitarist, Ali Farka Toure is the finest musician to come out of Mail. His brand of music fuses African American jazz with Malian traditional music has earned him millions of fans worldwide. He is also adept in performing songs in 10 languages from Mali.
Yousssou N dour
Senegalese singer & percussionist, Youssou N dour was born in the busy city of Dakar. He is one of the pioneers of the popular music style known in Wolof as Mbalax. As a celebrated singer, songwriter, and composer he is regarded very highly internationally. His fusion of Mbalex with Cuban, Latin, Hip-hop and elements of pop has earned him an international following.
Brenda Faissie was a legendary South African pop singer. Fondly referred to as the Queen of African Pop Brenda Faisse’s story continues to inspire a whole generation of artists. Born in Langa, Cape Town, she left for Soweto, Johannesburg to pursue her dreams of being a star at the age of 18. Brenda became the lead singer of the popular township pop group Brenda & The Big Dudes. This catapulted her to stardom and by 1996 her songs were at the top of charts with each of her albums becoming multi-platinum sellers in South Africa.
Read More: 10 African Music Legends To Know