We've compiled a brief list of must-haves for your African music collection. Some introspective, some body-moving, all world famous and can be considered the 'standards' of the world-beat enthusiast.
Fela Kuti: Nigerian pioneer of Afrobeat and human rights activist.
Femi Kuti: Eldest son of Fela Kuti continuing in the form of Afrobeat music and activism.
Oumou Sangare: Mali's greatest feminist, singing in the form of Wassoulou from Southern Mali.
Baaba Maal: Senegalese singer and activist.
Youssou Ndour: Pioneer of popular music in Senegal and considered one of the greatest singers in the world.
Habib Koite: From a noble line of Khassonké griots, guitarist from Mali breaking records in world music record sales.
Salif Keita: Internationally recognized afro-pop musician from Mali.
Ali Farka Toure: From Niafunké, in the semi-desert region of Mali, a unique solo artist who channeled the blues.
and.... Rokia Traoré: while still relatively unknown in her native Mali, Rokia's music is well known abroad and combines sounds of the various regions of her homeland.