Africa is home to many musical legends who have made their mark in the world. They all put their talents have done so with much hard work put into their preparations and this is evident in the delivery of their music to the watching world,that why they are the Greatest African Music Legends.
There are a number of good musicians that have come out from the African continent but we will look at the greatest African music legends and pay tribute to nine of them who have distinguished themselves in their chosen music careers.
This list explores the great men and women who have given the continent amazing music to listen to.
Top 9 Greatest African Music Legends
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.
this genre(Afrobeat) is currently being propagated by his sons Femi and Seun Kuti. Fela was born in 1938 and died in 1997.
2. Lucky Dube
Lucky Dube was a South African reggae musician from Johannesburg. He is credited for being the father of African reggae music. Discovering his musical talents at a young age he joined his cousin’s band at the age of 18. They later renamed the band ‘Lucky Dube & The Supersoul’ and produced their first album. Supersoul was later dropped from the name and Lucky Dube went on to produce several hit albums and tour the world.
He recorded 22 albums in a career that spanned 25 years and during that time, he sang in Zulu, Afrikaans and the English language.
Lucky Dube won the hearts of many with his music and this led to comparisons to Bob Marley, the Jamaican reggae musician considered by many as the greatest reggae artiste of all time.
lucky Dube was Born in 1964 and He was sadly killed in 2007 after his assailants thought him to be someone else but his music lives on.
3. Miriam Makeba
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.Along with Angelique Kidjo, Yvonne Chaka Chaka and Brenda Fassie, she is considered to be one of the most popular female artistes to emerge from Africa.
Miriam Makeba Born in 1932 and Makeba died in 2008
4. 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.
He is considered to be one of the greatest musicians from Mali who contributed largely to the propagation of African music abroad and he is still widely celebrated to this day.
Ali Farka Toure was born in 1939,he died in 2006.
5. Yvonne Chaka Chaka
She follows a long list of South African musical legends that have graced Africa with their talents.Yvonne Chaka Chaka has been active for the major part of her music career which has spanned 27 years and she is known throughout Africa and outside the shores of our great continent.
Some of her notable songs include, “I’m Burning Up” “Thank You Mr Dj”, “I Cry For Freedom”, “Motherland” and the ever-green “Umqobothi” (“African Beer”).
She was born in 1965.
6. Youssou N’Dour
Youssou N’Dour is a brilliant Senegalese singer, songwriter, composer and percussionist who was born in 1959 in Dakar, the Capital of Senegal. He was also the Minister of Tourism in Senegal between 2012 and 2013. He is one of the pioneers of the music genre known as Mbalax.
N’dour is widely celebrated for his contributions to music in Africa and beyond and his exceptional fusion of Mbalax with Cuban, Latin, Hip-hop and elements of pop in his music is second to none.
7. Brenda Faissie
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 become 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.
Brenda Fassie’s songs were hit songs, most especially, “Weekend Special” and “Too Late For Mama”. Her albums were multi-platinum sellers in South Africa.
She lived a very short life and died at the age of 39 (1964-2004) due to her addiction to drugs but even in her death, her songs continue to speak and warm their way into the hearts of many.
8. Angelique Kidjo
A two time Grammy Award winning singer-songwriter & activist from Benin. She is noted for her diverse musical influences & creative music videos that has earned her the title of ‘The greatest livening African Diva’.
Her hit songs include “Wombolombo”, “We Are One”, “Malaika” to mention but a few. She is very fluent in English, French, Fon and Yoruba and she sings in all four languages.
Kidjo has two Grammy Awards to her name.
She hails from the Republic of Benin and she was born to a Beninese father and Yoruba Mother in Cotonou on July 14, 1960.
9. King Sunny Ade
Born to a royal family in Ondo, Nigeria, King Sunny Ade is quite literally music royalty. Popularly known for playing juju music, a popular form of Nigerian music by the 80s. His band King Sunny Ade & His African Beats, a Pan African collective, touring across Africa and gaining popularity in the US and Europe. Ade was the first person to introduce the pedal steel guitar to Nigerian pop music.
Sunny Ade, along with Fela Kuti are pioneers of different genres of music in Nigeria and they are both kings in their respective careers. While one founded Juju music, the other founded Afrobeat and together, they are so far, Nigeria’s biggest music exports to the world.
Born in 1946 and still going strong, King Sunny Ade is a Nigerian
Greatest African Music Legends…. list of Greatest African Music Legends…top 9 Greatest African Music Legends