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...Often described as one of the most popular singers in Africa, Youssou N’Dour played an important role in the popularization and secularization of Senegalese music in the late twentieth century. Born in Senegal’s capital, Dakar, in 1959...

Umm Kulthūm

Artist Pages

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...A national icon of Egypt, Umm Kulthum had a singing career that made her one of the most important stars in the Arabic-speaking world. Born in Egypt in 1898, Kulthum was taught to sing and recite the Koran by her father, an imam. By the age...
...Cayetano César Concepción Martínez (or simply César Concepción) was a Puerto Rican composer and orchestra leader. He popularized the Puerto Rican music style of plena and introduced it to Latin American ballroom dancing. Born on July 28...
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...Based in Wales, UK, the Young Marble Giants was a post-punk band that, because of their sound’s clear contrast to the punk genre, can arguably be considered to have inspired the later new wave and indie music movements. Guitarist...
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...Pascal-Emmanuel Sinamoyi, known as Tabu Ley, was a Congolese composer and singer-songwriter famous for experimenting with the Latin rumba to make it a national style, the Congolese soukous. Tabu Ley was born on November 13, 1937...
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...The songs of Thomas Mapfumo, the “Lion of Zimbabwe,” soundtracked the years on either end of Rhodesia’s independence, and later echoed a growing public criticism of Robert Mugabe. Born southeast of the capital city Harare in 1945, Mapfumo...

Gil Evans

Artist Pages

...Gil Evans, born in Toronto, Ontario, in 1912, became a nexus for the emerging bebop and bop-derivative jazz genres that came out of New York City. Raised in Stockton, California, Evans moved to New York City permanently in 1946...

Tom Jones

Artist Pages

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...When Tom Jones won the Best New Artist Grammy in 1965, it ignited a career that would see over 100 million albums sold and thirty-six Top 40 hits in the UK. Born in Wales in 1940, Jones began singing at a young age but suffered from...

Sezen Aksu

Artist Pages

...Considered the “Queen of Turkish Pop,” the career and music of Sezen Aksu has laid an aesthetic foundation for modern Turkish popular music. Born in the province of Denizli in 1954, Aksu was discouraged by her family from pursuing music...

Joe Arroyo

Artist Pages

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...The Colombian singer Joe Arroyo began singing in his working-class community but eventually rose to become one of the best-known interpreters of Caribbean music in his nation. Born in 1955 in the northern state of Bolivar, Arroyo began...