50 favourite African songs

The list below was published in January 2008, since when this page has had over half a million hits. In the introduction below I explained what I was trying to achieve, while also admitting to the limitations of my own knowledge. Despite a few flaws, the list remains a decent introduction to African music, so please enjoy ! 

Ten years on though, I’ve compiled a much more comprehensive and informed guide to roots-based African music. On my new website you can listen to over 150 songs from each and every African country.

And in the accompanying book, Around the World in 575 Songs : Traditional music from all the world’s countries  Volume 2 – Africa, I tell the stories of the many artists whose songs I’ve featured, and provide some insights into the changes that have been happening within African music over the last 50 years, and reflect on how the music has often become interlinked with wider struggles for national liberation, for self-determination and for free expression, and the search for meaning and identity in a globalised world.

August 2019: the book’s currently on sale for under $5 at Amazon.com – https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1999631420/ .

Please pay a visit –


Linda Wall



African music is an incredibly rich and fertile ground. The different regions produce their own distinctive musical styles (west, east, central and southern Africa), with the music of the Arabic countries in north Africa so different again that it’s more commonly classified as Middle Eastern rather than African music. But also within any one country there are usually several different musical traditions, often reflecting the varied tribal origins of the inhabitants. On top of that, each country’s music is imbued with a complex patchwork of influences from Europe and the Americas.

This is not a definitive list. It reflects not just my own ignorance and prejudices, but also the fact that no videos have yet been created for many classic African recordings. I have tended to select tracks which are at least partly grounded in African musical traditions, because I like them, but also because I want to highlight what is unique and valuable in African music. My usual rule applies of only one song per artist.

lucky2.jpgAn honorary mention goes to Lucky Dube, the much loved South African reggae artist, who was shot dead on 18th October 2007 in the streets of Johannesburg as part of a random carjacking. Peace be with him.




50 Madala Kunene (SA) – Martha gotta free

49 Sekouba Bambino (Guinea) – Jolie Den

48 Nancy Ajram (Algeria) – Ol Tany Kedah

47 Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi (Zimbabwe) – Ndakuvara

46 King Mensah (Togo) – Mawuena

45 Penny penny (SA) – Makantja jive 

44 Binti Cumar Gacal (Somalia) – (title unknown)

43 Project Monkz feat Maulana (Ghana) – Once a slave

42 Brenda Fassie (SA) 1964-2004 Nomakhanjani

41 Issa Bagayogo (Mali) – Dambalou

40 Ayub Ogada (Kenya) – wa winjigo ero

39 Rachid Taha (Algeria) – Ya Rayah

38 Ismaël Lô (Senegal) – la femme sans haine

37 Lankandia Cissoko (Senegal) – (title unknown)

36 Boubacar Traoré (Mali) – KarKar

35 Souad Massi (Algeria) – Raoui

34 Tinariwen (Mali) – Chet Boghassa

33 Kanda Bongo Man (DR Congo) – monie

32 Juldeh Camara (Gambia) and Justin Adams – Soul Science

31 Lura (Cape Verde) – Ponciana

30 Angelique Kidjo (Benin) – Voodoo Child  

29 Shiyani Ngcobo (SA) – Izinyembezi

28 Oumou Sangare (Mali) – la voix du Mali

27 Alick Macheso (Zimbabwe) – madhawu

26 Orchestra Baobab (Senegal) – Ndéleng Ndéleng

25 Ba Cissoko (Guinea) – Yele

24 k’naan (Somalia) – soobax

23 Djelimady Tounkara (Mali) – Fanta Bourama

22 Saida Karoli (Tanzania) – Maria salome

21 Salif Keita (Mali) – Katolon

20 Mohamed Wardi (Sudan) – Faghon Wengi

19 Ali Farka Toure (Mali) 1939-2006 – Diaraby

18 Cesaria Evora (Cape Verde) – Angola

17 Waayaha Cusub (Somalia) – Somalaay Dirira

16 Miriam Makeba (SA) – Soweto Blues

15 Habib Koité (Mali) – Batoumambé  

14 Amadou & Mariam (Senegal) – Senegal Fast Food 

13 Mory Kante (Guinea) – Ye’ke’ ye’ke’

12 Sambou Suso (Gambia) – Kaira

11 Tilahun Gessesse (Ethiopia) – yehiwote hiwet

10 Prince Nico Mbarga (SA) 1950-1997 – Sweet Mother

9 Aster Aweke (Ethiopia) – mezez alew 

8 Rokia Traorè (Mali) – Mbifo

Thione Seck (Senegal) – Mathiou

6 Femi Kuti (Nigeria) – If them want to hear

5 Vieux Farka Toure (Mali) – Ana

4 Youssou N’Dour (Senegal) – Moor Ndaje

3 Fela Kuti (Nigeria) – Sorrow Tears & Blood

2 Toumani Diabate (Mali) – nene koita

1 Baaba Maal (Senegal) – Taara


  1. Very interesting and impressive list. Minor quibble: Nancy Ajram is Lebanese and so not really African. But you do hear her music everywhere in North Africa.

  2. nice list man, would love to link this to museke.com in some way.
    check it out, loads of African music there…. need to get some of these selections there as well

  3. i don’t think Aster Awokes “Mezez Alew”can be 9th.it’s one of her weak song.i thing you need to listen to all her albums

  4. sorry for the typing mistakes on the top.i think the truck shoud not be listed here.here in Ethiopia only educational radio programs play it because it talks about HIV aids but she got some other nice tunes.i don’t know how you measure it any way

  5. where African queen in this list. if there is no African queen, then this dumb.

    • African queen by 2face from Nigeria the is a cheat

      • Where African queen by 2 face,and slave by lucky Dube

  6. Hi, pliz if anyone can assist, m lookin for the title to mayweh’s(forgive the spelling) hit song

  7. dont forget sobngs like coupe bimbaba by awilo and also premier gaou by magic system

  8. Really, this is an interesting list but I think you need listen to the song ”AFRICAN QUEEN” by 2face

    • Yuck- African Queen is syrupy junk

  9. send for me music best 50 songs

  10. No Johnny Clegg = List FAIL


    • you left leonard Dembo-chitekete which was played in Nambia at the Miss Universe

  12. letta mbulu noe yet uhuru was one of the finest songs of africa

  13. ena poy legete ye ye baleo?

  14. where is youssour ndou…best african musician

    • Youssou is at number four – certainly amongst the great tourism ministers of Africa….

  15. Nancy Arjam is African by nation but Arabic by culture………

  16. nancy ajram is from lebanon and for black music from north africa listen “gnawa” from morroco a real african music

  17. where is ismael lo jammu africa

  18. waht u africans saying

  19. obed shit the fuck up man plz

    • where is east africa? you mean no good song has ever come out of Uganda, kenya or tanzania?

  20. Joe, Tanzania, Kenya and other east African countries are represented. But I admit I still have much to learn about east African music. I see that you’re from Uganda : can you recommend any traditional music from Uganda ?

    • am not tabula, but am also from Uganda, i can do what u guys , Afro beat z wat most Ugandans do such as the likes of chameleon..

  21. I don’t think it’s possible to get a list like this right. Each country prefers it’s own musicians and genres?

    I’m a South African, let me correct your list. Only Marriam Makeba, Brenda Fassie, Lucky Dube, deserve to be on the list, but the songs featured are not their best. And where is Abdullah Ibrahim, Hugh Masekela. Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Johnny Glegg?

    Please remove Penny Penny, Shiyani Ncobo, Prince Nico Mbarga, no one ever hear of this people, maybe they are popular in their villages.

    Just because a CD states ‘The best of SA musicians’, does not mean that every clown listed deserves to be there.


    • Let me educate u a bit modi, Prince Nico Mbarga’s ‘sweet mother’ was released in 1976 and it went on to become one of the most popular hits in Africa, selling over 13 million copies. Sometimes called Africa’s anthem, it was voted Africa’s favourite song by BBC readers and listeners in 2004, coming before Brenda Fassie’s “Vuli Ndlela”, Fela Kuti’s “Lady”, Franco’s “Mario” and Miriam Makeba’s version of “Malaika”. So my bro, I think now u will change ur view abour Prince Nico Mbarga coz he’s one of d most popular African Musicians. Am frm Nigeria though.

      • Prince Nico Mbarga’s sweet mother is Africa’s best selling song of all time… It’s regarded as Africa’s anthem…
        Ps: he’s from Nigeria and Cameroon not south Africa

    • Pois estou de acordo. Olha que em alguma época estes que recusas que estejam na lista foram muito famosos e bem curtidas as suas músicas. Mas em todo o caso aceito a sua posição. Hugh Masekela entre outros deviam figurar na lista dos melhores sons antigos de África.

      Cumprimentos e parabens pela observação!

    • Prince Nico Mbaka and the rockerfeller jazz of Africa are the first band to hit a platinun in the 70s and still sells

    • How can you say that no-one has heard of Prince Nico Mbarga, when his “Sweet Mother” is one of the most well-known African songs in existence?

  22. Why not put Corneille Nyungura of Rwanda! He is the best ever !

  23. african queen by 2face should be on this list. if its not, then the list is not complete and those who created it do not know the worldwide african most popular songs.

    • African Queen is not an African Song…. It is a nursery Rhyme that pretends Nigeria have no traditional instruments… So it has the word African in it. So WHAT….. It is an english nursery Rhyme

  24. For those intrigued by all the plugs for African Queen by 2Face Idibia, here’s the song : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ByRTMxl_DAU .

    Nothing wrong with the song, but it’s one for a different kind of list. it’s a Nigerian take on American r&b, and isn’t rooted in traditional African music.

  25. I´m looking for an African song of 90´s who was a it don´t know the name but the only thing or lyrics i remember was when the singer sings:
    Sophia yé Sophia yo…
    Does anybody could help me?

  26. Does anyone remember a song from the 90’s sung by a female in the desert about congo. i remember the chorus sounding something like ‘tipi, tipi congo..’

    • im also looking for tht song its a CLASSIC

    • any luck on the teepee congo teepee congo song?

      • Kali -le trio : tifi congo

  27. where are the oriental brothers from ibo region in nigeria

  28. how to I find the lyrics to these songs? and chord sheets????

  29. legends in East Africa hv bn left out e.g Philly Bongole lutaaya $ Jose chamileo of mawoko na mawoko guys ua segregative towards east african stars

  30. No San Fan Thomas,No yvonne chakachaka,No franco etc! This list is a farce!

  31. If you’re naming bands, please post links if possible to youtube or somewhere we can listen to them. Brian, Franco would be top 10 if I was doing this list again. Abejo and others, I’m well aware that this list and my later efforts are dominated by West African artists. If any of you would like to put together a list of traditional music from your own country or region, I’d be more than happy to host this.

  32. The list does not reflect the memorable list of the best or most memorable African music.The compiler had insufficient knowledge of African music.None of the present set of musicians were included, including Dbanj that had the highest african album sales for 2006,2007,2008 and likely to retain it in 2011 and 2012 with his Oliver twist album and UK top ten chart breaker,first of it’s kind by an African artist among others.Tuface “African Queen”,Olu Maintain “Yahooze”that storm the world by suprize.P Square,Sarkodie,Whizkid,Darey,Osita Osadebey,Sunny Ade,lucky Dube,Yvone shaka shaka.Perhaps either of famous Makeba or Fela Kuti should have been number one.You can also visit youtube for the number of views.Your list contain names of artist that were unknown outside the soil of their countries.Your list is the only one that does not have at least ten Nigerians in the top 50.

  33. no malaika by fadhili wiliams(kenya)??? mhhh. even makeba did a rendition of that song. its among africa’s most famous songs. n i think “birima” by Youssou is a more deserving song than what use listed.

  34. african songbeat

  35. […] Kanda Bongo Man of DR Congo […]

  36. I might agree with u, if only u can convice me dat east africa is not part of africa! There’s adiference between publicity and talent, which the rest and east africans hold respectvely. “Shame upon the list” valu valu-camili & anita-matonya, where are they????

    • lame ass music

  37. Cool list, but Nancy Ajram is lebanese.

  38. Hey sir, good job. Though you listed the right best all time musicians, many of their songs you listed are not even known.

    Try this one: Iwasado by Nayanka Bell, played in many countries of africa for as many years as I can remember: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhSgajP4oMA

  39. Hello my fellow Africans. Does anyone remember the French song that went “Mama Jolie Oh…Danser avec moi”…it was an African French song played in the 90s

  40. Hello Africans i am a student from P.S.155Q. I am sending this message from New York. I am learning a lot of things from you. I love all the songs from you.

  41. Those two words automatically make women suspicious, jealous.
    More aptly, the lack of our ability to converse in Spanish.
    see something you desire for yourself bless it and also
    bless its owner.

  42. All of you have smoked weed. Authentic artistry is predominantly from South Africa.

    • South Africa – A country of cowards – Independence in the 90s – South Africa still has to develop an African personality. No music from South Africa can be called African…. 1990s independence, what a joke?

    • Where does africa by Selif Keita fall?

  43. Where is West Madiko from Cameroon

  44. Prince Nico Mbagra si not from S/A, he’s from Nigeria


  45. Wow ,i grew up on these!

  46. No Yvonne Chaka Chaka…really?? :-/

  47. SU NYC

  48. Definitely need to put Oliver Mtukudzi there, Neria is a wonderful song and people deserve to hear it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GhXGyer-cIg

    • The Naria song by Oliver Mtukudzi is really great thanks for the Tip…check out Sir Warrior and Sunny Okosun Both great guys from Nigeria

  49. Johnny Clegg has to be on this list, how can he not be?! Magumede, Asimbonanga ?

  50. Amadou et Mariam are from Mali not Senegal, though technically speaking it’s the same thing. Great list helped me find Brenda Fassie. I had the song in mind but couldn’t remember her name. Cheers!!!

  51. why dont u rank even chameloen

  52. i think fela should top the list cuz he has so many good african songs, and he also made a comment that african songs can not be sang with proper english

  53. No Khadja Niin!!!! really

  54. Im looking for a song sang in half english half an african tribal! I heard it in 2007 the girl was just starting to come out all i can member is it souned like she said beeba day something or nother help its driving me crazy


  56. dis list is fake cuz wizkid is not present………

  57. Whay you cann’t put any Namibian Artist? Pleas stop coleption we are all Africa.

  58. You list “Soul Science” as a song by Juldeh Camara and Justin Adams, when that is actually the name of their album. Which song from that album did you mean?

  59. This list need to be updated because this artists are no longer on top

  60. This list need to be updated since this songs are no longer on top

    • Chinaman rapping to HipHop does not make Hiphop Chinese Music. This list is a joke

  61. […] 50 favourite African songs | Music to die for. […]

  62. you have left Madzibaba Senior Lecturer of Zimbabwe , Chicco Twala & Mbongeni Ngema both of South Africa

  63. what happened to sunny okosun of Africa from Nigeria?

  64. Can I just say that no.48 isn’t an Algerian song because Nancy Ajram is a Lebanese singer that sings here with an Egyptian accent so I guarantee you it has nothing to do with Algeria

  65. Well done! Can u plz try get some details a bout a soukouss music group called soukouss stars? (Yondo sister,lokasa,lucien Bokilo,Ngouma Lokito,Saladin….)

  66. Hi does anyone know the artist or name of a song that goes “Jolie Jolie oh, Jolie Jolie eh, Jolie derrière Jolie dervan

  67. my fellow africans, I only have 3 things to say. wali watu, sambolera, khadja nin. hw abwt mam miriam’s gauteng, bra hugh’s stimela jst to mention a few @bili man of God(prophetic justice SA)

  68. Any music that has no African Instrument is not African. Chinaman rapping to HipHop does not make Hiphop Chinese Music.

    No song can be called a great African Song if it has at least 1 European instrument.

    African Music is music that came before the other ethnic groups became civilised. Why dilute it?

  69. anyone know a song from the 90’s, can’t remember lyrics, all i remember is a lady singing “eh kilimanjaro eh kilimanjaro”. It was a great dance song. Anyone know it?

    • Jeff Maluleke – Kilimanjaro

    • Its Miriam Makeba from South Africa

  70. nat just at all…I don’t agree with your list pal…

  71. Alpha Blondy!!!!

  72. Prince Nico Mbarga is a Nigerian from Ogoja, Cross Rivers State and not a South African.

  73. What about these three songs?
    1.Shwi NoMntekhala(SA)-Ngafa
    2.Salif Keita(Mali)-Afrika
    3.Ismael Lo(Senegal)-L’amour A Tous Les Droits

  74. This list is a joke without OK jazz, Franco, Osadebe, Oriental brothers, Warrior, Oliver de Coque

  75. This list is a joke without Koffi Olomide, Papa Wemba. This post have opened my eyes to the rich music heritage we’ve all abandoned in exchange for western music.

  76. I’ve noticed this list is so deficient. Infact, I’m annoyed. You cannot talk about African songs in Benin republic without a mention of Gnonnas Pedro. And no mention of Africando too?. Here in Benin republic what you hear playing everywhere is the music of Gnonnas Pedro not Angelique Kidjo.

  77. This independent artiste is on a mission to ressurect African music. Listen on youtube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3AD_YC1a44Y

  78. Where the heck is Africa by ToTo?

  79. your decieving, what about ugandans, the likes of prince job poul kafero, jose chameleon, bobi wine.

  80. where is Jeremias Nguenha ,Wizzy Massuke,FRANCO,Fally IpupA

    • Unrivalled #1 of all time is ‘Mario’ by Grand Franco. No African musician could come close to Franco in three decades (60’s, 70’s and 80’s).
      Tell them i said so.


  81. And whats your fav reggae songs i want to no mine lucky dube iv got you babe!

  82. What about African china(nigeria)

  83. I would like to listen to some of the songs from Nigeria and so on.

  84. MAKE YOUR TOP 50! All of you! PROBLEM SOLVED. Don’t like what you see, post your own list and quit bickering…it’s just that simple!

  85. Nice..luking for 3 songs,, dnt remember the artist names, but the songs goes thus” Tem tem matonge tem zebike..mani tem bie niha nehijo bieyen.. and other one goes thus” posi se, eya yu wenaaaaa,. And the other one is ” aroba dobo, aroba dibi, se na dobo se na dibi,, we can’t do without the magents.

    • Tam tam – Sally nyolo

  86. Someone please gi me the name of the artist who sang the song” aeeeeeeh Africa eeee oooooooohhhhh africa eeee ooooooooohhhh kisangaaaaaaaaa” n how can I get this song online…. It brings nice memories when i was young …..”.

    • That song is by Salif keita..google itm.Africa by Salif keita.

  87. Music of all times never to forget

  88. Wow

  89. They are all okay

  90. I love it! And to those coming up with a million suggestions on who or not who should feature on the playlist, please go make yours…quietly.

  91. Pls, which cameroonian artist sang the song “sena nue, sena nue, sena nuema o! Se na nues ohh!

  92. What is the title of that very famous one.. gonna make a fool of myself but i dont know the lyrics, roughly sounds like this: “ne makane kassop yemama tsek….. eh ehhee” came out around 1997/8. thanks all

  93. Wathetha kabuhlungu kelumntu othetha nge artist esizaziyo thina nomculo wazo bewsumamala nazi ezi artist athethangazo Penny penny ,shiyani ngcobo , and nezinye ngenxa yokuba engazazi yena yho im thx. Ndingu Jabu 4rm eastern cape

  94. Pls i need dis African musician’s name. Toriyoriyo aaha.

  95. Hello I’m from Romania and despite my very limited knowledge about African songs here it is my personal top 10 for today – (lots of songs I omitted for brevity, that I like also very much to believe that they belong to the best of the world music of all time):

    10. Mory Kante – Ye’ke Ye’ke
    9. Tinariwen – Lulla
    8. Bombino – Mahegagh
    7. Cesaria Evora – Angola
    6. Miriam Makeba & Harry Belafonte – Nongqongqo
    5. Bombino – Imuhar
    4. Miriam Makeba – Jolinkomo
    3. Salif Keita & Cesaria Evora – Yamore
    2. Miriam Makeba – Qongqongqo
    1. Salif Keita – Moussoolou

    • I’m pleased to know that African music interests you. I recommend you a dose of the music Nigeria has an offer.

  96. sorry, a typo, actually in the 2nd place is Qongqothwane -> not Qongqongqo

  97. I very much in agreement with this list as it has the artists par excellence!

  98. Good list you have here, Salif Keita is an enigma.

  99. hot jams so far.love you Africa

  100. Artists are really commendable bt why arent there uganda musicians like kanyamoyi,chameleon,lutaalo and namubiru?

  101. where are the likes of pepe kalle (moyibi), Nyboma (Nina), oliver n’goma(bane, adia), Tabuley (muzina)

  102. Please correct yourself before you mislead us.Prince Nico Mbarga is half Nigerian and half Cameroonian.Not south african

  103. Oliver mtukudzi is a better artist that alick macheso…..ndakuvara did wAY better in Zimbabwe

  104. dat list z somehow fake qns where are 4 uganda yo unfair

  105. Alane by Wes madiko is the best African song ever

  106. Where is Majek Fashek? This is nothing but a joke. Anyway, it’s your opinion and I don’t know your yardsticks, but this is certainly not what you say it is.

  107. sup..i’m 4rm zim n wld lyc 2 air sum views..thomas mapfumo is a legend n here is a list o other african legends who rockd in zim..Salif Keita-Africa..Yvonne Chaka chaka..Oliver Ngoma-Adia..Bane.Fely e.tc (trust mi ths dude ws n is stil popular in zim)..ishamel Lo..Brenda Fassie…any1pliz help mi i’m lookin 4 ths track by a female who sang bout diamonds. .think ts SouthAfrican frm long bck..e lyrics nt sure bt smthn ly..hey wena ninayo kipi dhaimani wena bafuni ukunibetha ki dhaimani hwela helele helele bafanami..pliz hit mi on ma email ceemabvuu@gmail.com

  108. Guys I am looking for a certain song by Salif Keita. On this song, a boy is mobbed by bees on his back on one of the clips. I used to see watch it on Afro Beat (Zim) when I was a kid but I do not remember the title. Please help

    • Salif Keita — Ignadjidje. I hav been lookin fo d video fo quite a long time bt i cant find it ..even on Youtube.

      • try finding it (if you haven’t) on emp3s.cc/videos/salif+keita+ignadjidje

  109. There’s this Kenyan song by Enomizizi called KIUNO VIUNO. It’s so sweet and authentically African. Guys go to YouTube and have a listen.
    Also JAMBO BWANA I think by Dem Mushrooms.
    Also, I gotta say, the compiler of the list is not to blame for his list. It’s his opinion. Sometimes for some reason we hardly get to hear songs from other African regions coz the media hasn’t fed us enough songs from there. Some substandard songs can also turn out classics only coz they received mad airplay.
    BTW I love IWASADO so much. Although I understand none of the words. The tune and the singing is moving.

  110. I NEED HELP figuring out another lovely song, don’t know if it is from Uganda but it’s kinda reggae with words
    “Time oh time will tell: if you really baby love me
    time oh time, oh time!

    then switches to luganda “Njagala njagala, omukwano njagala njagala. . .! ”
    The artist is said to have died a few years ago. God rest his soul.

  111. The talking drum,npkonkolo,agwir,ganng and much more instruments are indigenous to nigeria

  112. an impressive list. .

  113. what are the traditional music of africa ?

  114. Can somebody tell me I’m looking for the name of a song or artist ,the song was around in the early 1970’s the words were in English but the singer had a African accent it was like a Afro jazz tune. The words were like this” why did you go and leave me” another verse was like this “speaking of people I don’t like your friends tell me”

    • “Why did you have to desert me?” by Taj Mahal

  115. I need a certain song of africa where theres a guy who drinks and beat up his wife n child his job is lambering. bt later he changes his behaviour and become a gud dude

  116. hey guys could u pliz get me this song that has a chorus that goes….shemiii shemi shemi, awakawaka………really miss it

  117. impressive list dude..i believe every artist can’t be on that list.am from Ghana and i can’t find any track of arguably Africa’s all time best band OSIBISA. but its cool though thumbs up

  118. Prince Nico Mbarga is a Nigerian and not from RSA.

    2Face’s African Queen will forever rank high in African music.

    Soul Makossa by Manu Dibango got to be here.

  119. From Zimbabwe we have Oliver Mtukudzi and Thomas Mapfumo

  120. You forgot Mulatu Astatke, the inventor of Ethio-jazz.

  121. where is oliver ngoma??without him the list is a joke

  122. Angelique Kidjo – wombo lombo, should be on this list

  123. Only one artist from the continent’s most musically productive country, the DRC. Are you kidding? Nothing from Franco (have you listened to his “Azda?”). I think this list favors the pop side of African music at the exclusion of more authentically tailored sounds.

  124. Bit of a strange list – two Algerian mentions, but not Khaled – how can that be?
    Then some expected artists, but not the song you’d expect:
    Fela Kuti – Sorrow, Tears and Blood, instead of Zombie
    Miriam Makeba – Soweto Blues, instead of La Lutta Continua
    Salif Keita – Katolon instead of Tekere
    Femi Kuti – If Them Want To Hear instead of Traitors of Africa
    and so on.

  125. I am looking for this song by an African woman that I think is popular in France. She sang the song in the late 80s or early 90s. It sounds like this:

    “Ei Ei Keleshibo ooo, Keleshibo ooo, Keleshibo. ei ei iiiii”

    Please help, I’ve been looking fir this song since forever!

  126. THANK YOU FOR THIS WONDERFUL LIST. Could anyone tell me if you know a song with the chorus ‘Ayo, Aayo’ which means JOY in Yoruba? THANK YOU

  127. what of Zambian music tracks. I think we also deserve some recognition

  128. There was that song featuring women making music with empty bottles and vocals. Anyone remembers that one?

  129. But let me make a correct an error about your list that may make some of us run into madness,lets be sincere how can you mention of artists and leave out great accoladed musicians like philly bongole lutaaya,khadja niin,corneille nyungura, the only man who was given the writings of jim reeves,non other than jimmy katumba,fred masagazi whose song ran many weeks on top on bbc’s count down.johnny tezano a superb,kofi olomide, the great papa wemba,all times best; franco,tabuley,pepe kale,hugh masekela,thomas mapfumo,the 2007 kora award winner of all men in africa and in east and central africa, pastor george okudi,steve kekana-the master writer on african continent and a blind musician, salif keita,oliver ngouma-the king of zulu in africa.the ogopa deejays,les wanyika,allain nkoukou to mention but a few.please when youre writing,cover beyond your interest and regards to a few.africa is full of melodies and golden rhythms,all blends of music is 80% naturised in africa to its best.look beyond your north of sahara.

  130. South African Rapper, Nasty C dishes out his much anticipated 2018 album “ Nasty C Strings and Bling Album
    ”. The Album has just 17 tracks featuring just 3 artists with likes of American Rapper A$AP Ferg, singer Rowlene and Wolfpack Records act, Kaien Cruz.

  131. well believe it or not i have been through many african countries but i have never seen any one popular than TEDDY AFRO from ETHIOPIA(east africa) and not including him in this list….?really?

  132. As a 26yearold who grew up listening to Western music all the time this list has open both my ears and mind to the rich African history of Music! Most of the Artists on this list I only knew by name but now I know their incredible music,thank you

  133. Good music

  134. so where’s African queen by tuface!?? Rubbish list!

  135. best

  136. African music is more than just music. It is a lifestyle. Thanks for sharing.

  137. Failed and don’t ask me how. How dare u forget Prince nico Mbarga whose song ‘sweet mother’ sold more than the Beatles. It’s a shame.what happened to Hugh masakela?

  138. Where is jose chameleon ugandan legend east africa,i am not seeing koffi olamide CONGO even steve kekana from SA?

  139. Ljubav I novac

  140. Hi I am looking for a song called (Aboje) the artist is Beni Ngoare the spelling might be wrong please help. I saw it on TV in 2011 it played regularly.

    Very interesting list thanks

  141. Not a criticism, just an observation and maybe a question. I see no Ugandan music or artists… Is it that they are just not musical? Or not especially prolific (or talented)? Going to uganda soon… Looking for some local music to prime me for the trip. Meanhile I’ll check out some of your other artists.thanks for taking the time to put this together.

  142. Uganda has crying voices by Philly bongole lutaya

  143. Unrivalled #1 of all time is ‘Mario’ by Grand Franco. No African musician could come close to Franco in three decades (60’s, 70’s and 80’s).
    Tell them i said so.


  144. Birima by Youssou N’dour should be in the top 5.

  145. How could you make this video without having samples of the kind of music that is made on the sites!? I don’t wanna click around on every page like a dork! Boo! Bad job, you dongheads!
    Holly Hooper

  146. I would like to know if there’s a music group called new africa with a song called harena back in the 1970’s or 1980’s? Please let me know if you have my message. Thank you.

  147. Thank you so much! I have been searching for Yé Ké Yé Ké (without knowing the name, just a vague memory of “ye ye ye oh”) after hearing it in a restaurant. As you can imagine, there are plenty of African songs with “ye ye” and “oh” somewhere in the title of lyrics, so I’ve been through dozens. It was by sheer chance that my search was close enough to bring up this 14 year old post, so thank you!

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