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    Top 20 African greatest musicians of all time

    These are the top 20 African greatest musicians of all time sometimes considered legends.

    You may be surprised that Africa harbors some of the biggest musicians in the world and that’s why we list the top 20 African greatest musicians of all time.

    Who are the African greatest musicians of all time?  

    Many of these musicians were pioneers of music genres that are made in Africa.

    The authentic sound that comes from these men and women can only be envied by other musicians from around the world.

    Over the years, the music collections of these musicians have never ceased to inspire people.

    We have a list that has explored the legends Africa has ever produced in the music industry.

    Top 20 African greatest musicians of all time
    Top 20 African greatest musicians of all time

    Top 20 African greatest musicians of all time

    1. Fela Kuti

    Fela Kuti is famous for his high-octane musical performances.  Kuti is argued to be the African greatest musician to have lived.

    Top 20 African greatest musicians of all time
    Fela

    He was a political activist, instrumentalist, composer, musician, and pioneer of the Afrobeat.

    He sang in a tone that was electrifying and inspiring in Pidgin English.

    2. Miriam Mkeba

    Mama Africa, aka Miriam Makeba has been called a true legend who used music in fighting for the rights of her people.

    Top 20 African greatest musicians of all time
    Miriam Makeba

    She was known for her stage performances and signature sound. She won a Grammy and lived her life to make South Africa music more powerful.

    3. Ali Farka Toure

    Ali Farka Toure is a Malian guitarist and singer, who fused the Malian local music with African American jazz.

    Top 20 African greatest musicians of all time
    Ali Farka Touré

    He is a multilingual singer who made the languages in Mali popular with his music.

     

    4. Yousssou N dour

    Youssou N dour  is a Senegalese singer  and also a percussionist.

    Top 20 African greatest musicians of all time
    Youssou Ndour

    He got this flair in his music that changed the music industry in the country, blending hip hop, Mbalex, Cuban, and elements of pop.

    5. Brenda Faisse

    Brenda Faissie was that voice that never stopped ringing sweetly in your ears after listening to her music.

    Top 20 African greatest musicians of all time
    Brenda Fassie

    She was called the Queen of African Pop.

    The songs of Faissie were powerfully written to pass a message to the South African oppressors and also to tell lovers that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

    6. King Sunny Ade

    King Sunny Ade is still making waves after decades in the Nigerian music industry.

    He has toured around the world and he was the first person who made use of the pedal steel guitar in his country.

    Top 20 African greatest musicians of all time
    King Sunny Ade

    He sings juju music and has never stopped winning the hearts of his fans.

     

    7.  Lucky Dube

    Lucky Dube was known for his rejuvenation of African reggae music.  The music of Dube was so powerful that it didn’t stop giving hope to the people of South Africa.

    Top 20 African greatest musicians of all time
    Lucky Dube

    He was legendary and a tour of the world.

    8. Ladysmith Black Mambazo

    The group is from South Africa, an award Grammy-winning group that has sand for the liberation of the country during the apartheid.

    Top 20 African greatest musicians of all time
    Ladysmith Black Mambazo

    They became famous after they sang with Paul Simon on his album, Graceland.

    9. Angelique Kidjo

    She is an activist and Grammy Award winner from Benin. She is influential and supports the cause of women.

    Top 20 African greatest musicians of all time
    Angélique Kidjo

    She is diverse and creative when it comes to creating great music.

    10. E.T Mensah

    Emmanuel Tettey Mensah, who is mostly referred to as E.T Mensah came from Ghana and was called the “King of Highlife” music.

    Top 20 African greatest musicians of all time
    E.T Mensah

     

    He has played for the President of Ghana and toured the world to display his dexterity.

    11. Chief Stephen Osita Osadebe

    Chief Stephen Osita Osadebe often referred to as just Osadebe, was a Nigerian highlife musician from Atani.

    Top 20 African greatest musicians of all time
    Chief Osita Osadebe

    During his career spanning over four decades, he became one of the best-known musicians of Igbo highlife.

    His best-known hit was the 1984 single “Osondi Owendi”,

    12. Oliver D Coque

    Oliver Sunday Akanite better known by the stage name Oliver De Coque was a Nigerian guitarist and one of Africa’s most prolific recording artists.

    Top 20 African greatest musicians of all time
    Oliver De Coque

    De Coque was awarded an honorary degree in music from the University of New Orleans

    13. Bright Chimezie

    His music style became known as Zigima Sound, It is a genre that became popular in the Eastern part of Nigeria in the early 1980s.

    Top 20 African greatest musicians of all time
    Bright Chimezie

    It is a mix of traditional Nigerian music and Igbo highlife fused with chanted vocals.

    Bright Chimezie used it to revolutionize the musical structure in Nigeria with lyrics that focused on social issues of the country in a rather funny way

    14. Ebenezer Obey

    Ebenezer Obey (born 3 April 1942 as Ebenezer Remilekun Aremu Olasupo Obey-Fabiyi, MFR in Idogo, Nigeria), nicknamed the “Chief Commander“, is a Nigerian jùjú musician.

    Top 20 African greatest musicians of all time
    Ebenezer Obey

    15. Koffi Olomide

    Antoine Christophe Agbepa Mumba known professionally as Koffi Olomidé, is a Congolese Soukus singer, dancer, producer, and composer.

    Top 20 African greatest musicians of all time
    Koffi Olumide

    He has had several gold records in his career. He is the founder of the Quartier Latin International orchestra with many notable artists, including Fally Ipupa and Ferré Gola.

    16. Onyeka Onwenu

    Onyeka Onwenu is a Nigerian singer/songwriter, actress, human rights activist, social activist, journalist, politician, and former X Factor series judge.

    Top 20 African greatest musicians of all time
    Onyeka Onwenu

    Dubbed the “Elegant Stallion” by the Nigerian press, she is a former chairperson of the Imo State Council for Arts and Culture

    17. Hugh Masekela

    Hugh Ramapolo Masekela was a South African trumpeter, flugelhornist, cornetist, singer, and composer who was described as “the father of South African jazz”.

    Top 20 African greatest musicians of all time
    Hugh

    Masekela was known for his jazz compositions and for writing well-known anti-apartheid songs

    18. Yvonne Chaka Chaka

    Yvonne Chaka Chaka is an internationally recognized South African singer, songwriter, actress, entrepreneur, humanitarian, and teacher.

    Top 20 African greatest musicians of all time
    Yvonne Chaka Chaka

    Dubbed the “Princess of Africa” (a name she received after a 1990 tour), Chaka Chaka has been at the forefront of South African popular music for 35 years

    19. Vusi Mahlasela

    Vusi Sidney Mahlasela Ka Zwane (born 1965 in Pretoria, South Africa) is a Sotho South African singer-songwriter.

    Top 20 African greatest musicians of all time
    Vusi

    His music is generally described as “African folk” and he is often dubbed as “The Voice” of South Africa. His work was an inspiration to many in the anti-apartheid movement.

    20. Majek Fashek

    Majekodunmi Fasheke, popularly known as Majek Fashek (March 1963 – 1 June 2020) was a Nigerian singer-songwriter and guitarist.

    Top 20 African greatest musicians of all time
    Majek Fashek

    His 1988 album Prisoner of Conscience included the single “Send Down the Rain”, which won six PMAN Music Awards.

     

    Notable Mentions (New Generation musicians paving the legendary way for the Africa culture)

    • Wizkid
    • Davido
    • Mafikizolo
    • Burna Boy
    • Diamond Platnumz
    • Shatta Wale
    • Sarkodie 

    Top 20 African greatest musicians of all time

    Fela Kuti

    Lucky Dube

    Miriam Mkeba

    Ali Farka Toure

    Yousssou N dour

    Brenda Faisse

    King Sunny Ade

    Angelique Kidjo

    E.T Mensah

    Chief Stephen Osadebe

    Oliver D Coque

    Bright Chimezie

    Ebenezer Obey

    Koffi Olomide

    Onyeka Onwenu

    Hugh Masekela

    Yvonne Chaka Chaka

    Vusi Mahlasela

    Majek Fashek

    Oris Wiliki.

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