Ali Farka Toure, Rest in Peace

Published: 2006-03-08
Grammy award-winning African musician Ali Farka Toure passed away on March 7 after a long battle with cancer.

Though it is known that he was born in Timbuktu, the exact date of his birth is uncertain. It's estimated that he was around 67 years old when he passed away in his home in Mali.

Toure's music combined traditional African music with stylistic influences from Ray Charles and Otis Redding. He played both a traditional stringed instrument called a gurkel and the electric guitar.

He won his first Grammy in 1994 for the tune "Talking Timbuktu" with American guitarist Ry Cooder. Last month he snagged another award in the traditional world music category for his album In the Heart of the Moon.

Though Toure will be fondly remembered in North America, it's his countrymen that will perhaps miss him most. According to the Associated Press, fans in Mali are deeply mourning the loss of a native hero.

"Across this deeply impoverished west African nation, people mourned Toure's passing and radio stations suspended regular programming to broadcast his signature lilting sounds," reporter the Associate Press.

Toure had just completed work on a new solo album before he passed away. As of yet there is no word indicating when (or if) the album will be released.

Writer: Michelle Garcia



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