A direct descendant of the founder of the Mali empire, Sundiata Keita, Salif Keita was nevertheless ostracised by his local community and cast out by his family due to being born with albinism, a sign of bad luck in Mandinka culture. Moving to Bamako in his teens, he joined a government sponsored band, the Super Rail Band de Bamako. In the early 1970s he moved on to Les Ambassadeurs, fleeing Mali with them during a period of unrest and gaining a strong reputation as an irresistible live act as they toured various parts of Africa. In the 1980s Keita moved to Paris, and merged the rhythmic music of his West African roots with European influences; using instruments ranging from koras, djembes and balafons to saxophones and synthesizers. He subsequently became one of the pioneering stars of African music who helped popularise world music throughout Europe and America, despite suffering criticism in some quarters for glossy productions. Returning to live and work in Mali, Keita recorded his acclaimed Mouffou album (2002), going on to build his own studio where he recorded his 2005 album M'Bemba. In 2009 he released one of his most ambitious albums, La Difference, inspired by the struggle for understanding and acceptance by the albino community.
Most popular music videos
Selena Gomez & The Scene