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Rokia Traoré (born 24th January 1974) is an award-winning Malian singer, songwriter, and guitarist.
Traoré was born in Kolokani, Mali as a member of the Bambara ethnic group. As her father was a diplomat, she travelled widely in her youth travelling to Algeria, Saudi Arabia, France and Belgium. As a result of this travel, she was exposed to a wide variety of influences.
The Bambara also had a tradition of griot performing at weddings although members of the nobility such as Traoré are discouraged from performing as musicians. Traoré attended lycée in Mali when her father was stationed in Brussels and started performing publicly. As well as guitar she plays ngoni (lute) and balafon.
In 1997 she linked wit...