African musical hero dies

Ali Farka Toure was a double Grammy winner

African musical hero Ali Farka Toure has died after a long illness in his home country of Mali.

The star, who was in his late Sixties, was one of the pioneers of ‘Mali Blues’. His 1994 LP ‘Talking Timbuktu’ with US blues guitarist Ry Cooder was widely acclaimed,and won him one of two Grammys, reports the BBC.

Toure was also elected mayor of his home town of Niafunke on the shores of the River Niger in Mali.

Radio stations in the capital Bamako have interrupted their normal coverage and are playing his music. He died in Bamako but, according to local authorities, is to be buried in Niafunke, 850km north of the capital, on Wednesday (March 8).

Toure won his second Grammy this year for his album in collaboration with another famous Malian musician, ‘Toumani Diabate’, ‘In The Heart Of The Moon’.

His record label, World Circuit, said he had just finished work on a new solo album.