Über Rokia Traoré
Rokia Traoré wasn't born into the griot caste -- her family were upperclass Bamanas in Mali. But thanks to a certain liberal mindset and her family's slightly rootless existence (her father was a diplomat), Traoré was able to pursue music with little parental opposition. And she got help from the bigwigs: Ali Farka Toure and Boubacar Traore, to name just two. After her first two albums Mouneissa and Wanita, Traoré had garnered oodles of world music awards and acolades for her distinctive, airy-yet-substantial singing.