Ali Farka Toure, the Grammy Award-winning musical legend from Mali, has died after a long illness. He was 66. The singer-guitarist gained international fame from his 1994 collaboration with Ry Cooder on the bluesy album Talking Timbuktu.
In the 1980s, Toure was among several African musicians — including fellow Malian singer Salif Keita and Senegal's Youssou N'Dour — whose music gained wider appreciation and respect around the world.
Toure received the first of his two Grammys for his bluesy collaboration with Cooder. Toure won the other this year in the traditional world music album category for In the Heart of the Moon, recorded with Toumani Diabate.
Toure played the guitar and traditional, richly rhythmical stringed instruments from Mali. He was also a gifted Malian blues balladeer and composer.
Michele Norris talks about Toure's life and career with NPR commentator and Afropop.org Senior Editor Banning Eyre.