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Amadou & Mariam are a musical duo from Malimarker, composed of the couple Amadou Bagayoko (guitar and vocals) (born in Bamako 24 October 1954) and Mariam Doumbia (vocals) (born in Mali's capital Bamakomarker 15 April 1958). The pair, known as "the blind couple from Mali" met at Mali's Institute for the Young Blind, and found they shared an interest in music.


The duo's early recordings in the 1980s and 1990s feature sparse arrangements of guitar and voice. Since the late 1990s Amadou & Mariam produce music that mixes traditional Mali sound with rock guitars, Syrian violins, Cuban trumpets, Egyptian ney, Colombian trombones, Indian tablas and Dogon percussion. All these elements put together have been referred to as "Afro-blues".


Between 1974 and 1980, Amadou played with Les Ambassadeurs du Hotel. In 1980 the couple married and began to play together as well as Amadou continuing with a successful solo career and running the blind institute's music programme.

By 1985 the couple had made a name for themselves playing Malian blues. They embarked on a tour of Burkina Fasomarker. In 1986 the couple moved to the Côte d'Ivoiremarker and recorded several cassette albums and eventually the album Sou Ni Tile in Parismarker, which became a hit in Francemarker. The duo started playing at festivals around the world.

In 2003 they were approached by WorldLatin music star Manu Chao, who then produced their 2004 album Dimanche à Bamako ("Sunday in Bamako"), which also features his distinctive vocals.

In 2006 they recorded, together with Herbert Grönemeyer, the official anthem for the 2006 FIFA World Cup "Celebrate The Day" (German: "Zeit, dass sich was dreht"). The song topped the German charts in June 2006.

In 2007 they supported Scissor Sisters at the MEN Arenamarker on 30 July. In summer of 2008, they played the Lollapalooza music festival in Chicagomarker, Illinoismarker and the Latitude Festival in Henham Parkmarker, Suffolk.

In 2008, their song "Sabali" placed 15 on Pitchfork's Top 100 Best Tracks of 2008.

Amadou & Mariam won the Best Group category in the inaugural Songlines Music Awards (2009) - announced May 1, 2009 - the new 'world music' awards organised by the UK-based magazine, Songlines.

On May 26, 2009 they played a gig to support the homeless charity Crisis at the Union Chapelmarker, in north London with David Gilmour playing second guitar supporting the whole 80 minute set and a 5-minute encore. On June 8, 2009 they performed on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

In 2009, they supported Blur during their two reunion gigs in Hyde Park and also supported UK based band Coldplay on their Viva la Vida Tour.



  1. Pitchfork Media. " The 100 Best Tracks of 2008", Pitchfork, 2008-12-15. Retrieved on 2008-12-17.

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