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Monday, September 6, 1999 Published at 06:27 GMT 07:27 UK

World: Africa

Fassie and Kuti take the prize

Michael Jackson used the opportunity to present a cheque to Nelson Mandela

The South African singer, Brenda Fassie and the Nigerian bandleader, Femi Kuti, are the new queen and king of African music.

They topped the 1999 Kora All Africa Music Awards at Sun City, northwest of Johannesburg.

Click here for the full list of the 1999 Kora All Africa Music Awards

The lavish prize-giving ceremony was attended by 3,000 people including former South African president Nelson Mandela and pop star Michael Jackson, a frequent visitor to South Africa.

Listen to the new queen of African music, Brenda Fassie
Michael Jackson almost stole the limelight when he presented the ex-president with a cheque for R1m ($164,000) for the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund.

Son of a famous father

[ image: Femi Kuti has developed his very own sound]
Femi Kuti has developed his very own sound
Femi Kuti, son of the late great Fela Kuti, also won the award for the best artist/group in West Africa.

Femi Kuti is only the latest member of a distinguished family of musicians and activists to achieve fame in Nigeria and throughout Africa.

His grandmother was a leader in the campaign against British colonialism, while his father, Fela Kuti, was a legendary singer in his own right.

Now Femi is successfully forging his own career. He has taken his father's musical style, and depending on your point of view, made it more accessible to an international audience, or else, drained it of some its original energy.

His style is Afrobeat - a fusion of west African rhythms with American jazz.

[ image: Brenda Fassie, outgoing and controversial]
Brenda Fassie, outgoing and controversial
Brenda Fassie is one of South Africa's top recording artist with a chart and record breaking song, "Vuli Ndlela" released in November.

A colourful, outgoing character, she has been controversial throughout her career.

Best group in Africa went to Bisso Na Bisso from Congo-Brazzaville, and Nigui Saff from the Ivory Coast took the award for the best traditional music on the continent.

The Kora All Africa Music Awards have been awarded for four years. They are an acknowledgement of the best performers on the continent and celebrate the diversity of African music and culture across the globe.

The 1999 Kora All Africa Music Awards

  • Best female artist: Brenda Fassie, South Africa
  • Best male artist: Femi Kuti, Nigeria
  • Best group: Bisso Na Bisso, Congo-Brazzaville
  • Best traditional music: Nigui Saff, Ivory Coast
  • Best artist/group in Southern Africa: Ringo Madlingozi, South Africa
  • Best artist/group in North Africa: Tafkarinas, Algeria
  • Best artist/group in Central Africa: Bozi Boziana, Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Best artist/group in East Africa: Khadja Nin, Burundi
  • Best video clip director: Marcus Turner for Bisso Na Bisso, Congo-Brazzaville
  • Best arranger: Badou Jobe for Ifang Bondi, Gambia

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