Aweke, Ashter [Aster]
- Daniel Avorgbedor
(b Gonder, Ethiopia, 1961). Ethiopian singer. Ashter began her singing career in the early 1970s in Addis Ababa, and performed with the band Roha (formerly Shebele Band). Her formative musical years were also shaped by the music of Bezunesh Bekele and the philanthropy of Ali Tango, which provided motivation for the singer. Ashter emigrated to the USA in 1981 after a few cassette releases (such as Munaya) in Ethiopia and has since produced important albums for Sony: Kabu remained among the top ten of Billboard's world music charts for ten weeks and Aster Aweke Alive was recorded at a sold-out concert in London in 1996. Her popularity spread further with the inclusion of her songs on compilation releases involving multiple artists, such as Afrika, Under African Skies (BBC Videos, vol.2, 1989) and Fruits of Freedom. Ashter possesses a unique musical style that fuses indigenous musical and linguistic traditions with influences from singers such as Donna Summer and Aretha Franklin. Along with Angélique Kidjo and Oumou Sangare, Ashter Aweke represents an important African female voice in the popular music industry. She returned to Ethiopia in ...