Amadou & Mariam
Amadou Bagayoko and Mariam Doumbia met each other in the 1970s in Bamako, Mali -- but not at a nightclub or a party or a single's bar. Both were actually enrolled in the newly formed Institute for Blind Youth. Against their families' wishes, the couple fell in love, got married and embarked on two challenging journeys: starting a family and building a music career. Bagayoko played in the Motel de Bamako house band for years, but ultimately the couple had to move to Cote D'Ivoire to make their career work. Work it did, and they gained no small fame for their African (and European) hit "Je Pense A Toi." The success of that song brought them to the attention of musical polymath Manu Chao, who produced their 2005 release Dimanche A Bamako. That release took them to unprecedented levels of fame in France, Africa and beyond, thanks to Chao's orgasmic take on global pop and their gorgeous vocal interplay.