Salif Keita, an albino, was born in Mali to nobility. That and his intense interest in music got him kicked -- literally -- into the street, where he had to sing for his supper. An amazingly gifted vocalist, he must not have gone hungry for long. Mali is a melting pot of various African, Arabic and European ethnic groups. Keita combined these with Cuban music and came to great prominence in the 1970s with his group Les Ambassadeurs. In the late '80s he moved to Paris, the center of World Music. His emotional, crystal clear voice soars over increasingly complex, but never overly dense, backdrops. Salif Keita sounds good fronting an Afro-Pop-Salsa group or an American style Country-Folk band. He's one of a kind.