music The Best World Music Artists  

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1.9k votes 350 voters 44.8k views 351 items Embed

World music is an easy way for people to describe the melding traditional and nontraditional music from foreign countries. Generally, world music refers to sounds from the non-Western part of the world. Known for its fusion, world music was term coined in the 1960s and also includes the incorporation of traditional instruments from other parts of the world that haven't been used primarily by Western artists. The beauty of World music artists is that their sound, while entrenched and grounded in Eastern music, it can mean any type of traditional sound as long as it's from there.

So, what are the best World music artists? Any list needs to have Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Jonathan Scales, Trilok Gurtu and Loreena McKennitt on any world music artists list. These are among the most well known artists in the genre and their music is as unique as any. They incorporate new age and foreign sounds that is not only unique, but allows for them to stand out from many of their contemporaries.

That said, it's up to you to decide what are the best World music artists. It's not an easy question, but ultimately it's your job to decide. If you notice someone is missing from the list, feel free to add them. This list answers the questions "who are the best world music bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest world music musician ever?" If you know enough about the genre, please vote based on the quality of the band's music instead of just voting for the most popular world music bands that you might've heard of. (351 items)

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RagaNet added Ashwin Batish Worldbeat, North Indian classical Sitar music, Raga Jazz - Legendary sitar maestro has just released his third World music album called “Sitar Power III.” Standout songs are 'Sitar Trek,' a raga rock out excursion and 'East Indian Meets West Indian,' an amazing calypso-n-raga fusion ...

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45 21
Jonathan Scales is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Jonathan Scales World music, Jazz fusion, Jazz

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31 10
Loreena McKennitt is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Loreena McKennitt New Age music, World music, Celtic music

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Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Qawwali, Ghazal, Fusion

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28 10
John McLaughlin is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best World Music Artists
John McLaughlin Kozmigroov, Rock music, World music

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Ofra Haza is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Ofra Haza Ethnic electronica, Synthpop, Pop music

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15 4
Joe Zawinul is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Joe Zawinul Romantic music, World music, Jazz fusion

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L. Subramaniam is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best World Music Artists
L. Subramaniam Fusion, Carnatic music, World music

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Heather Maxwell is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Heather Maxwell Music of Africa, World music, Rhythm and blues

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12 3
Ali Farka Touré is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Ali Farka Touré Folk music, World music, Blues

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Ladysmith Black Mambazo is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Ladysmith Black Mambazo Mbube, World music, Isicathamiya

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Clifford Borg is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Clifford Borg New Age music, World music

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Brian Jones is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Brian Jones Blues-rock, Pop music, Rock music

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Inti-Illimani is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Inti-Illimani Andean music, Folk music, Latin American music

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Garaj Mahal is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Garaj Mahal Fusion, Rock music, World music

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Dhafer Youssef is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Dhafer Youssef Qawwali, New Age music, World music

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Banzumana Sissoko is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Banzumana Sissoko World music

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Azam Ali is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Azam Ali New Age music, Rock music, World music

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Trilok Gurtu is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Trilok Gurtu World music, Jazz fusion, Jazz

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12 5
Ron Korb is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Ron Korb New Age, World music, Jazz

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12 5
Edgar Meyer is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Edgar Meyer World music, Classical music, Progressive bluegrass

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Niyaz is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Niyaz Folk music, World music, Electronic dance music

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Dead Can Dance is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Dead Can Dance Neoclassical Dark Wave, Gothic rock, New Age music

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8 2
Fun-Da-Mental is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Fun-Da-Mental Hip hop music, Ethnic electronica, Fusion

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Alejandra Robles is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Alejandra Robles World music

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Demis Roussos is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Demis Roussos Pop-folk, Pop music, Folk music

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Sultans of String is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Sultans of String World music, Instrumental

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David Lindley is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best World Music Artists
David Lindley Rock music, World music, Country

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Darya Dadvar is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Darya Dadvar World music, Classical music, Persian traditional music

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Jaffa Road is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Jaffa Road World music

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Dana International is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Dana International Pop music, World music, Electronic dance music

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DJ Desi is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best World Music Artists
DJ Desi World music, Bhangra, Techno

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Donald Knaack is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Donald Knaack World fusion music, World music, Dance music

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Enter the Haggis is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Enter the Haggis World fusion music, World music

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Jay Vaquer is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Jay Vaquer Pop music, World music, Pop rock

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7 2
Jah Wobble is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Jah Wobble Experimental rock, World music, Dub

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Ismaël Lô is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Ismaël Lô Mbalax, Worldbeat, World music

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Kaizers Orchestra is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Kaizers Orchestra Rock music, Gypsy punk, World music

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Idan Raichel is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Idan Raichel Pop music, Folk music, World music

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Hidayat Khan is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Hidayat Khan Bollywood, World music, Jazz fusion

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Dembo Konte and Kausu Kuyateh is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Dembo Konte and Kausu Kuyateh Folk music, World music

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Edward II is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Edward II Traditional music, Folk music, Electric folk

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Enya is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Enya New Age music, Folk music of Ireland, World music

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Jon Hassell is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Jon Hassell Kozmigroov, World music, Fourth World

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Adrian Hates is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Adrian Hates Blues-rock, Gothic rock, World music

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7 2
Afro Celt Sound System is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Afro Celt Sound System Ethnic electronica, Celtic fusion, Worldbeat

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Julean and the Rai is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Julean and the Rai Rock, Heartland rock, Rock music

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Bobby McFerrin is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Bobby McFerrin Pop music, World music, Classical music

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17 Hippies is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best World Music Artists
17 Hippies Pop music, Folk music, World music

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Bil Aka Kora is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best World Music Artists
Bil Aka Kora World music