His gifted voice, lively charisma and powerful stage presence made him stand out as one of the legendary Ethiopian and Oromiffa musicians. Born in Humbanna, Dirre Dhawa on May 26, 1948, Ali Birra started a journey to musical stardom by giving shows to family and classmates and listening to both local and international music. He took advantage of the multicultural nature of Dire Dawa and was able to sing in Arabic, Oromiffa, Harari and Somali.
Ali joined a band known as Afran Qallo cultural group in 1962 which was then operating unofficially to promote the Oromo music and culture. Because there was another Ali in the band, the group gave him the name “Ali Birra” meaning “Ali the Spring” from the first song that he sung on stage called “Birra dha Bari’e” . He moved to Addis Ababa and played with different bands until he left Ethiopia in 1984 with his diplomat wife. Leaving the country didnt stop Ali Bira’s music career as he continued to enthrall his fans with a number of albums and live performances in different parts of the world including Ethiopia.
Ali Birra’s illustrious career and his unique melody and singing style made him stand out as one of the greatest. His timeless classics still remain to be favored by many in Ethiopia and AradaOnline wishes Ali a Happy Birthday. View full Article to enjoy a few of his classic music here. [alibirra.com, image via Wikipedia]