Oumou Sangare was born in 1968 and her parents were both singers from the Wassoulou region. When her father left the family for a second wife, Oumou helped her mother and siblings by singing in the streets of Bamako.At the age of five, she won a kindergarten competition and got to perform at the Omnisport stadium. At 16, Oumou went on tour with percussion group Djoliba. Inspired by the positive recognition from the tour, she decided to form her own group.Oumou recorded her first album Moussolou (Women) in 1990 and her music is inspired by the music and dances of the Wassoulou region. The songs often include social criticism, especially concerning women’s low status in society. Oumou is an advocate for women’s rights, opposing child marriage and polygami.So far Oumou has recorded seven solo albums and throughout the years she has helped many young female artists to a career of their own.