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Album Review

Bel sang for years with Rochereau and went out on her own in 1988. Bameli Soy presents her in the Rochereau days. The marvelous Phénomène was the first fruit of her artistic freedom and it's wonderful, with ace arranger Rigo Star's work framing her sensuous style without making it soupy. And given how well her style and voice blended with the benign drive of Afrisa International, as Bameli Soy attests, her solo success was against considerable self-competition.


Born: January 10, 1959 in Kinshasa, Congo

Genre: World

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Mbilia Bel's career took off in the mid-'80s when she sang alongside Tabu Ley on a number of recordings and tours, also recording solo albums at the same time. After her first child was born, she took some time off and decided to part company with Ley, making one last album with him in 1987. She moved to Paris and hooked up with guitarist Rigo Star, who composed and arranged much of her material. Most of her lyrics revolve around themes of adult love, which has proven controversial on some occasions....
Full Bio
Phénomene, Mbilia Bel
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