Aster Aweke is an Ethiopian Super Star, singer, song writer and performer. She is known as the queen of pop music in Ethiopia. She is one of the most popular/recognizable personalities in the country, and her music is adored by millions of Ethiopians. She released 23 albums so far.
Aster was born in 1961 G.C. in Gonder, Debere Tabor.
She moved to Addis Ababa as a child, with her father who was a senior civil servant in the imperial government. She was raised in Addis Ababa.
Aster, fall in love with music at a very early age. She grew up listening musicians like Tilahun Gesses and Bezunesh Bekele from Ethiopia and Donna Summer and Arita Franklin from Abroad. When she was only thirteen years old, she decided to join Hager Fiker Theater in Addis Ababa. She auditioned by playing Bezunesh Bekele’s song and succeeded to join the theater as a dancer and vocalist.
In her late teens, she played at clubs in Addis Ababa with famous bands including Shebele Band, Roha Band, Ibex Band and Hotel D’Afrique Band. She used to play songs by Tilahun Gesses, Muluken Melese and Bezunesh Bekele. Her Style is also greatly influenced by the late singer Bezunesh Bekele. In her early stage of musical careers, Aster also played the songs by Donna Summer and Arita Franklin.
Knowing society does not hold singers at high premium at the time, Aster admits that as a young girl she did not think music will be her career, and she says she only played for the love of it. Instead, Aster had a plan to pursue her education.
Her family was also very resistant of her decision to join Hager Fiker Theater. To make sure she will focus on her education and forget about music, in 1981 they decided to send her to the United States. Her move coincides with the release of her most significant album Munaye.
However, after settling at Bay Area of California temporarily and Washington D.C permanently, Aster focused more in her music than her academics. She started playing in clubs and restaurants for the Ethiopian Community residing in D.C area. As she was already famous, she started receiving invitations from different parts of the United States and Europe to play for the Ethiopian Diaspora. In the mean time, her popularity was only increasing in Ethiopia, as she kept releasing more albums.
To the excitement of millions of her fans, she returned to Ethiopia in 1997. Her arrival was celebrated by thousands of loyal followers who awaited the landing of the plane for hours. In a tour that took a month, Aster performed to nearly 80,000 people, and proved that she is one of the most beloved singer in the country.
Aster also represented her country in the world stage with a commitment to promote her culture and language. She first signed a record deal with British company Triple Earth to record and releases her older music. She then signed a contract with Sony Music Entertainment and released two albums, Kabu and self titled album Aster, under their Colombia Label. After its release in 1991 Kabu reached No. 4 on Bill Board World Music Chart. Kabu gets its power from her strong vocal which soar above a lush weave of Ethiopian Folk Melodies and American Jazz and pop (Time Magazine)
Following the sccess of Kabu, Aster was critically acclaimed and received a wide coverage by the international media. She appeared on major ntworks in the United States and United Kingdom, including an appearance on CNN, NBC, CBC and the BBC.
Aster performed in different world stages.
Aster also joined the business world by opening a cafeteria in Addis Ababa named after her most successful album and song ‘Kabu’.
Award and Recognition
Aster has one daughter who currently lives in the United States. Aster moved back to her country and she currently lives in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.