Aster Aweke was born in 1959 in Gondar, Ethiopia. She was raised in the capital city of Addis Ababa. Her father was a senior civil servant in the Imperial government.She is an Ethiopian singer living in the United States.
By the age of 13, Aster was determined to become a musician, and began her career at Hager Fikir Theatre in Addis Ababa.
Starting in her late teens, she was performing in clubs and hotels in
the capital with bands such as the Continental Band, Hotel D’Afrique
Band, Shebele Band and Ibex Band, before they became the internationally
known as Roha Band.
Aster’s distinct style has been influenced by other Ethiopian singers, such as Bizunesh Bekele.
Launching a solo career, she was encouraged by musical entrepreneur
Ali Tango, who financed and released five cassettes and two singles of
her music. By 1981, Aster had become disillusioned by Ethiopia’s
oppressive political climate following the death of Haile Selassie, and relocated to the United States. Temporarily settling in the Bay Area of California, with plans to pursue higher education within a period of two years, she settled in Washington, D.C.,
where one of the largest Ethiopian expat communities in the country
existed. There, she became increasingly popular within the Ethiopian
community, performing in restaurants and clubs.
Aster also remains popular in Ethiopia. In 1997, she performed in
Addis Ababa for a crowd of over 50,000 people. In 2003, Aster also
performed a two-part concert series to raise funds for relief and school
initiatives in Ethiopia. The first concert was held in November on Eid Al-Fitr day at the Addis Ababa Stadium, with an audience of 40,000 in attendance. The second performance was a gala-dinner at the Sheraton Hotel.
More recently, on May 9, 2009, Aster performed in front of a crowd of
10,000 spectators during the Peace Through Unity, Unity Through Music
concert held in the capital’s Millennium Hall, alongside other Ethiopian music artists.
culled from wikipedia