Dimi Mint Abba was born in Mauritania in 1958 to a family of musicians. Her mother was a percussionist, while her father had composed Mauritania's national anthem in 1960 after the country had obtained its independence from France. As a child she sung for her parents, and when she was ten her mother taught her to play the t'bol and the ardin, both of which are instruments traditionally reserved for women. In 1976 she first sang on Mauritanian radio and made a great impact with her powerful voice. The same year she won a radio-sponsored competition that allowed her to enter the International Umm Kalthum Song Contest of 1977 that took place in Tunis. Abba won first prize in the Tunis contest and went on to establish herself as one of the most popular female vocalists in the Maghreb. She has toured widely in Africa, and in 1990 toured Europe with her husband, Khalifa Ould Eide, and her two daughters, at which time she also recorded Moorish Music from Mauritania.
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