Malian blues singer and guitarist Ali Farka Toure, one of Africa's best-loved musicians, died in his sleep at home on Tuesday (March 7) after a long fight with bone cancer.

Malian blues singer and guitarist Ali Farka Toure, one of Africa's best-loved musicians, died in his sleep at home on Tuesday (March 7) after a long fight with bone cancer.

Dubbed "the African John Lee Hooker," the Grammy-winning bluesman was among West Africa's most internationally successful musicians, winning acclaim around the world for his 1994 album "Talking Timbuktu," recorded with Texan guitarist Ry Cooder.

"An exceptional guitarist, he transposed the traditional music of his native north Mali and single-handedly brought the style known as desert blues to an international audience," World Circuit, the label that produced his music, said in a statement.

Farka Toure, who was in his late 60s, won a second Grammy last month for "In the Heart of the Moon," recorded with his countryman Toumani Diabate and voted best traditional world music album.

He had just finished work on a new solo album when he died, World Circuit said.

"He will be buried in the village where he was born, Niafunke, where he is also the mayor," Malian state radio said.

-- Reuters