Miss Lira (South Africa):

Winner of the 2009 South African Music Award, Lira fuses soul, funk, jazz and African music. She was the only African singer to take part in Barak Obama's inauguration ceremony in 2013.

Lira was born in Johannesburg’s East Rand and grew up listening to Miriam Makeba, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin and Nina Simone. She began writing her own songs and performing live at the age of 16, and over the last 10 years she has built an international career. Now a multi-platinum selling and award-winning Afro-Soul vocalist who refers to her music as “a fusion of soul, funk, elements of jazz and African music,” she won the Album of the Year and Best Female Artist at the 2009 South African Music Awards. Lira has built a solid fan base in South Africa and is now building a global following with her mix of old school soul and contemporary sounds.