5 unheard facts about the popular singer Aster Aweke. Aster Aweke is an Ethiopian singer who sings in Amharic. Aster’s voice has attracted broader public popularity, especially tracing back to 1990s singles and her single “Abebayehosh” in Ethiopian New Year. She is best known for her 1999 album Hagere and her 2006 album Fikir.
She moved to the United States in 1981 and returned to Ethiopia in 1997. Aster enjoyed listening to musicians like Tilahun Gessesse and Bizunesh Bekele, and Donna Summer and Aretha Franklin from outside. When she was thirteen years old, she decided to join Hager Fikir Theatre and auditioned by singing Bizunesh’s song to join the theater as a dancer and vocalist.
In her teen years, she performed through clubs in Addis Ababa with famous bands including Shebelle Band, Roha Band, Ibex Band, and Hotel D’Afrique Band. Her style was gradually influenced by Bizunesh Bekele and performed songs by Donna Summer and Aretha Franklin. She began as a solo career in 1977 through her debut album’s release, followed by three more albums within the year. In 1981, she moved to the United States. She temporarily settled in the San Francisco Bay Area of California and then within two years moved to Washington, D.C. She briefly attended Northern Virginia Community College, specializing in computer science, as well as learning formal musical education, which she took a distaste towards.
She performed in restaurants and clubs during her time in the D.C. metropolitan area. During her time in Washington, Aster released her U.S. major label debut Aster. Aster was released by Columbia Records in 1990 after a 1989 release by British independent label Triple Earth. In 1997, after more than 15 years abroad, Aster returned to Ethiopia, where she was warmly welcomed by thousands of fans awaiting her at Addis Ababa airport.