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- Posted on Nov 9th 2009 9:59AM by Stephen Dowling
The Saharan musicians, who are all members of the Tuareg tribe, won for their fourth LP 'Imidiwan: Companions,' which beat the likes of Uncut staples Bob Dylan, Wilco and Kings of Leon.
The prize is handed out each year to the album the magazine judges "most inspiring and rewarding" of the past 12 months.
Tinariwen, who formed in 1979 in northern Mali, were the only non-US band to appear on the Uncut list.
They came to the world's notice in the 1980s, raising the profile of their people through their guitar-based Afro-pop.
Tinariwen were a unanimous choice by the 11 judges which included Billy Bragg, BBC Radio 2 DJ Mark Radcliffe and Fleet Foxes frontman Robin Pecknold, who won the award last year.
Uncut magazine editor Allan Jones said: "It speaks a common language. You don't have to have the lyrics translated to know what they're talking about. You don't need to listen to the words of rock 'n' roll to be excited by it."
Tinariwen's Ibrahim Ag Alhabib said: "It gives us the strength to carry on working and spreading the message about the peace of our desert home and I'm glad that our music can cross the frontiers and talk to people around the world."