Youssou N’Dour returns to the U.S. in September 2014 with his band, the Super Étoile, who have recorded and toured the world together for nearly 30 years. With his traditional griot percussion, Wolof oral histories and Afro-Cuban arrangements, N’Dour performs as a cultural ambassador for Senegal.
Born in Dakar in 1959, Youssou N’Dour is a passionate singer, composer, bandleader, and producer whose powerfully expressive voice transformed both mbalax music of his native Senegal with influences from Cuban rumba, reggae, and Western hip hop, jazz, and soul.
N’Dour was named “African Artist of the Century” by the English publication fRoots and to the TIME 100— Time magazine’s annual list of “the hundred men and women whose power, talent, or moral example is transforming the world.”
His work as a UNICEF ambassador and as a global pop star dubbed “the world’s most famous singer” by Rolling Stone have marked his worldwide impact. N’Dour was the subject of the documentary Youssou N’Dour: I Bring What I Love, about Senegal’s divided reaction to his Grammy Award-winning album Egypt, a deeply spiritual album dedicated to a more tolerant view for world peace and religion.
In 2012 N’Dour assumed the office of Senegal's Minister of Tourism and Culture under Prime Minister Abdoul Mbaye.
In 2013 N’Dour was awarded Sweden’s prestigious Polar Music Prize.
After meeting Peter Gabriel in 1984, Youssou N’Dour joined “Band Aid for Ethiopia”; in 1988 he sang at Wembley Stadium when Nelson Mandela was freed, and then alongside Sting, Tracy Chapman and Bruce Springsteen for Amnesty International.
Himself an intensely loyal man, Youssou N’Dour also provoked fidelity: Sting joined Joko for one title, “Don’t Walk Away”, a nonchalant pop tune with lyrics written by Cat Stevens.
His direct and powerful stage presence translates into a strong medium for the messages that have defined his career. His voice has launched Senegalese social movements (1994’s Set as a rallying cry for urban youth activists). His songs have inspired international support in the fight against malaria (2009’s Fight Malaria) and for women’s rights (1989’s Shaking the Tree with Peter Gabriel).
So if you live in Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan or Minnesota, don’t miss the KING OF MBALAX .