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Youssou N'Dour

Some of the most exciting sounds to come out of Africa in the late '80s and 1990s were produced by Senegal-born vocalist Youssou N'Dour. Although rooted in the traditional music of his homeland, N'Dour consistently sought new means of expression. In addition to recording as a soloist, N'Dour collaborated with a lengthy list of influential artists including Paul Simon, Peter Gabriel, Neneh Cherry, and Branford Marsalis.

A native of the impoverished Media section of Dakar, N'Dour inherited his musical skills from his mother, a griot (oral historian) who taught him to sing as a child. A seasoned performer before his teens, N'Dour joined the popular group the Star Band de Dakar at the age of 19. Within two years, he had assumed leadership of the group, which he renamed Super E'toile de Dakar. With the band accompanying his four- or five-octave vocals, N'Dour helped to pioneer mbalax, an uptempo blend of African, Caribbean, and pop rhythms. Performing for the first time in Europe in 1984, N'Dour and Super E'toile de Dakar made their North American debut the following year.

N'Dour's talents soon attracted the support of top-rated musicians. In 1986, his vocals were featured on Paul Simon's Graceland and Peter Gabriel's So. He subsequently toured around the world as opening act for Gabriel. His greatest exposure came when he agreed to be a co-headliner, along with Gabriel, Bruce Springsteen, Sting, and Tracy Chapman, on the Amnesty International Human Rights Now! tour in 1988. The same year, he performed at the much-publicized birthday concert for South African activist (and president) Nelson Mandela at Wembley Stadium in London.

N'Dour cemented his reputation in 1989, when he released his first internationally distributed album, The Lion, which included a tune, "Shaking the Tree," that he co-wrote with Gabriel. Upon signing with Spike Lee's Columbia-distributed 40 Acres & a Mule label, N'Dour scored a Grammy nomination in 1991 with his first effort for the label, Eyes Open. He continued to seek new outlets for his creativity, including an African opera that premiered at the Paris Opera in July 1993. Recorded in Senegal, N'Dour's album The Guide, released in 1994, included his hit duet with Swedish-born vocalist Neneh Cherry, "Seven Seconds."

A steady stream of greatest-hits packages, reissues, singles, and even a few full-length records -- including a handful on Nonesuch, 2002's Nothing's in Vain, 2004's Egypt, and 2007's Rokku Mi Rokka -- poured out during the late '90s and into the next century, featuring N'Dour working with artists from Etoile de Dakar to Gabriel. Egypt, which went on to win a Grammy, caused quite a cultural and political stir when it was released during the month of Ramadan. A documentary DVD centered around the whole affair, Youssou N'Dour: I Bring What I Love, appeared early in 2010 and included a biography of N'Dour's career as well as extensive concert footage and film of N'Dour working on the Egypt project. ~ Craig Harris & Steve Leggett, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

Ndeyesan nice song
The best in Africa
OMGOODGOLLYG O S H A M I G H T Y , E T C . ,
I LUV THIS DEAR MAN & HIS WONDERFUL&BE Y O N D MUSIC!!!!!!
He has been a HERO 2 me since I 1st discovered him in the 80s. He stands up fearlessly 4 our precious Mother Africa, may God bless & protect him, & all love 2 Africa 4EVER!!!
i love himm so muchhhhh
I like a wide variety of music,you don't have to even understand lyrics to appriciate great internationa l music but I tend to research an learn culture and I like that he stands for his people an africa in general...bu t nevr forget their are many more great artist from this western part of africa as well as around the wotld
This song has a beautiful rhythm. Can anyone tell me what it is?
Entertainmen t
Dont read this because it actually works. You will be kissed on the nearest Friday by the love of your life. Tomorrow will be the best day of your life. However if you don't post this you will die in 2 days. Now you've started reading so don't stop. This is so scary put this on atleast 5 songs in 143 minutes when done press f6 and your lover's name will appear on the screen in big letters this is so scary because it actually works!
amadoutly
This is what you do best! Ton contribution En musique Est plus valable que servir dans un Gouverment.
Keep it up
THIS RIGHT HERE IS FUNKY AND GROOVY PERFECT...
I luv youssou
.1 of the best in Africa music
I love tonton Omar pene!!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
My man :)
Beautiful
Love Liggeey!
dont read this cause it actually works. You will get kissed on the nearest possible friday by the love of your life. tommorrow will be the best day of your life. however if you do not post this coment to at least 3 songs you will die in 2 days. now youve started reading this so dont stop. this is so scary put this on at least at least 5 songs in at least 143 min when done press f6 and your lovers name will appear on the screen in big letters this is so scary cuz it actually work
Great African music! i love it
diam16
Ancestry in progres!
Belai bugana sama het, buguna nit ku nyeul!!! love my heritage, love my black people!! love u youssou.
i know president youssou ndour that will be great
And now running for President of Senegal 2012 (go youssou) He would be a SUPERB candidate
dkarisa
the voice of Afrika - one of Afrika's greatest vocalists
erinltf
I bring What I love is a beautiful documentary. . .
I have loved his emotional and expressive delivery as well as the spirit of freedom that he always brings for many years ASHE!
nilgun.gokgu r
How come you do not provide all his albums, only 2? I made the mistake of signing up for the whole year... I may not renew... No good French or Turkish music either.... Please try to expand your repertoire beyond the narrow USA!
naunihal
Agreed with Martin. Pandora is very poor in terms of African music. I can't believe they don't include Fela. That's like not including James Brown. They actually don't have most of the big names, even if they've won Grammies.
Has anybody seen the Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien lately?

"A group of musicians that includes Khalil Fong, the Scorpions, and Youssou N'Dour are recording a song in an effort to raise awareness of global warming. First, they have to raise awareness about who those musicians are."
-Conan O'Brien
starpower021 8 1 9 9 0
He has a good voice.
Yousou N'dour quite possibly has the greatest voice on the planet at this time.
c_w_thompson 1
I saw Youssou in Telluride, CO in September of 2008 and had a life changing experience. He performed a free concert that followed a screening of his movie "I BRING WHAT I LOVE". As someone who never even heard of him I had minimal expectations . I was nothing short of amazed. The passion that this man has for his music and his people is unparalleled . If you are not enjoying his music yet you are truly missing out.
IF YOU LOVE AFRICAN MUSIC, PLEASE WRITE AN EMAIL TO: suggest-musi c @ p a n d o r a . c o m AND SUGGEST THAT PANDORA CARRY A BETTER AFRICAN MUSIC COLLECTION. CURRENTLY THEIR COLLECTION IS VERY WEAK. WHERE ARE:
FELA ANIKAPULO KUTI
KING SUNNY ADE
YOUSSOU N’DOUR
SALIF KEITA
FEMI KUTI
SEUN KUTI
PAPA WEMBA
FRANCO
BEMBEYA JAZZ
HABIB KOITE
CHEIKH LO
KANDA BONGO MAN
SAM MANGWANA
PAPA WEMBA
ASTER AWEKE
FODAY MUSA SUSO
MORY KANTE
TINARIWEN
TOUMANI DIABATE
OUMOU SANGARE
AMADOU ET MARIAM
EBENEZE
ndani28
7 seconds is a nice song. Neneh Cherry is good as well!
I love this guy's voice as much as I love Salif Keita's. I had the thrill of seeing both of them at different times at the Jazz Fest.
moidan40
Amazingly gifted man with a gift to transcend boundaries. No color lines here just humaniziam.. . . .

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