Youssou N'Dour born in 1959 Medina "the old town" Dakar, Senegal is one of Africa's most important performers. He began performing at the age of 12. Youssou comes from the ancient tradition of the griot, the West African story-tellers. His songs speak of modern life. Youssou music is a mix of the very traditional and completely contemporary. In 2005, he received a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary World Music for his album called Egypt which expressed his devotion to the Muslim faith. As a UNICEF goodwill ambassador he has been active in addressing social causes in Africa for many years and using his music as the vehicle for his message.
Youssou blend of traditional African music and western styles is commonly referred to as 'Mbalax', the word for rhythm in N'Dour's native language, called Wolof.
Youssou's music became popular around the 1980s. His music has reached a world wide audience through collaborations with artists like Peter Gabriel, Neneh Cherry, and Branford Marsalis. He is always experimenting with new sounds based on traditional Senegalese musical styles. With his complex rhythms and soaring vocals, Youssou's music breaks down all language and cultural barriers. To quote the liner notes from "Set", his music will make you think globally as you dance locally.
"When they talk about Africa, they talk about disease and war,...But Africa has more. Africa wants to move toward Africa." Senegalese singer Youssou N'Dour told the audience midway through a concert at Carnegie Hall.
Youssou N'Dour Official Web Site