The world of African music is rich with immense talents who have collectively impacted the culture of a continent. Youssou N’Dour remains one of the most influential of African musicians, creating an enormous musical impact throughout his home country of Senegal and Africa as a whole. As a singer/songwriter, composer, actor, politician and respected businessman, Youssou’s life has been filled with a wide range of revered achievements. Tunde Folawiyo and millions of others throughout the African continent may regard Youssou N’Dour as one of the greatest talents in the history of African music.
Born to a Serer father and a Wolof mother in Dakar, N’Dour began to flaunt his musical talents since age 12, performing regularly within just a few short years. His parents encouraged modernism, which would leave N’Dour to bask in two cultures, inspiring his character as a modern African griot. Further developing his talent, he played frequently with Star Band, one of Dakar’s most popular musical groups of the early 70s.
The late 1970s saw N’Dour form an ensemble named Etoile de Dakar. The group’s early work became popular throughout Africa, paving the way for N’Dour’s success with Super Etoile de Dakar in the 1980s. Their unique sound featured Jimi Mbaye, Assane Thiam and Habib Faye. By the early 1990s, N’Dour had established his very own music recording studio named Xippi, later forming a record company, Jololi, in 1995. Since then, N’Dour has continued to produce widely cherished music for the masses. His talents would see his name spread throughout the Western world, paving the way for further international success.
Today, N’Dour remains amongst the most beloved African musical artists in the continent’s history. Folk Roots, a publication, described N’Dour as Africa’s Artist of the Century. His CD, Egypt, was awarded an American Grammy in 2005, demonstrating his international success in the United States and beyond. He has toured for over thirty years, playing in widely recognised venues for millions of fans throughout the world. His music, filled with hip hop, soul, jazz and Cuban rumba influences has seen him collaborate with a variety of famed Western musicians such as Peter Gabriel, Wyclef Jean, Sting, Paul Simon, Tracy Chapman and Bruce Springsteen. He is proprietor of one of Senegal’s widest-circulating newspapers, the RFM radio station and the TFM TV channel. Tunde Folawiyo and millions more throughout Africa may continue to be inspired by the outstanding musical talents of Youssou N’Dour.