Youssou N’Dour

Biography

Youssou N’Dour is a Senegalese singer, percussionist, songwriter, composer, businessman and a politician. From April 2012 to October 2012, he served as Senegal’s Minister of Tourism and Culture; and from October 2012 to September 2013, as Senegal’s Minister of Tourism and Leisure.

N’Dour is one of the most celebrated African musicians in history. In 2004, Rolling Stone described him as, “perhaps the most famous singer alive” in Senegal and much of Africa. He won his first American Grammy Award (best contemporary world music) for his album ‘Egypt’ in 2005. He toured internationally for thirty years and has collaborated with eminent Western artists like Peter Gabriel, Axelle Red, Sting, Alan Stivell, Neneh Cherry, Wyclef Jean, Paul Simon, Bruce Springsteen, Tracy Chapman, Branford Marsalis and Ryuichi Sakamoto, among others. He is the proprietor of L’Observateur, one of the widest-circulation newspapers in Senegal, the radio station RFM and the TV channel TFM.

N’Dour is a powerful cultural icon, actively involved in social issues in Senegal, and has collaborated with the UN, UNICEF and Amnesty International. In 2000, N’Dour was nominated Goodwill Ambassador of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations [FAO]. He is a member of the World Future Council and Foundation Chirac’s honour committee. In 2011, N’Dour was awarded an Honorary Doctoral degree in Music from Yale University. In 2013, N’Dour won a share of Sweden’s $150,000 Polar music prize for promoting understanding between faiths as well as for his music.