Born to a griot mother, Youssou N'Dour began singing as a child at religious ceremonies. At 16, he joined the Star Band de Dakar. After forming Étoile de Dakar in 1977, he took to pioneering a new music genre dubbed mbalax. Already a star in his native Africa, the singer made his mark on the international stage in the early 1980s. He recorded successful albums in France and went on to collaborate with Paul Simon and Peter Gabriel. In 1988, he starred in an Amnesty International tour alongside Sting and Tracy Chapman. He enjoyed a massive hit six years later when he duetted with Neneh Cherry on Seven Seconds. Since then, N'Dour has been following his muse through a number of different projects. 2010 saw the release of Dakar-Kingston, a tribute to reggae master Bob Marley.
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