Born in Dakar, Senegal’s largest city and capital, Youssou N’Dour was raised with a love of music. He began performing at the age of 12, and was a member of the very popular Star Band just a few years later. He has since performed with numerous ensembles, building up an incredible body of work as a composer, bandleader, singer, and producer. He has collaborated with some of the biggest stars in music from all over the world, including Wyclef Jean, Peter Gabriel, Bruce Springsteen, Dido and Sting.
Youssou N’Dour has used his status as one of the most recognizable voices in Africa to bring global attention and resources towards solving a number of the critical problems affecting the continent. He has helped to raise money for the fight against malaria and the outbreak of HIV. In 1985, he organized a concert to show support for the imprisoned Nelson Mandela. He has been a part of three Live 8 Concerts, contributed on a benefit CD for victims of Darfur, and released the song “Wake Up (It’s Africa Calling)” under a Creative Commons license to build up funding to improve healthcare systems in Africa. Youssou N’Dour is an active member of the World Future Council, and, most recently, received an honorary doctorate in Music from Yale University.
Youssou N’Dour’s story and music have inspired countless people from all over the world. His unrelenting dedication to supporting social causes and helping people proves that his heart is just as prolific as his voice.