(ca.1959-VVVV)'/> (ca.1959-VVVV)' /> (ca.1959-VVVV)' /> Biography of Youssou N'Dour <small>(ca.1959-VVVV)</small> - TheBiography.us

Biography of Youssou N'Dour (ca.1959-VVVV)

Senegalese singer born about 1959 in Dakar, known as author of a mix of Senegalese traditional techniques and Cuban inflections and jazz music. His mother was a griot (traditional Senegalese musician) who taught him the basis of local music, among which is included the tasso, which could be considered something of a rap and the Baku, a traditional song.

Youssou N'Dour started singing with local musicians and in theatre at the age of twelve groups. When he/she was fifteen years old he/she joined the Senegalese band Super Diamono, that toured West Africa during 1975. The following year began his career as a singer with the Band Star No. 1, and in 1977 he/she founded his own band, the Etoile de Dakar, which in 1981 was renamed as Super Etoile de Dakar. The latter toured Europe in 1984, in which he/she played a modern version of mbalax, a traditional rhythm through Senegal Wolof language. The band made his North American debut in 1985.

After the recording of the songs "Immigrés" and "Nelson Mandela", Youssou N'Dour captured the attention of the British singer of rock and songwriter Peter Gabriel. He/She played along with Gabriel tracks from his album So in 1986 and in 1987 joined Gabriel in United States, Japan and Europe tour. Youssou N'Dour also sang Graceland in 1986, the album most famous composer and performer American Paul Simon, and in 1988 played in the concert of the anniversary on behalf of the South African activist and future President Nelson Mandela. In 1989 Youssou N'Dour made a tour on behalf of the Organization for human rights Amnesty International.

By the time that Youssou N'Dour recorded The Lion, in 1989, which was sung partly in English and partly in Wolof, his music because it had become an intricate mix of Western, with synthesizers and distorted guitars and instruments as the tama (talking drum) Senegalese pop instrumentation. Their 1994 album entitled Wommat, meaning in Wolof "Guide", included "Seven Seconds", its success sung a Duet with Swedish pop singer Neneh Cherry.

Youssou N'Dour is considered one of the most important African performers. His music has achieved international fame through collaborations with artists such as the aforementioned Peter Gabriel and Neneh Cherry or Branford Marsalis, among others. Its complex rhythms and sharp voice broke cultural barriers and it has crossed the borders of all languages. His music from Set, makes us think globally while you dance the local way. In his next work, Nothing's in vain (Coono du reer), the author withdrew from the pop sounds, returned to the Wolof and used traditional instruments such as the kora, the xalam or the riti, mixed with guitars and basses, to offer a new proposal.

Peter Gabriel has described the voice of Youssou as "liquid silver", one of the best in the world. It has an incredible range of four and up to five octaves, and sings in English, French, Fulani, Serer, besides in their native tongue, Wolof.

In February 2005, he/she was awarded the Grammy for best album of world music by Egypt, published in 2004.


-Immigrés, 1984. -The Lion, 1989. -Eyes Open, 1992. -7 Seconds (Maxi Single), 1994. -7 Seconds (Single), 1994. -The Guide (Wommat), 1994. -Undecided (Maxi Single), 1994. -Inédits, 1984-1985, 1997. -Nelson Mandela-set. -Nothing's in vain, 2002.-Kirikou, 2004-Egypt, 2004.