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Feature Article: Youssou N’Dour and the beauty of Africa

Senegal’s Youssou N’Dour is a global superstar, a singer with a stunning, ululating voice so rich and emotive that it transcends language. At home, he’s a national hero so revered that his popularity overshadows that of star soccer players and the country’s charismatic president. So imagine the devastation N’Dour felt when Egypt, his deeply spiritual 2004 album, was denounced by Senegalese religious leaders and rejected by Senegalese fans and retailers. He had recorded the album, collaborating with an Egyptian orchestra, to reveal a more tolerant face of Islam in the wake of 9/11. “I was really frustrated at the perceptions of people at home,” admitted N’Dour recently, “because I was praisin...
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