What does Youssou N’Dour have in common with the World Cup?

20 years ago La Cour des Grands by Youssou N’Dour and Axelle Red was the official anthem of the 1998 FIFA World Cup.

I grew up playing in the streets of Dakar. I nearly made a career out of it. But I threw myself into the game with such passion that I got badly injured. That put an end to the footballing dream. However, football still has a major part in my life.

Youssou N’Dour, speaking to The Independent in 1998

N Dour Youssou

In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine described Youssou N’Dour as, "perhaps the most famous singer alive" in Senegal and much of Africa. He found worldwide fame in 1994 with Seven Seconds, his duet with Neneh Cherry, and is responsible for introducing international audiences to mbalax.

Six years after the reggae campaign and his Bob  Marley cover on the Dakar-Kingston album, the Prince of the Medina of Dakar has been back in the recording studio and will perform live at Symphony Hall this August.