Youssou N'dour to Run for President of Senegal

Musician will oppose incumbent, others in February election

January 3, 2012 1:00 PM ET
youssou n'dour senegal
Youssou N'Dour performs at Barbican Centre in London.
Andy Sheppard/Redferns

Internationally renowned Senegalese musician Youssou N'dour says that he will run for president in the country's election next month. He made the announcement on Monday on his own television and radio stations.  

"For a long time, men and women have demonstrated their optimism, dreaming of a new Senegal," said the performer, 52. "They have, in various ways, called for my candidacy in the February presidential race. I listened. I heard."

N'dour has collaborated with Peter Gabriel, Sting, Paul Simon, Neneh Cherry and many other notable singers. Now that he has canceled his performance schedule to concentrate on politics, he will join a crowded field of candidates challenging incumbent president Abdoulaye Wade, 85, who has drawn criticism for overspending in a country struggling with poverty and unemployment and for ignoring a recent constitutional amendment that limits presidential terms to two.

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