Singer to serve as Minister of Tourism.

Singer/songwriter and actor Ruben Blades has been named Panama's Minister of Tourism. Blades will be part of the cabinet of new president-elect Martín Torrijos Espino.

Blades, who was born and raised in Panama, will assume his five-year post Sept. 1.

A multiple Grammy-winning artist with more than 20 albums to his name, Blades is also an established actor who has appeared in more than 25 films and been nominated for two Emmy Awards. But Blades, who has a law degree from Harvard University, also has a longstanding interest in politics. In 1994, he created the Panamanian political party Papa Egoró and ran for president.

Blades is working on a new album, titled "Cantares del Subdesarrollo," which he will release on his own label.

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