Akon to Keynote Midem 2020

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Akon attends the Akon Lighting LA - Disclosure Festival at 3BLACKDOT on Nov. 15, 2019 in Los Angeles.

Grammy-nominated artist, producer and entrepreneur Akon has been named keynote speaker at the global music trade show Midem 2020, the global music trade show announced Friday (Jan. 31).

“We’re proud to welcome an artist as iconic as Akon to speak at Midem for the first time,” said Midem director Alexandre Deniot in a statement. “Akon’s participation is completely aligned with Midem’s bringing together of artists and executives from across the globe and a drive to nurture emerging talent to aspire to be the next generation of internationally successful artists.”

During his keynote, Akon will discuss his wide-ranging career and collaborations with artists including Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie, Gwen Stefani, Whitney Houston, Eminem and Lady Gaga.

“I want to be able to open up the diversity with different artists from different cultures and parts of the world…What drives me the most is to do things people think are impossible or deem difficult,” added Akon. “This will be my first time at Midem. I am looking forward to being in a space with individuals who are all looking to push the music and entertainment industry forward.”

Last June, Akon launched Akonik Label Group with former Motown president/CEO Kedar Massenburg. As part of the launch, he announced plans to release four new albums, two of which -- El Negreeto and Akonda -- were released in October.

Midem 2020 is slated for June 2-5 in Cannes, France.