Universal Music Africa (UMA) has struck a multi-year, exclusive partnership with legendary Senegalese artist Youssou N’Dour and his music company, TBI Publishing S.A.
The global pact comes at NDour prepares to release a new album on Nov. 12. N’Dour achieved global recognition in the 1980s, when he released Billboard Hot 100-charting duet “7 Seconds” with Neneh Cherry, toured with Peter Gabriel and performed at Wembley Stadium alongside Sting, Tracy Chapman and Bruce Springsteen for Amnesty International. Over his nearly five-decade career as a musician, he has been nominated for six Grammy awards, winning one, and was awarded the Polaris Music Prize in 2013.
“It is an honor and a great pride for Universal Music Africa, to have gained the trust of such a monumental figure in African music culture,” UMA managing director Franck Kacou said. “N’Dour has inspired multiple generations of music fans, each time with his impressive relevance, social resonance and most importantly with his timeless songwriting.
“His incomparable voice is a strong symbol of the direction we have taken over the past couple of years with UMA, establishing the company as a true home for African artists and music, and a bridge to audiences around the world through our network of labels,” he continued. “I am convinced that Youssou N’Dour’s future releases with UMA will add to his already long list of international successes at the service of the continent and continue to build on his powerful and lasting artistic legacy.”
Founded in 2018 and headquartered in Abidjan, Côte D’Ivoire, UMA develops the entire Universal Music Group catalog across the region, alongside a domestic roster of more than 100 artists, and houses labels Def Jam Africa and Motown Gospel Africa.
In a statement about the partnership, N’Dour added: “From Africa to the world…Let’s go Universal.”