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Wednesday, 20th February 2019

It was then that Peter Gabriel, the former Genesis singer turned producer and promoter, flew to Paris to hear N'Dour perform to a Senegalese audience. "I was blown away," he told the Observer. "The words that came to mind were liquid gold. A fluid and expressive voice."

N'Dour appeared on Gabriel's platinum-selling So album in 1986 and joined him on a subsequent world tour. "He's probably the top African artist in many ways. His music has reached a lot of people outside his culture. He's also become something of a statesman with all the campaigns he's taken on."

Gabriel, who is godfather to one of N'Dour's sons (the singer reciprocated with Gabriel's son), said N'Dour is probably the best-known person in Senegal. "When I was there, whenever I was stopped by police or asked for a bribe, I identified myself as a friend of Youssou and the problem generally disappeared."

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