|© UNICEF/HQ00-0744/ NICOLE TOUTOUNJI|
|UNICEF Special Representative for the Performing Arts Youssou N'Dour.|
NEW YORK, 14 February 2005 - UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Youssou N’Dour received a Grammy Award for ‘Best Contemporary World Music Album’ for ‘Egypt’. He was selected over three other artists, including another UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, Angélique Kidjo, who was nominated for her album ‘Oyaya!’. Although N’Dour has been nominated for a Grammy four times, this year was the first that he’s walked away with the prestigious music award.
The songs on ‘Egypt’ express N’Dour’s devotion to the Muslim faith. Since the music was released, his official website has reported receiving scores of emails from fans from all over the world - muslims and non-muslims, thanking him for spreading a message of peace and understanding through his lyrics.
At the Grammy Awards ceremony on February 13th, UNICEF received a further boost when it was announced that funds from the sales of a new recording of a Beatles song would go directly to UNICEF’s tsunami relief efforts. ‘Across the Universe’ was recorded live onstage by various Grammy nominees and high profile musicians, including Bono, Stevie Wonder, Norah Jones, Alicia Keys and Brian Wilson. The track is being sold exclusively on the Apple iTunes website until April 11th. 100 per cent of proceeds from the sales on itunes will go to the Tsunami Water and Sanitation Fund, which was established in partnership with the Clinton Foundation.
Next month N’Dour will take part in a two-day rock concert, called ‘Africa Live 2005’, to raise funds for the fight against Malaria. The event is scheduled to take place on 12-13 March in the capital of Senegal, Dakar, where N’Dour was born. Speaking about the event, at the World Economic Forum in Davos in January, N’Dour said his participation would help raise awareness about the mosquito-bourne disease. He believes it is possible to make a difference in the battle against malaria, which is the number one cause of death in his native country.