Damon Albarn given local king title in Mali

Damon Albarn is Mali's "local king" after being attributed the title for performing in the country despite the risk of a terror threat earlier this month

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Damon Albarn

Damon Albarn

Damon Albarn has been given the title of "local king' in Mali.

The Blur frontman defied terrorism threats by performing at the West African city's musical festival Festival Acoustik Bamako earlier this month, despite the fact the country was in a state of emergency, and now he has been given the name by locals as well as having a school room named after him.

Of his new honour, he said: "I'm not used to this sort of thing, but it's fantastic to see this classroom. And it's a school dedicated to music and dance. That's where my heart is, so my heart is here."

A local man explained why British pop star Damon was handed the name and said he came to show the people not to let the violence and tragic events get in the way of their culture.

According to NME, he said: "Damon is not from Africa, but he is here today to be a king of these real people."

The 47-year-old singer has a long history with Mali after he released his album 'Mali Music' in 2002, as well as performing with several artists from the area including his most recent collaboration with In C Mali in 2013 and 2015.

Talking about his trip to the festival earlier this month, he said: "I was invited on this occasion, so that's even more special, really, to sort of be invited back."I'm fascinated by it. It's very tangible to me because of the music and the value of the music."

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