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Afropop began as a one-hour, weekly, public radio program focused on the urban music of contemporary Africa. When NPR first aired our series in the fall of 1988, the word “Afropop” was pretty much unheard-of, but it quickly became the favored term for a whole host of amazing music styles emerging mostly from African cities, but also the continent’s towns and villages.
In 1990, we became Afropop Worldwide, expanding our reach and vision to include the music and cultures of the entire African Diaspora: Latin America, the Middle East, and of course, the United States. Our radio program remains the gold standard for both the curious and the connoisseur. We take listeners to dynamic music capitals such as Dakar, Senegal; Johannesburg, South Africa; Cairo, Egypt; Havana, Cuba; Salvador de Bahia, Brazil; New York and Paris. Listeners meet leading stars as well as emerging artists. From vintage live concert recordings by African music veterans like Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Cesaria Evora, and Baaba Maal, to the latest on reggaeton, or the rise of global rappers like K’Naan, Afropop Worldwide is synonymous with excellence, excitement, accuracy and depth. The founders of numerous musical ensembles, publications, record labels, media offerings, websites and concert venues have cited Afropop as the spark that first inspired their endeavors.
Hosted by one of Africa 's best-loved broadcast personalities, Georges Collinet, and produced by Sean Barlow, Afropop Worldwide is currently distributed by PRI Public Radio International to over 108 stations in the U.S. The series is also heard in Europe and Africa, and around the world on our website, afropop.org. Originally launched in 1997, afropop.org was one of the first websites dedicated to African music. From day one, drawing on our rich archive of interviews, features, photos, CD reviews, artist profiles and more, we provided context and crucial leads for anyone wishing to turn this extraordinary music into deeper understanding. Afropop.org has evolved steadily with the times. Today, we offer blogs, videos, and streaming audio of new and archival radio programs. The site’s Hip Deep section, launched in 2010, is simply the richest educational resource on African Diaspora music and history available on the internet.