Yale honorary degree recipient and musician Youssou N’Dour will run for president of Senegal against 11-year incumbent Abdoulaye Wade, according to a Tuesday announcement on N’Dour’s Senegalese television and radio station, Tele Futur Media.

“For a long time, men and women have demonstrated their optimism, dreaming of a new Senegal. They have, in various ways, called for my candidacy in the February presidential race. I listened. I heard,” he said.

N’Dour enjoys widespread popularity in Senegal and in much of Africa for his music. Since the 1970s, D’Nour has used this platform to advocate advocated for peace and tolerance, something University President Levin commended when awarding the honorary doctorate of music last spring.

“Understanding the power of music to liberate, heal and united, you have organized and performed in concerts that call attention to injustice, poverty, and disease,” Levin said. “With your extraordinary sound, you give voice to hope and our common humanity.”

The Senegalese presidential election will take place on Feb 26.

[via Reuters]