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Stephanie Conn

[Warsame, Keinan Abdi ]

(b Mogadishu, Somalia, Feb 1, 1978). Somali-Canadian hip hop artist, singer, and songwriter. K’naan (“traveler”) was born in the midst of Somalia’s civil war. His grandfather Haji Mohamed was a famous poet, and his aunt Magool a well-known singer. As a child he became interested in rap recordings sent from the United States by his father. In 1991 he left as a refugee with his mother and sister, moving to New York and then Toronto. By 1993 he had learned English, left school, and was performing professionally. In 2001 he sang at the 50th anniversary of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. His full-length debut album, The Dusty Foot Philosopher (2005), won a Juno Award for Rap Recording of the Year and was nominated for the Polaris Music Prize. In 2005, he performed at the Live 8 concert in Barrie, Canada. His second album, Troubadour...