Wednesday 15 February 2012


Jamaican singer Ziggy Marley, Beninese diva Angelique Kidjo and Somalian rapper K’naan are among more than 80 performers on the new Bob Dylan / Amnesty International tribute album that’s climbing up the charts in the United States.

Titled “Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International,” the album pays homage both to the American music icon and to the human rights organization for their work since the 1960s.

Marley sings “Blowin’ in the Wind” (see video link below), while Kidjo takes on “Lay, Lady, Lay” and K’naan performs “With God On Our Side”. They join other internationally known artists such as Lenny Kravitz, Adele and Maroon 5 in interpreting 75 of Dylan’s songs. Dylan himself sings “Chimes of Freedom”, which was originally recorded in 1964.

Amnesty International said that all the artists worked voluntarily to support the organization.

“It’s a very important project for us because the contributions from these artists will allow us to reach a wider audience, including all ages,” Geneviève Garrigos, the president of Amnesty International France, told SWAN.

The youngest solo performer on the album is 19-year-old Miley Cyrus (who gained fame with the sit-com Hannah Montana), and the oldest is 92-year-old folk singer Pete Seeger, who recorded “Forever Young” with a children’s chorus.

Created in 1961, Amnesty International has become a global movement, working to free political prisoners and fighting against injustices around the world. In March of 1961 as well, Dylan released his first album and began a career that would have a huge impact on his generation and the music world.

Amnesty International says that with “Chimes of Freedom”, the organization hopes to rally support for its campaign against censorship and attacks on freedom of expression, especially concerning artists, writers, musicians, political activists or bloggers.

The album is available for sale online and in record stores, and an abridged version can be bought at Starbucks cafés. - A.M.

See Ziggy Marley performing here: