Along with his new title, a classroom has been named Albarn and he was given a new traditional Mali name.
Speaking to BBC Radio 4 about his honour, Albarn 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.”
Griot village of Kirina, Mali this afternoon. Damon Albarn granted status of a local King. pic.twitter.com/zUYv6mgSnX
— Robin Denselow (@robindenselow) January 31, 2016
A local explained why they decided to honour 47 year-old Albarn, he said: “Damon is not from Africa, but he is here today to be a king of these real people.”
Earlier this month the ‘Park Life’ singer performed at Toumani Diabaté’s three-day Festival Acoustik Bamako despite the fact the country was in a nationwide state of emergency.
The emergency was declared after gunmen killed 20 people in an attack in a hotel in November 2015.
The Blur lead man has collaborated with numerous Mali artists in the past, including his 2002 album Mali Music, along with Maison Des Jeunes and In C Mali in 2013 and 2015 respectively.