Paul Simon remains perplexed by the controversy that stalked 1986's Graceland, his groundbreaking world-pop masterwork that generated three hit singles, a five-year tour, Grammy Awards for best album and best record and sales of 14 million copies.
While the globe swooned to its joyous, rhythmic leaps into zydeco, conjunto and South African mbaqanga, some blasted the singer/songwriter for violating a cultural boycott to protest apartheid.
Now, as Graceland returns in a variety of 25th anniversary editions, Simon again feels vindicated by the work itself.
"The statement I'm making is, of course whites and blacks are absolutely equal," says Simon, 70. "There's no justification for apartheid. Here's the proof of it. Listen to how gifted this culture is, and look how we get along."
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