An offshoot of late-'70s band Etoile de Dakar, Super Etoile de Dakar helped to lay the foundation for mbalax, a dance-inspiring mixture of African, Caribbean, and pop rhythms. Led by influential vocalist Youssou N'Dour, the band crafted a modern, urban sound that elevated them to the upper echelon of West African music. Their cassettes, later released as seven CDs, were major hits in their homeland. In addition to N'Dour, the group featured bassist, keyboardist, and arranger Habib Faye, lead guitarist Mamadou "Jimi" Mbaye, and percussionists Assane Thiam and Babacur Faye. Touring Europe for the first time in 1984, the group performed its debut concert in North America the following year.