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10 musicians who fled their home country

June 20, 2018

To underline World Refugee Day, here are 10 people who pursued their musical dream after fleeing persecution or conflict and became world famous, from Freddy Mercury to M.I.A.

Freddie Mercury
Image: Imago/Leemage

For too many people, being a refugee or an internally displaced person impacts every single day of their lives, and not only June 20, which has been observed as World Refugee Day since 2001.

Wars, persecution and other violence have driven a record 68.5 million people from their homes in 2017, according to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees' annual global trends study published on Tuesday.

The gallery above features 10 famous musicians who fled their home country. Many of them were children at the time, and their life would have been very different had they not been allowed to stay united with their family and be accepted in a new land.

Read more: Artists After the Escape: Finding home in a foreign land




Portrait of a young woman with red hair and glasses
Elizabeth Grenier Editor and reporter for DW Culture