Susana Baca, Peruvian Culture Minister, Is Grammy-Winning Soul Diva

08/22/2011 11:28 am ET | Updated Oct 22, 2011

LIMA -- When Susana Baca was appointed as Peru's culture minister in July, it took the whole country by surprise. Despite her lack of political experience, the Afro-Peruvian singer accepted the offer made by Ollanta Humala, Peru's new left-wing president. "This appointment comes at a time in my life when I feel it is my duty to accept it," said the artist.

Before getting into politics, Susana Baca de la Colina was mostly known for her suave voice and enchanting melodies played on the guitar and the cajon, the instrument created by black slaves on Peru's coast. The Afro-Peruvian music ambassador even had international success. She was awarded a Grammy in 2002. But despite her thriving career performing on stages around the world, the 67-year-old woman didn't hesitate when Humala asked her to take over the Culture Ministry. "I will be a minister/singer," she told reporters following her.

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