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American Idol

In China, a Uighur rocker navigates two divided worlds

URUMQI, China In 1965, Bob Dylan offended folk purists by rocking the Newport Folk Festival. In China's western province of Xinjiang, Perhat Khaliq is generating a similar stir by electrifying the folk music of his Uighur people. Over the last two years in China, Perhat has risen from obscurity to the cusp of international stardom. In 2014, he had a breakout performance on "The Voice of China," the country's version of "American Idol." He now is in the midst of a 19-city tour in China, with a Beijing performance scheduled for Sept. 19. Last week, the Dutch Prince Claus Foundation named Perhat as one of its 2015 laureates, praising him for "breathing new...