The album featured South African musicians including the band Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Simon faced accusations that he had broken the cultural boycott imposed by western democracies against the apartheid regime in South Africa. This view was not supported by the United Nations Anti-Apartheid Committee, as the album showcased the talents of the black South African musicians while offering no support to the South African government. Linda Ronstadt appears on the track "Under African Skies" and the group Los Lobos appear on the last track, "All Around The World or The Myth Of Fingerprints". A popular music video starring Chevy Chase was made for the song "You Can Call Me Al".
Graceland won Album of the Year at the Grammy Awards of 1987