Music

Angélique Kidjo

Born 14 July 1960.
Angélique Kidjo

Biography

Angélique Kpasseloko Hinto Hounsinou Kandjo Manta Zogbin Kidjo, commonly known as Angélique Kidjo, is a Grammy Award–winning Beninoise singer-songwriter and activist, noted for her diverse musical influences and creative music videos. Time Magazine has called her "Africa's premier diva". The BBC has included Kidjo in its list of the African continent's 50 most iconic figures. The Guardian has listed her as one of its Top 100 Most Inspiring Women in the World and Kidjo is the first woman to be listed among "The 40 Most Powerful Celebrities In Africa" by Forbes Magazine. The Daily Telegraph in London describes her as "The undisputed queen of African music" during the 2012 Olympic Games River of Music Festival. In March 2013, NPR, National Public Radio in America, called her "Africa's greatest living diva". She is an occasional contributor to the New York Times. On June 6, 2013, Kidjo was elected vice-president of CISAC.

Her musical influences include the Afropop, Caribbean zouk, Congolese rumba, jazz, gospel, and Latin styles; as well as her childhood idols Bella Bellow, James Brown, Nina Simone, Aretha Franklin, Jimi Hendrix, Miriam Makeba and Carlos Santana. She has recorded George Gershwin's "Summertime", Ravel's Bolero, Jimi Hendrix's "Voodoo Child" and The Rolling Stones' "Gimme Shelter", and has collaborated with Dave Matthews and the Dave Matthews Band, Kelly Price, Alicia Keys, Branford Marsalis, Robbie Nevil, Philip Glass, Peter Gabriel, Bono, Carlos Santana, John Legend, Herbie Hancock, Josh Groban, Dr John, The Kronos Quartet and Cassandra Wilson. Kidjo's hits include the songs "Agolo", "We We", "Adouma", "Wombo Lombo", "Afirika", "Batonga", and her version of "Malaika".

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Personal Relationships

BBC Reviews

  1. Review of Spirit Rising

    Spirit Rising 2012

    Reviewed by Martin Longley
    A live set that doubles as a greatest hits to date package.
  2. Review of Djin Djin

    Djin Djin 2007

    Reviewed by Garth Cartwright
    Africa's queen of world/rock crossover working with the legendary Tony Visconti!
  3. Review of Oyaya

    Oyaya 2004

    Reviewed by John Armstrong
    '..thumbs-up to her producers Steve Berlin and Alberto Salas for such a radical...
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