Angelique Kidjo is a Beninese singer-songwriter, actress and human rights activist. She is a UNICEF worldwide goodwill ambassador, the primary African lady to be appointed in 2002. Also, she is a four-time Grammy award-winner and one of many best artists in worldwide music.
Altogether, Kidjo has launched 13 albums, a number of hit singles, movies and soundtrack for films, jingles, and documentaries.
Also, she is the co-founder of the Batonga Foundation. And, as an activist, she has advocated for ladies, well being, peace and different world points, each as a person and thru totally different organisations together with Oxfam.
Angelique Kidjo Background
Angelique Kidjo was born on July 14, 1960, in Ouidah, Benin into the household of 9. Her father is of Fon descent, and the mom from Yoruba origin. So, on account of her background, she is multilingual; fluent in French, English and three different African languages together with Fon and Yoruba. Also, each her mother and father had been concerned in music; her father was a musician, and her mom a choreographer & theatre director.
As a end result, at a younger age of 6, Kidjo was already performing together with her mom’s theatre troupe, thereby giving her an early appreciation for conventional music and dance. Also, she was singing in her college band, Les Sphinx and when she grew older, she sang in her brother’s rock rhythm and blues band.
As a youngster, Kidjo discovered success when her adaptation of Mariam Makeba’s Les Trois Z was performed on the nationwide radio. At age 20, she was already an expert singer.
Kidjo was impressed by types of music from African artists reminiscent of; Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masekela, Jimi Hendrix, Steve Wonder and Otis Redding, Fela Kuti, James Brown, and plenty of others.
Angelique Kidjo Career
In 1983, she relocated to Paris on account of political unrest in Benin that prevented her from being an impartial artist in her personal nation.
Firstly, she began as a back-up singer in some native bands. Then, in 1985, she turned the entrance singer for Jasper Van’t Hof’s Euro-African jazz/rock outfit Pili Pili. At Pili Pili, three albums had been launched; Jakko (1987), Be In Two Minds (1988,) and Hotel Babo (1990). Also, she attended CIM, a good Jazz college the place she studied Music.
Then, in 1988, Angelique recorded an album, Pretty. It was with a Cameroonian producer Ekambi Brilliant and her brother Oscar. It featured the songs “Ninive”, “Gbe Agossi” a tribute to the singer Bella Bellow, one among her position fashions. The album turned a hit and consequently, made her tour throughout West Africa.
Subsequently, she launched the solo album Parakou within the 1990s for the Open Jazz label. Then, based mostly on each her solo file and work with Pili Pili, she got here to the eye of Island Records’ Chris Blackwell who signed her in 1991. Also, she recorded 4 albums for Island till Blackwell’s departure from the label. In 2000, she was signed by Columbia Records, New York, and she or he recorded two albums there.
Subsequently, she started to file different hit albums.
While in Paris, Angelique met Jean Hebrial. Jean is a French musician and producer who assisted her with musical productions. Due to the sturdy chemistry between them, they received married in 1987. Then, in 1993, they gave delivery to their daughter, Naimat Hebrial Kidjo.
Naimat is an actress, author and a supply of inspiration to her mom.
Angelique Kidjo Albums
Angelique has carried out in a number of native and worldwide live shows reminiscent of; the Carnegie Hall, NYC, The UN General Assembly, Nobel Peace Prize ceremony and plenty of others. She has additionally carried out earlier than excessive profiled people on the planet. She has produced a number of albums, hit singles, movies, and soundtracks for TV exhibits, films, and documentaries.
Her albums embody;
- Pretty, 1981
- Parakou, 1989
- Logozo, 1991
- Aye, 1994
- Fifa, 1996
- Oremi, 1998
- Black Ivory Soul, 2002
- Oyaya, 2004
- Djin Djin, 2007
- Oyo, 2010
- Spirit Rising, 2012
- Eve, 2014
- Sings with the Ochestre Philharmonique Du
- Remain in Light, 2018
- Celia, 2019
Aside from a number of different nominations, her albums; Djin Djin, Eve, Sings and Celia received the Grammy Awards in 2008, 2015, 2016 and 2020 respectively.
In 2014, she launched her first e-book, a memoir title Spirit Rising: My Life, My Music. Also, she launched the e-book; La voix est le miroir de l’ame.
The Batonga Foundation
Angelique Kidjo is an activist, captivated with ladies and women’ training. Aside from being the UNICEF worldwide goodwill ambassador and champion of a number of campaigns, she co-founded The Batonga Foundation. The basis was created in 2006 with Mary Louise Cohen and John R. Philips.
Basically, it seeks to succeed in younger ladies and women in Benin with the data and abilities they must be brokers of change in their very own lives and communities. It helps main, secondary and better establishment for women in Africa. Also, it supplies scholarship grants, builds secondary faculties, will increase enrollment, improves educating requirements, supplies college provides, helps mentor applications, explores different training fashions and advocates for group consciousness of the worth of training for women.
The title Batonga got here from one of many songs sang by Kidjo. Also, the initiative has a number of partnering organisation which helps its mission.
Awards And Recognition
Angelique Kidjo is a multi-award-winning singer-songwriter. She has acquired a number of native and worldwide recognition. Some of it embody;
- Prix Decouverte RFI SACEM, 1991
- Octave RFI, 1992
- Prix Afrique en Creation, 1992
- Danish Music Awards, Best Female Singer, 1995
- Kora Music Awards, Best African Female Artist, 1997
- MOBO Awards, Best World Music Act, 2002
- Medaille De Vermeil De La Ville De Paris, 2004
- Africa-Festival Award, 2006
- SAFDA African Pride Award, 2006
- Crystal Award, World Economic Forum, 2015
- Conscience Award, Amnesty International Ambassador, 2016
- Antonio Carlos Jobim Award, 2007
- N.A.A.C.P Image Award for Outstanding World Music Album, 2008
- Grammy Award for Best Contemporary World Music Album, 2008
- Go Global World Music Award, 2008
- Medal of the Presidency of the Italian Republic, 2008
- Commander of the National Order of Benin, 2008
- National Council for Research on Women, 2009
- Afropop Hall of Fame, 2009
- New York Women’s Foundation, 2009
- Premio Tenco Prize, 2009
- Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, 2010
- Grand Prix Des Musiques Du Monde De La Sacem, 2010
- Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary World Music Album, 2011
- Prix Special de la Francophonie, 2011
- Champions of the Earth Award, 2011
- Miroir Awards, World Music of the Festival d’ete de Quebec, 2012
- Trophee Des Arts, FIAF French Institute, Alliance Francaise, 2012
Other Awards Also Include;
- Keep A Child Alive’s Award for Outstanding
Humanitarian Work with Oprah Winfrey, 2012
- Lifetime Achievement Award from the African
Diaspora Awards, 2012
- Songlines Music Awards, Best Artist Category,
- Confederation Internationale des Societes
d’Auteurs et Compositeurs (CISAC), 2013
- Arms Around the Child Award, 2014
- The Dag Hammerskjold Fund, 2014
- All African Music Awards, 2014
- Visionary Leadership Award, 2015
- Grammy Award for Best Contemporary World Music
- Mappie Award, 2015
- David Rockefeller Bridging Leadership Award,
- Impact Award, Population Council Organization,
- Grammy Award, Best Contemporary World Music
Album, Sings, 2015
- All Africa Leadership Award, 2016
- Ambassador of Conscience Award, Amnesty
- Officer of the Order of Merit of the Grand Duchy
of Luxembourg, 2016
- African Movie Academy Awards, Best Actress in a
Supporting Role, 2017
- Grand Prix Des Musiques Du Monde, 2017
- Charles de Ferry de Fontnouvelle Award, 2018
- Prix De L’Artiste Citoven, 2018
- First World Pioneer Award, Songlines Magazine
Music Awards, 2018
- German Sustainability Award, 2018
- Musicultura Unimarche Prize, Universities of
Macerata and Camerino, 2019
- Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres,
- Distinguished Artist Award, International
Society for the Performing Arts, 2020
- Best World Music Album, 62 Annual Grammy Awards,
- Africa’s premier Diva, Time Magazine, 2007
- 50 Most Iconic figures on the continent, BBC
- One of the Top 100 Most Inspiring Women in artwork
movie, music and style The Guardian, 2011
- First lady among the many 40 Most highly effective
Celebrities in Africa, Forbes Magazine, 2011
- The Undisputed Queen of African music, Daily
- Africa’s best dwelling diva, National Public
Radio (NPR), 2013
- Most Influential Africans, New African Magazine
& Jeune Afrique, 2014
- 100 most influential ladies, Forbes Afrique, 2015
Honorary Doctorates Degree
The following establishments have honored Kidjo with an honorary doctorate diploma;
- Yale University
- Berklee College of Music
- Middlebury College
- UCLouvain University
Angelique Kidjo Quotes
“Your mind is your best weapon. Connect it to your
coronary heart, and you may go wherever.”
“Everyone wins when children – and especially girls – have access to education. An educated girl is likely to increase her personal earning potential and prepare herself for a productive and fulfilling life, as well as reduce poverty in the whole community. Investing in girls’ education also helps delay early marriage and parenthood. Our booming economies in Africa need more female engineers, teachers, and doctors to prosper and sustain growth.”
“You can not rework the society of the individuals if the
persons are not a part of the change.”
“It is confirmed that when ladies are educated, the power of
the nation goes up instantly.”
“From the second you’re clear in your imaginative and prescient of your self
and the way you venture that imaginative and prescient in your loved ones, your group and within the
world, that’s all that issues.”
“It doesn’t matter what challenge you face, the most important thing is, when you fall, how you rise and how high you want to go, where you want to go from that rise on.”
“I don’t care about the skin color, everybody is a human being. Beneath every skin color, you bleed red. That’s just the bottom line of the truth.”
“Education may be very political, as a result of while you educate the
individuals, then you might have a rustic that you could’t idiot anymore.”
Lessons From The Life Of Angelique Kidjo
Diversity And Inclusion
We win when everyone seems to be included.
Basically, Kidjo’s distinctive voice, stage show, and fluency in a number of languages and understanding of various cultures have earned her respect from her friends and expanded her horizon.
For occasion, she sings with every kind of parts and likewise shows a few of her childhood experiences in Benin in her music. Also, she combines American R&B, funk, jazz, salsa, Cuban in addition to influences from Europe and Latin America. This method, Africans in addition to individuals from different continents really feel included and may relate higher together with her songs.
Also, on account of this various cultural show, her live shows shortly developed into a global music scene and attracts individuals from all walks of life.
Take The Risk
At the time Kidjo left Benin for Paris, her profession was already booming. However, she needed to flee when the Benin authorities dictated what songwriters may sing. She moved on with out compromising on her profession and solely returned when a change got here.
Today, Kidjo’s success story has grown past Africa. If she had not left, she most likely wouldn’t have gotten the worldwide recognition she has.
Sometimes, as people, we must always not compromise our commonplace for the current. Although, taking a call is likely to be troublesome, however a clever resolution pays off finally.
Entrepreneurship is about taking a threat and maintaining with the tendencies. It’s about being progressive in an effort to keep related.
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