Angélique Kidjo

~ Person


Female Beninese singer songwriter.

Annotation last modified on 2006-07-07 14:22 UTC.


Angélique Kpasseloko Hinto Hounsinou Kandjo Manta Zogbin Kidjo, known as Angélique Kidjo, is a Grammy Award–winning singer-songwriter and activist from Benin, 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". On June 6, 2013, Kidjo was elected vice-president of the Confédération Internationale des Sociétés d´Auteurs et Compositeurs (CISAC). She is an occasional contributor to the New York Times.

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".

Kidjo is fluent in Fon, French, Yorùbá and English, and sings in all four languages; she also has her own personal language, which includes words that serve as song titles such as "Batonga". "Malaika" is a song sung in the Swahili language. Kidjo often utilizes Benin's traditional Zilin vocal technique and jazz vocalese. She now resides in New York City, New York, United States.

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Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1990 Parakou Angélique Kidjo 2
1992 Logozo Angélique Kidjo 1
1994 Ayé Angélique Kidjo 2
1996 Fifa Angélique Kidjo 2
1998 Oremi Angélique Kidjo 3
2002 Black Ivory Soul Angélique Kidjo 3
2004 Oyaya! Angélique Kidjo 3
2007 Djin Djin Angélique Kidjo 4.65 4
2010 Õÿö Angélique Kidjo 3
2012 Spirit Rising Angélique Kidjo 2
2014 Eve Angélique Kidjo 1

Album + Compilation

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
2005 20th Century Masters: The Millennium Collection: The Best of Angélique Kidjo Angélique Kidjo 1
Keep on Moving: The Best of Angélique Kidjo Angélique Kidjo 1


Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1994 Adouma Angélique Kidjo 1
2012 Lady tUnE-yArDs, Angélique Kidjo, ?uestlove & Akua Naru 1
Agolo Angélique Kidjo 1


Year Title Artist RatingReleases
Salala Angélique Kidjo 1

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