Angélique Kidjo

Singer, Songwriter and Activist


Grammy winner Angélique Kidjo is one of the greatest artists in international music today, a creative force with 12 albums to her name. Time magazine has called her “Africa’s premier diva”. The BBC has included her in its list of the continent’s 50 most iconic figures, and in 2011 The Guardian listed her as one of their Top 100 Most Inspiring Women in the World. Forbes magazine has ranked Angelique as the first woman in their list of the Most Powerful Celebrities in Africa. 

As a performer, her striking voice, stage presence and fluency in multiple cultures and languages have won respect from her peers and expanded her following across national borders.  Kidjo has cross-pollinated the West African traditions of her childhood in Benin with elements of American R&B, funk and jazz, as well as influences from Europe and Latin America.  She also travels the world advocating on behalf of children in her capacity as a UNICEF and Oxfam goodwill Ambassador. She created her own charitable foundation, Batonga, dedicated to supporting the education of young girls in Africa. 

Her critically acclaimed album Djin Djin won a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary World Album in 2008, and her most recent studio album Oyo was nominated for the 2011 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary World Album.  Angélique’s first book, a memoir titled Spirit Rising: My Life, My Music,will be released by Harper Collins in January 2014.