Meet Angélique Kidjo, a Benin born Grammy Award winning singer, songwriter and activist. This internationally acclaimed entertainer is known for her creative music videos, and diverse musical influences ranging from Afropop, Caribbean zouk, Latin, Jazz, to Gospel. She is fluent in Fon (belongs to the Niger-Congo languages), French, Yoruba, and English, and sings in all four.
Angélique moved to Paris in 1983 to pursue music. She worked in various day jobs to pay her tuition for CIM, the Jazz school she was attending while living in Paris. By the 1980’s, she was known as the most popular live performers in Paris; now ten albums later, all her hard work has truly paid off.
Her latest album, “Õÿö”, pays tribute to the music she listened to while living in her home country of Benin. Õÿö is nominated for Best Contemporary World Music Album for the 53rd Grammy Awards.
Angélique has been a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador since 2002. She is listed by the BBC African Service among the continent’s 50 iconic figures. Angélique founded the Batonga Foundation, which encourages girls to discover their potential in changing Africa. The foundation grants scholarships, help with the development of secondary schools, improve teaching standards, provide school supplies, offering support programs, and emphasize on community awareness on the importance of educating girls.
Since March 2009, Angélique has been campaigning for the “Africa for womens’ rights”, which was launched by the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH). Later that year, Angélique produced the song “You Can Count On Me”, to support the Give the Gift of Life campaign launched by UNICEF and Pampers.
Over the years, Angélique has contributed greatly to various causes; she performs at special concerts and collaborates with other musicians. Angélique is more than just an entertainer; she has “translated her distinctive work in the arts to that of philanthropy”.
For more information, visit Angélique Kidjo’s official pages: