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Angelique Kidjo

Afro-funk, reggae, samba, salsa, gospel, jazz, Zairean rhumba, zouk, and makossa are combined through the music of soulful Benin-born, Paris-based vocalist Angélique Kidjo. Since the release of her self-produced debut solo album, Pretty, in 1988, Kidjo has been embraced by the international press. Her albums have been strengthened by contributions from top-notch guest musicians and producers. Parakou, her first internationally distributed album, featured jazz keyboardist Jasper van't Hof, the leader of Pili Pili, a Holland-based Afro-jazz band with whom Kidjo had performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1987. Logozo, recorded in Miami in 1991 and produced by Joe Galdo of Miami Sound Machine, featured Branford Marsalis on saxophone. Marsalis later performed on Kidjo's album Oremi. The album features Kidjo singing duets with Cassandra Wilson ("Never Know") and Kelly Price ("Open Your Eyes"). Kidjo's most ambitious album, Fifa (1996), featured more than 100 percussionists, flutists, cowbell and berimbau players, singers, and dancers from Benin and one track featuring Carlos Santana. Kidjo's husband, Jean Hébrail, a French bass player and composer she met in 1987, has played a major role in the recording of her albums.

The daughter of an actress, dancer, and theatrical producer, Kidjo was born in Quidah, a coastal city in the West African country of Benin. Inheriting her mother's love of performing, she made her stage debut with her mother's theatrical troupe. Inspired by the rock, pop, and soul music of Jimi Hendrix, Santana, Miriam Makeba, James Brown, and Aretha Franklin, she was singing professionally by her 20th birthday. Although she recorded an album, Pretty (produced by Cameroon-based vocalist Ekambi Brilliant), that yielded a hit single, "Ninive," the oppressive political environment of Benin led her to relocate to Paris in 1980. Although modern technology and electronics played an important role in the recording of her first four albums, Kidjo returned to her traditional roots with Fifa. Armed with eight-track tape recorders and microphones, Kidjo and a team of engineers traveled to Benin to record traditional musicians, singers, and dancers. The album was completed during recording sessions in Paris, London, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. With her next album, 1998's Oremi, Kidjo returned to her futuristic approach. Incorporating elements of hip-hop and Afro-Celtic grooves, Oremi featured a reconstructed interpretation of Jimi Hendrix's "Voodoo Child (Slight Return)."

Kidjo's enthusiastic presence was evident on the video of her international hit "Agolo," from her album Aye (1994). Produced by Will Mowatt of Soul II Soul and longtime Prince collaborator David Z, the video was nominated for a Grammy Award. Kidjo's songs have been featured on the soundtracks of such films as My Favorite Season, Street Fighter, and Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls. As the new millennium got underway, Kidjo signed to Columbia and prepped for her major-label debut. Exploring musical elements of her native Benin to that of northeastern Brazil, Black Ivory Soul was released in 2002. Oyaya!, which featured a collaboration with Dave Matthews, was issued two years later. Kidjo then joined forces with Razor & Tie for the May 2007 release of Djin Djin. A second Razor & Tie album, Õÿö, followed in 2010 and featured guest spots from Roy Hargrove, John Legend, and Dianne Reeves. Spirit Rising, a CD and DVD representation of an uplifting live special Kidjo taped at WGBH studios, appeared from Razor & Tie in 2012. The album Eve, her tribute to the women of Africa, was issued in early 2014. ~ Craig Harris, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

Anytime i listening music tears running through me...am hearing the voice of Mama Africa...am so grateful to hear your music ,so much joy an love.love to you...A .kidjo queen of Africa heritage.
sariyahb
Love Love Love Angelique!
I Love Her Music I Realy Do
When i saw the incredible video 'Agolo back in the 90's, I thought it was one of the best videos ever made.Since then,I have been listening to Angelique's music.
I always loved her music every since I saw her on a music video when I a little 12 yr old girl iam 34now
coolmusiczon e _ 3 3
Awesome artist
Great voice!
ericawheaton
love her album
Angelique is AMAZING....j e vous aime Madame, votre voix est sublime
rlewis1765
seen her at the detroit jazz fest. love her still her grace while preforming on and off the stage.
WoW..i dont even know wat tis powerfulwome n is sayin & her visions i can see throu feeling her music...Wow!
She is the BEST. In concert she's a dynamo...the energy is unbelievable !
This is such a beautiful song! I can't wait to hear more from her.
kyatabarry
I love all of her songs.
jersey452
I like this!
childofgod30 0 3 8
I like her music!
I like her so much!
kys4hru
one of my favorites
take me to johanesberg where syncopated dreams of mine came true.african a permiates all music and all man regardless of race.swirl whirl the lion in all men
I'll never forget coming up on stage and dancing with her at the Variety Playhouse in Little 5 points Atlanta several years ago. Wow! I first saw her performing on Public Broadcasting prior to that and was hooked ever since!! collecting several of her albums.

Jenice Walters
Would love to see her in Portland, Oregon again.
Can't wait to see Angelique tomorrow in S F
She has great music.
pillarbass
I've been a fan since I first saw her performing in a bar in Kansas City in the early 90's.
i grew up in africa, and love to hear the little influences spicing her music. excellent!!
I've been listening to your music for 7 years,i've seen your performance at chico state in chico california on march 15th 2008. danced on stage,sing and dance is what i do when i hear your music.

Q
zoemullican
I've seen Angelique three times live in Austin, Texas. She's so full of energy and passion for her music. If you like her recorded, you'll love her live!
BET used to do a 1 hour show called 'Caribbean Rhythms' or something like that several years ago. I was so impressed by Angelique I went out and bought 'Fifa' that day and it continues to be one of my favorite CD's. My then black wife couldn't stand her. I guess her mind was too poisoned by that Rap garbage to hear REAL music.
essseejay
SHE HAS WAY WAY WYA MORE ALBUMS!!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
This is an authentic sound from the mother land.It breaks language barriers.
Black Ivory Soul is a great record of hers. I hope they add more of her music soon!
That voice takes me to far away places...
Mmmm...
my best defination of African Jazz, Energy, talent and all that. FUN ! FUN! FUN!

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