Angélique Kidjo

Angélique Kidjo

A four-time Grammy nominee from Benin, Kidjo is a singer and composer who stands out thanks to her different influences and her creative musical videos.

Since the age of six, Kidjo formed part of her mother´s theatre group, which gave her an early appreciation of music and dance. She began as a back-up singer for local groups before creating her own group in 1980. The constant political conflicts in Benin, her native country, forced her to emigrate to Paris in 1982. Today, she is one of the most recognised live singers in Paris. She is married to Jean Hebrail, a singer and producer, and currently lives in New York.

Her musical influences can be found in Afropop, Caribbean zouk, Congolese rumba, jazz, gospel and latin styles, as well as in the idols of her youth such as Bella Bellow, James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Jimi Hendrix, Miriam Makeba and Carlos Santana. She has created her own versions of Summertime by George Gershwin, Voodoo Child by Jimi Hendrix, Gimme Shelter by the Rolling Stones, and collaborated with Dave Matthews, Kelly Price, Branford Marsalis, Robbie Nevil, Carlos Santana and Cassandra Wilson. Her best known songs are Agolo, Ayé, and Batonga.

In February of 2003, she performed a cover of the song titled Voodoo Child (Slight Return) by Jimi Hendrix at New York´s Radio City Music Hall along with the blues legend Buddy Guy and the guitarist from Living Colour, Vernon Reid. The song would later form part of Scorsese´s documentary titled Lightning in a Bottle: One Night in the History of the Blues, about blues music and with the participation of leading rock, rap and blues artists.

Angelique Kidjo presented her album Djin Djin on May 1, 2007. In it, guests along the lines of Josh Groban, Carlos Santana, Alicia Keys, Joss Stone, Peter Gabriel, Amadou and Mariam, Ziggy Marley and Branford Marsalis make an appearance. The Djin Djin title refers to the sound of a bell that rings in Africa at the start of every new day. The record was produced by Tony Visconti, who is known for his work with David Bowie, Morrissey and T. Rex, among others. She has also stood out because of her performance of one of her musical pieces at the FIFA 2010 South Africa World Cup lottery.


Angélique Kidjo in MySpace



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