Angélique Hinto Hounsinou Kandjo Kpasseloko Manta Zogbin Kidjo (born 14 July 1960), better addressed as Angelique Kidjo, is a Grammy-awarded African musician.
She is a renowned Beninese singer, songwriter, actress, and advocate for civil rights.
She is a UNICEF international goodwill ambassador and a multiple-time Grammy Award winner.
|Angélique Kidjo: History • Bio • Photo|
|Wiki Facts & About Data|
|Full Name:||Angélique Kpasseloko Hinto Hounsinou Kandjo Manta Zogbin Kidjo|
|Stage Name:||Angélique Kidjo|
|Born:||14 July 1960 (age 62 years old)|
|Place of Birth:||Ouidah, Benin|
|Parents:||Yvonne Kidjo, Franck Kidjo|
|Husband • Spouse:||Jean Hébrail (m. 1987)|
|Boyfriend • Partner:||N/A|
|Children:||Naima Hebrail Kidjo|
|Occupation:||Musician • Actress|
|Net Worth:||US$5 million|
Early Life & Education
In Ouidah, Benin, Angelique Kidjo was born into a large family of nine on 14 July 1960. He has a brother named Oscar Kidjo.
Her mother, Yvonne Kidjo, is Yoruba, and her father, Franck Kidjo, is of Fon descent. She speaks French, English, and three additional African languages, including Fon and Yoruba, as a result of her heritage.
Angelique Kidjo‘s mother was a dancer and a theatrical director, and her father was a musician. Both of her parents loved music. As a result, she started performing at the age of six with her mother’s theater company, sparking her early interest in traditional music and dance.
She sang in the Les Sphinx band at her high school and joined her older brother’s rock rhythm and blues band.
Angelique Kidjo became well-known as a teenager after her cover of Miriam Makeba‘s Les Trois Z was played on the radio all across the country. At the age of 20, she had already achieved professional vocal success.
Several African musicians, including Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masekela, Jimi Hendrix, Steve Wonder, Otis Redding, Fela Kuti, and James Brown, significantly impacted Angelique Kidjo.
Since of political unrest in her native Benin, Angelique Kidjo relocated to Paris in 1983 because she could not pursue her career as an independent artist there. She started in a few local bands as a backup singer. She then became the lead singer for Jasper Van’t Hof’s Euro-African jazz/rock group Pili Pili in 1985.
At Pili Pili, Jakko (1987), Be In Two Minds (1988), and Hotel Babo (1989) were three albums that were released (1990). She additionally attended CIM, a renowned jazz school, to study music.
In 1988, Angelique Kidjo then issued her debut album, entitled Pretty. It was with Oscar Brilliant, a brother of Cameroonian producer Ekambi Brillant. It featured the songs Ninive and Gbe Agossi, a tribute to vocalist Bella Bellow, one of her idols.
She was able to tour across West Africa due to the album’s success. Later, in the 1990s, she recorded the solo album Parakou for the Open Jazz label.
Chris Blackwell of Island Records later came across her and signed her to their roster in 1991 after hearing about her solo album and her work with Pili Pili. For Island, she also produced four albums before Chris Blackwell left the company.
Columbia Records signed Angelique Kidjo in New York in 2000, where she released two albums. After that, she continued to release successful albums. Her first book, Spirit Rising: My Life, My Music, was released in 2014. Additionally, she released a book titled La voix est le miroir de l’ame.
- Pretty, 1981
- Parakou, 1989
- Logozo, 1991
- Aye, 1994
- Fifa, 1996
- Oremi, 1998
- Black Ivory Soul, 2002
- Oyaya, 2004
- Djin Djin, 2007
- Oyo, 2010
- Spirit Rising, 2012
- Eve, 2014
- Sings with the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra (Orchestre philharmonique du Luxembourg), 2015
- Remain in Light, 2018
- Celia, 2019
The Batonga Foundation
Angelique Kidjo is an activist committed to the education of women and girls. She co-founded The Batonga Foundation, served as an international goodwill ambassador for UNICEF, and promoted a number of initiatives.
The charity was established in 2006 by John R. Phillips and Mary Louise Cohen.
It is its primary objective to give young women and girls in Benin the knowledge and abilities they need to make a difference in their own lives and communities. It supports the enrollment of African females in elementary, secondary, and postsecondary institutions.
Additionally, it provides school supplies, supports mentor programs, looks into alternative educational models, builds secondary schools, increases enrollment, raises teaching standards, offers scholarships, builds secondary schools, and promotes community awareness of the importance of girls’ education.
One of Angelique Kidjo‘s songs served as the foundation for the moniker Batonga. The program also has several partners who assist it in achieving its objectives.
While in Paris, Angelique Kidjo met Jean Hébrail. She has received assistance from French producer and musician Jean Hébrail for her musical endeavors. They were so well connected that they decided to get married in 1987.
Then, in 1993, they gave birth to their daughter, Naima Hebrail Kidjo.
The mother cited Naima Hebrail Kidjo, an actress, and author, as her main inspiration.
Singer, songwriter, activist, and American-Beninese native Angelique Kidjo has a US$5 million net worth.
- Twitter: @AngeliqueKidjo
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