Angélique Kidjo

UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador & Grammy Award-winning Artist

Angélique Kidjo is a Grammy award-winning singer, activist, and humanitarian from Benin, noted for her diverse musical influences and creative music videos. Throughout her acclaimed musical career, Kidjo has released many albums and has performed on The Tonight Show, The Late Show with David Letterman and at the request of President Barack Obama. She has also been sought out by fellow world-class musicians, and she has shared the stage and/or collaborated with Bono, Peter Gabriel, Alicia Keys and Philip Glass. She has written op-ed pieces for The New York Times and CNN.

Angélique Kidjo

UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador & Grammy Award-winning Artist

Angélique Kidjo is a Grammy award-winning singer, activist, and humanitarian from Benin, noted for her diverse musical influences and creative music videos. Throughout her acclaimed musical career, Kidjo has released many albums and has performed on The Tonight Show, The Late Show with David Letterman and at the request of President Barack Obama. She has also been sought out by fellow world-class musicians, and she has shared the stage and/or collaborated with Bono, Peter Gabriel, Alicia Keys and Philip Glass. She has written op-ed pieces for The New York Times and CNN.

Areas of Interest
Languages
English, French
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Biography

Through her nonprofit, The Batonga Foundation, Kidjo provides girls across Africa access to secondary education and works to empower them to become the leaders of tomorrow. Angélique began her work with UNICEF in 2002 and has acted as a Goodwill Ambassador, raising awareness for such causes as gender equality, education, and conservation, ever since. Recently, Angelique added ‘Actor’ to her long list of accolades as she featured in 2015 Nollywood movie, ‘The CEO.’

Time magazine has called her “Africa’s premier diva”. The BBC has included Kidjo in its list of the African continent’s 50 most iconic figures. The Guardian has listed her as one of its Top 100 Most Inspiring Women in the World and Kidjo is the first woman to be listed among “The 40 Most Powerful Celebrities In Africa” by Forbes magazine. The Daily Telegraph in London described her as “The undisputed queen of African music” during the 2012 Olympic Games River of Music Festival. In March 2013, NPR, National Public Radio in America, called her “Africa’s greatest living diva”. Kidjo is listed among the “2014 Most Influential Africans” by New African magazine and Jeune Afrique. Forbes Afrique put Angelique on the cover of their “100 most influential women” issue in 2015.

Topics

  • Spirit Rising: Live Your Dreams
  • Education is Hope: Investing in the Future
  • Give Her Wings: Teach Girls & Empower Women
  • Human Rights

Publications

  • Spirit Rising: My Life, My Music (with Rachel Wenrick) (2014)

Discography

  • Angelique Kidjo SINGS with The Ochestre Philharmonique Du Luxembourg (2015)
  • Eve (2014)
  • Spirit Rising (Live) (2012)
  • Õÿö (2010)
  • Djin Djin (2007)
  • Oyaya! (2004)
  • Black Ivory Soul (2002)
  • Keep On Moving: The Best Of Angelique Kidjo (2001)
  • Oremi (1998)
  • Fifa (1996)
  • Ayé (1994)
  • Logozo (1991)
  • Parakou (1990)
  • Ewa Ka Djo (Let’s Dance) (1985)
  • Pretty (1981)

Awards

  • Honorary Degree of Doctor of Music by Yale University (USA, 2015)
  • Impact Award by the Population Council Organization along with Elisabeth J McCormack (2015)
  • David Rockefeller Bridging Leadership Award in New York by Synergos (2015)
  • International Mappie Award by the M-Magasin in Stockholm, Sweden (2015)
  • Grammy Award for World Music Album for “Eve” (2015)
  • Visionary Leadership Award by the International Festival of Arts and Ideas in New Haven, Connecticut (2015)
  • Crystal Award by the World Economic Forum of Davos in Switzerland (2015)
  • Two All African Music Awards (AFRIMA) in Lagos, Nigeria (2014)
  • Arms Around The Child Award along with Jez Frampton during The Other Ball event in London (2014)
  • Honorary Degree of Doctor of Arts by Middlebury College (USA, 2014)
  • Songlines Music Awards in the Best Artist Category (UK 2013)
  • Lifetime Achievement Award from the African Diaspora Awards (2012)
  • Keep A Child Alive’s Award for Outstanding Humanitarian Work, shared with Oprah Winfrey, (New York, 2012)
  • Miroir Awards for World Music of the Festival d’été de Quebec (Canada, 2012)
  • Trophée Des Arts, FIAF French Institute, Alliance Française (New York, 2012)
  • Prix Special de la Francophonie (Washington DC, USA, 2011)
  • Champions of the Earth Award (United Nations, 2011)
  • Honorary Degree of Doctor of Music by Berklee College (USA, 2010)
  • Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (France, 2010)
  • Grand Prix Des Musiques Du Monde De La Sacem for her entire songwriting career (France, 2010)
  • Afropop Hall of Fame (USA, 2009)
  • Celebrating Women Award from the New York Women’s Foundation (USA, 2009)
  • Premio Tenco Prize for her entire singing career (Italy, 2009)
  • Making a Difference for Women Award from the National Council for Research on Women (USA, 2009)
  • Commander of the National Order of Benin (Benin, 2008)
  • N.A.A.C.P. Image Award for Outstanding World Music Album (USA, 2008)
  • Grammy Award for Best Contemporary World Music Album (USA, 2008)
  • Go Global World Music Award (Denmark, 2008)
  • Medal of the Presidency of the Italian Republic (Italy, 2008)
  • Antonio Carlos Jobim Award (Canada, 2007)
  • Africa-Festival Award (Germany, 2006)
  • SAFDA African Pride Award (South Africa, 2006)
  • Médaille De Vermeil De La Ville De Paris (France, 2004)
  • Mobo Awards for Best World Music Act (UK, 2002)
  • Kora Music Awards: Best African Female artist (Africa, 1997)
  • Danish Music Awards: Best Female Singer (Denmark, 1995)
  • Prix Afrique en Creation (France, 1992)
  • Octave RFI (France, 1992)
  • Prix Découverte RFI SACEM (France, 1991)

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