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Angélique Kidjo is a singer and songwriter originally from Benin, who has been nominated for the Grammy Awards four times, an artist known for her different musical influences and for her creativity in music videos.
Kidjo was born in Ouidah, Benin, since he was six years old he was part of his mother’s theater group and that approach allowed him to enjoy a precocious appreciation of music and dance. The constant political conflicts in Benin forced her to emigrate to Paris in 1982. She started as a support singer in local bands before starting her own band in the 1980s. Today she is one of the most recognized live singers in Paris. She is married to singer and producer Jean Hebrail, with whom she has a daughter named Naima (born in 1993) and currently lives in New York.
Kidjo speaks fon, French, Yoruba, and English and sings in these four languages as well as in his personal language that includes words like Batonga in the titles of his songs. Malaika is a song sung in Swahili. In addition he also uses the traditional language of Benin, the Zilin.
His musical influences can be found in the Afropop, Caribbean zouk, Congolese rumba, Jazz, Gospel and Latin Latin styles, as well as in his childhood idols Bella Bellow, James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Jimi Hendrix, Miriam Makeba and Carlos Santana He made his own versions of George Gershwin’s Summertime, Jimi Hendrix’s Voodoo Child, Gimme Shelter
of the Rolling Stones with Joss Stone and collaborated with Dave Matthews, Kelly Price, Branford Marsalis, Robbie Nevil, Carlos Santana and Cassandra Wilson. His most recognized songs are “Agolo”, “Ayé”, and “Batonga”. However, Agolo, was the theme of the Chilean soap opera, Oro Verde, broadcast in the first half of 1997, by National Television of Chile, being the subject with which Kidjo met in Chile.
In the episode Simpson Safari of the Simpsons, Homer’s guide sings Kidjo’s song “Wé-Wé”, from the album Logozo.
In February 2003 he performed a cover of the song “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” by Jimi Hendrix on the famous radio station Radio City Music Hall in New York with the legend bluesBuddy Guy and Vernon Reid guitarist Living Color that would form then part of the Martin Scorsese documentary called “Lightning In A Bottle: One Night In The History Of The Blues”, a documentary about blues music that includes great figures of rock, rap and blues.
Angelique Kidjo presented her album Djin Djin on May 1, 2007. Guests include the likes of Josh Groban, Carlos Santana, Alicia Keys, Joss Stone, Peter Gabriel, Amadou and Mariam, Ziggy Marley, and Branford. Marsalis. The title, Djin Djin refers to the sound of a bell that sounds in Africa at the beginning of each new day. The album was produced by Tony Visconti, known for producing works by David Bowie, Morrissey and T. Rex, among others.
He played one of his pieces in the draw for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
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