Grammy award-winning singer, activist, and humanitarian Angélique Kidjo electrifies audiences around the world with the strength of her voice, the power of her words, and the intensity of her performance. Spirit Rising, Ms. Kidjo’s memoir, embodies her vibrant personality with, as ELLE described, “a dramatic soulful mix of text, photos, and song lyrics.” One of The Guardian's 100 most inspiring women in the world, Ms. Kidjo speaks out for human rights and female empowerment as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and through op-eds for CNN and The New York Times.
Ms. Kidjo comes from the West African country of Benin, where she began performing at age 6. When communists took over the country and challenged Ms. Kidjo’s freedom of artistic expression, she fled to France, and later, New York City. Success soon followed.
Logozo, her breakthrough album, hit #1 on the Billboard World Music Charts and sold more than 40,000 copies. She topped Billboard again in 2014 with her Grammy-winning album, Eve. With sold out performances around the world, including Carnegie Hall, Ms. Kidjo has collaborated with Alicia Keys, Bono, Peter Gabriel, and Philip Glass, and has been personally requested to perform by President Barack Obama.
Her 2014 memoir, Spirit Rising, includes a forward by Desmond Tutu and an introduction from Alicia Keys. Publishers Weekly praised the book – “Readers will be enamored of this beautifully told tale of courage and determination, revealing an expansive life that proves ‘music has no color, no language, no boundaries.”
Since 2002, Ms. Kidjo has worked with UNICEF, raising awareness for such causes as gender equality, education, and conservation. She was presented with the David Rockefeller Bridging Leadership Award from the Synergos Institute in 2015 and founded The Batonga Foundation in 2007. The Foundation provides secondary education to girls across Africa and empowers the female leaders of tomorrow. Opening the 2015 World Economic Forum at Davos, Ms. Kidjo received the Crystal Award, which celebrates individuals who improve the state of the world through art.
"Angélique is an inspiration to others with her message that, yes, the sky is the limit." - Desmond Tutu