Angelique Kidjo

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Angélique Kpasseloko Hinto Hounsinou Kandjo Manta Zogbin Kidjo popular known as Angélique Kidjo was born July 14, 1960 in Ouidah, French,( now Benin)

 

Her father is from the Fon People of Ouidah and her mother from the Yoruba People. She grew up listening to Beninese traditional music, Fela Kuti, Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masekela, James Brown, Manu Dibango, Otis Redding, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Wonder, Osibisa, and Santana.

By the time she was six, Kidjo was performing with her mother’s theatre troupe, giving her an early appreciation for traditional music and dance.She started singing in her school band, Les Sphinx, and found success as a teenager with her adaptation of Miriam Makeba’s “Les Trois Z”, which played on national radio. She recorded the album Pretty with the Cameroonian producer Ekambi Brilliant and her brother Oscar. It featured the songs “Ninive”, “Gbe Agossi” and a tribute to the singer Bella Bellow, one of her role models. The success of the album allowed her to tour all over West Africa. Continuing political conflicts in Benin prevented her from being an independent artist in her own country and led her to relocate to Paris in 1983

Kidjo worked various day jobs to support her studies, She studied music at the CIM, a reputable jazz school in Paris where she met her future husband who is a musician and producer known as Jean Hebrail, with whom she has composed most of her music and they both get married in 1987. She started her musical career as a backup singer in local bands.

In 1985, she became the front singer of Jasper Van ‘t Hof’s Euro jazz/rock band Pili Pili. Three Pili Pili studio albums followed: Jakko (1987), Be In Two Minds(1988, produced by Marlon Klein) and Hotel Babo (1990). By the end of the 1980s,she had become one of the most popular live performers in Paris and recorded a solo album called Parakoufor the Open Jazz Label. She was then discovered in Paris by Island Records Founder Chris Blackwell, who signed her in 1991. She recorded four albums for Island until Blackwell’s departure from the label. In 2000 she was signed in New York by Columbia Records, she recorded two albums.

She is Four times Grammy award winner,she won it in year 2007 with her Album Djin Djin,2014 with the album Eve,2015 with the album Sings,and now 2020 with the album Celia

Religion- Kidjo was raised a Catholic but she practice traditional voodoo

Language- She can speaks and sings fluently in eight languages

 

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