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Biography Of Angelique Kidjo, A Grammy Award-Winning Singer-Songwriter

Biography Of Angelique Kidjo


Biography Of Angelique Kidjo: She is a Beninese singer-songwriter, actress, and human rights activist who was born in the country of Benin. She is the first African woman to be selected as a UNICEF worldwide goodwill ambassador, a position she has held since 2002. She is also a four-time Grammy Award winner and one of the most influential musicians in the world of international music.

Kidjo has produced thirteen studio albums, multiple hit singles, music videos, and the soundtracks for films, jingles, and documentaries, among other things.

She is also a co-founder of the Batonga Foundation, which she founded with her husband. And, as an activist, she has fought for women’s rights, health, peace, and other global causes, both as a person and via several organizations, including Oxfam, which she founded.

Angelique Kidjo’s Early Life and Career

Biography Of Angelique Kidjo: In Ouidah, Benin, on July 14, 1960, Angelique Kidjo was born the youngest of nine children into a family of nine. Originally from Fon heritage, her father, and her mother, are both of Yoruba descent. As a result of her upbringing, she is multilingual; she is proficient in French, English, and three additional African languages, including Fon and Yoruba, in addition to her native English. In addition, both of her parents were interested in the arts; her father was a pianist, and her mother was a choreographer and theatrical director, among other things.


Because of this, Kidjo began performing with her mother’s theatrical group at the age of six, giving her a strong affinity for traditional music and dance from an early age. She also sung in her high school’s rock band, Les Sphinx, and, as she got older, she sang in her brother’s rock rhythm and blues band, Rock Rhythm and Blues.

When Kidjo was a teenager, her rendition of Mariam Makeba’s Les Trois Z was broadcast on national radio, and she went on to become a star. She was already a professional vocalist by the time she was 20 years old.

In addition to African singers such as Miriam Makeba and Hugh Masekela as well as Jimi Hendrix, Steve Wonder and Otis Redding, Fela Kuti and James Brown, Kidjo was influenced by a wide range of music from the United States and Europe.

Angelique Kidjo’s Professional Life

Biography Of Angelique Kidjo: She went to Paris in 1983 as a result of political upheaval in her home nation of Benin, which hindered her from working as an independent artist in her home country.


For a while, she worked as a backup vocalist for a number of local bands. When Jasper Van’t Hof formed the Euro-African jazz/rock group Pili Pili in 1985, she was chosen to be the group’s lead vocalist. Three albums were issued at Pili Pili, including Jakko (1987), Be In Two Minds (1988), and Hotel Babo (1989). (1990). In addition, she attended CIM, a prestigious jazz institution where she studied music.

After that, in 1988, Angelique released an album titled Pretty. It was with Ekambi Brilliant, a Cameroonian producer, and her brother Oscar, who were present. It included the songs “Ninive” and “Gbe Agossi,” which was a dedication to the singer Bella Bellow, who was considered to be one of her role models. As a consequence of the album’s popularity, she was able to go on a tour across West Africa.

Following that, she recorded a solo album for the Open Jazz label in the 1990s, which was titled Parakou. Then, as a result of her solo album as well as her work with Pili Pili, she came to the notice of Island Records’ Chris Blackwell, who signed her to the label the following year. In addition, she recorded four albums for Island Records between the time of Blackwell’s departure and the present. She was signed by Columbia Records in New York in 2000, and she spent the next two years there recording two albums.

Following that, she went on to create a number of more successful albums.

Observations on her Personal Life

Angelique met Jean Hebrial when she was in Paris. Jean is a French musician and producer who has worked with her on a number of musical projects. They were married in 1987 as a result of the tremendous chemistry that existed between them. After then, in 1993, they welcomed their daughter, Naimat Hebrial Kidjo, into the world.

Naimat is a successful actress and writer, as well as a source of inspiration for her mother.

Angelique Kidjo’s Recordings

Angélique has played in a number of local and international performances, including those at Carnegie Hall in New York City, the United Nations General Assembly, the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony, and a number of other venues. She has also performed in front of celebrities and other high-profile persons from throughout the globe. She has worked on a number of albums, hit songs, music videos, and soundtracks for television series, movies, and documentaries, among other projects.

Her albums contain the following:

  • 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 Ochestre Philharmonique Du Luxemborg, 2015
  • Remain in Light, 2018
  • Celia, 2019

Aside from numerous more nominations, her albums Djin Djin, Eve, Sings, and Celia were all nominated for Grammy Awards in 2008, 2015, 2016, and 2020, and she received four Grammy Awards in all.





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