Three-time 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, Angélique’s memoir, embodies her vibrant personality with “a dramatic soulful mix of text, photos, and song lyrics.” One of The Guardian's 100 most inspiring women in the world, Angélique speaks out for human rights and female empowerment as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and through op-eds for CNN and The New York Times.
Angélique Kidjo’s career began in the West African country of Benin, where she would perform with her mother’s theater troupe at age six. However, when the Communist takeover of Benin threatened her artistic expression, she fled to France, and later, New York City.
12 albums and three Grammys later, she has sold out Carnegie Hall, has topped the Billboard charts, has collaborated with Alicia Keys, Bono, and Philip Glass, and has been personally requested to perform by President Barack Obama. Her success and talents know no bounds.
"I work with everyone who believes that music is the tool of peace,” said Angélique. “For me, music is the only form of art that connects the entire world.”
Her 2014 memoir, Spirit Rising, includes a forward by Desmond Tutu and an introduction from Alicia Keys. Publishers Weekly called the book “a beautifully told tale of courage and determination, revealing an expansive life that proves ‘music has no color, no language, no boundaries.’”
With UNICEF, Angelique raises awareness for such causes as gender equality, education, and conservation. Celebrating her exceptional courage in standing up to injustice, Amnesty International honored her with the 2016 Ambassador of Conscience Award.
Inspired by the high value her father placed on schooling, she founded the Batonga Foundation in 2007, providing secondary education for girls across Africa and empowering the female leaders of tomorrow. Opening the 2015 World Economic Forum at Davos, Angelique received the Crystal Award, which honors individuals who improve the state of the world through art.
Sir David Frost, Christine Amanpour, and Bill Moyers have all interviewed her, and recently, she co-starred in the Nollywood movie The CEO, directed by one of Africa’s most acclaimed filmmakers.
- Angelique Kidjo singing Redemption Song at the Dedication Ceremony of the NMAACH (2016)
- Lecture, Storytelling, and Song — Kidjo on empowerment, leadership (2015)
- Kidjo Gives Fulton Lecture at Middlebury College (2013)
- Kidjo on Celebrating sisterhood and our shared humanity (2015)
- Al Jazeera Interview: 'Africa is not just diseases' (2014)
- Kidjo talks social justice and development strategies in Africa (2015)
- Grammy Acceptance Speech for Eve (2015)
- Angelique talks Africa, her career, Nelson Mandela and her new book (2014)
Angelique Kidjo is a world class musician who is happy to include songs in any of her speaking engagements.Read More >
Spirit Rising: My Life, My Music
Exclusive Interview with New African Woman
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