Angelique Kidjo

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Angelique Kidjo 01

Angélique Kidjo (born July 14, 1960), is a Beninese singer-songwriter, actress, and activist who is noted for her diverse musical influences and creative music videos. Kidjo was born into a family of performing artists. Her father was a musician, and her mother worked as a choreographer and theatre director. Kidjo has won five Grammy Awards.


  •  Your brain is your greatest weapon. Connect it to your heart, and you can go anywhere.
  •  I never use someone just because they are great musicians. I work with people who have the same kind of feeling towards the music that I do, and the subject that I’m speaking of at that time.  
  •  Everyone wins when children – and especially girls – have access to education. An educated girl is likely to increase her personal earning potential and prepare herself for a productive and fulfilling life, as well as reduce poverty in the whole community. Investing in girls’ education also helps delay early marriage and parenthood. Our booming economies in Africa need more female engineers, teachers and doctors to prosper and sustain growth.
  • I come from this diversity and richness that's Benin, where there are fifty different languages. I speak four of them. I never know in advance which language will come when I start to write.The song leads me to the language.
  •  It’s just that I love to sing. I love to bring Africa to the world. The beauty of Africa, not the music that people are very content about seeing and talking about.
  •  We Africans have to be able to deal with our problems. Help from outside is alright, but we have to learn to be responsible for our own attitudes.
  •  Benin has little tradition of harmony in the south where I come from. The north has a lot more, but the south has more rhythms, which are absolutely fantastic and people don't know them. There's one village specifically dedicated to the drum. When you get there you can go and choose your tree, cut it down and make your percussion from it. The challenge for me is adding the harmonies that the rhythms give.
  • People say 'la musique africaine', but I say 'les musiques africaines'. They refuse to recognize that Africa is a continent with a huge number of different cultures and languages and music. That's always been the difficulty of my career. People expect all Africans to have the same sound more or less, as if you can lump them all together.[1]
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