Country of origin: Benin
Angélique Kpasseloko Hinto Hounsinou Kandjo Manta Zogbin Kidjo, commonly known as Angélique Kidjo is a Grammy Award winning Beninoise singer-songwriter and activist, noted for her diverse musical influences and creative music videos. BBC African Service has included Angelique in its list of the continent's 50 most iconic figures. Time Magazine has called her "Africa's premier diva" and The Guardian has listed her as one of their Top 100 Most Inspiring Women in the World.
Her musical influences include the Afropop, Caribbean zouk, Congolese rumba, jazz, gospel, and Latin styles; as well as her childhood idols Bella Bellow, James Brown, Aretha Franklin, Jimi Hendrix, Miriam Makeba and Carlos Santana. She has recorded George Gershwin's "Summertime", Jimi Hendrix's "Voodoo Child" and The Rolling Stones' "Gimme Shelter", and has collaborated with Dave Matthews and the Dave Matthews Band, Kelly Price, Branford Marsalis, Robbie Nevil, Peter Gabriel, Bono, Carlos Santana, John Legend, Herbie Hancock and Cassandra Wilson. Kidjo's hits include the songs "Agolo", "We We", "Adouma", "Wombo Lombo", "Afirika", "Batonga", and her version of "Malaika".
Kidjo is fluent in Fon, French, Yorùbá, and English and sings in all four languages; she also has her own personal language which includes words that serve as song titles such as "Batonga". Malaika is a song sung in Swahili language. She often utilizes Benin's traditional Zilin vocal technique and jazz vocalese.
To find out more about Angélique Kidjo and her dedication to making the world a better place, visit her page on Wikipedia. Also visit her official website to see a list of the many wonderful causes she supports.