Angelique Kidjo Biography; Early Life, Is She Married?

Angelique Kidjo Biography.
Angelique Kidjo Biography.

Angelique Kidjo is a renowned Beninese movie actress, singer, songwriter, television personality, and human rights activist. 

Angelique Kidjo Early Life

The renowned movie star Angelique Kidjo was born in the ’60s to a beautiful family of nine in Ouidah, Benin.

Born on July 14th 1960, Angelique’s mother is of Yoruba origin while her father is of Fon descent.

As it was, Angelique is multilingual; she is fluent in English, French and three other African languages including Yoruba and Fon.

Notably, Angelique’s parents were lovers of music; her mother was a choreography and theatre director while her father was a musician.

Growing was fun and adventurous for Angelique; her parents were into music. That alone is a lot of adventure.

For her education, not much is known about Angelique’s educational background. However, she attended and studied Music at the prestigious CIM, a reputable Jazz school.

Early Career

In 1983, at the age of 23, Angelique Kidjo relocated to Paris due to obvious reasons. The then political unrest in Benin that prevented her from being an independent artist in her country.

While in Paris, she started as a backup singer in some local band. She continued until 1985 when she became the front singer for Jasper Van’t Hof’s Euro-African jazz/rock outfit Pili Pili.

Between 1987 and 1990, three albums were released in the group; Jakka in 1987, Be In Two Minds in 1988, and Hotel Babo in 1990.

Before 1990, Angelique recorded an Album “Pretty” with a Cameroonian music producer Ekambi Brilliant and her brother Oscar. This was precisely in 1988.

The Album featured songs like “Ninive, Gbe Agossi,” a tribute to one of her role models, Singer Bella Bellow.

In fact, the release of this album made her known in Benin and across the countries of West Africa. With the help of this album, Angelique was able to tour West African countries.

Altogether, Angelique has released several hits songs, videos, and thirteen albums. As well, she made soundtracks for movies, jingles, and documentaries.

Angelique Kidjo Albums

° Oyaya, 2004

° Oremi, 1998

° Sings with the Ochestre

° Djin Djin, 2007

° Philharmonique Du Luxembourg, 2015

° Black Ivory Soul, 2002

° Celia, 2019

° Eve, 2014

° Oyo, 2010

° Fifa, 1996

° Remain in Light, 2018

° Spirit Rising, 2012

° Logozo, 1991

° Pretty, 1981

° Aye, 1994

° Parakou, 1989

Awards And Recognitions

° Prix Découverte RFI SACEM, 1991

° Octave RFI, 1992

° MOBO Awards, Best World Music Act, 2002

° Premio Tenco Prize, 2009

° Médaille De Vermeil De La Ville De Paris, 2004

° New York Women’s Foundation, 2009

° Grand Prix Des Musiques Du Monde De La Sacem, 2010

° Africa-Festival Award, 2006

° Afropop Hall of Fame, 2009

° Antonio Carlos Jobim Award, 2007

° National Council for Research on Women, 2009

° Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary World Music Album, 2011

° Commander of the National Order of Benin, 2008

° N.A.A.C.P Image Award for Outstanding World Music Album, 2008

° SAFDA African Pride Award, 2006

° Conscience Award, Amnesty International Ambassador, 2016

° Medal of the Presidency of the Italian Republic, 2008

° Grammy Award for Best Contemporary World Music Album, 2008

° Crystal Award, World Economic Forum, 2015

° Go Global World Music Award, 2008

° Prix Spécial de la Francophonie, 2011

° Kora Music Awards, Best African Female Artist, 1997

° Lifetime Achievement Award from the African Diaspora Awards, 2012

° Champions of the Earth Award, 2011

° Lifetime Achievement Award from the African Diaspora Awards, 2012

° Songlines Music Awards, Best Artist Category, 2013

° Keep A Child Alive’s Award for Outstanding Humanitarian Work with Oprah Winfrey, 2012

° Miroir Awards, World Music of the Festival d’ete de Quebec, 2012

° Ambassador of Conscience Award, Amnesty International, 2016

° Confédération Internationale des Sociétés d’Auteurs et Compositeurs (CISAC), 2013

° Trophee Des Arts, FIAF French Institute, Alliance Francaise, 2012

° All Africa Leadership Award, 2016

° Grammy Award, Best Contemporary World Music Album, Sings, 2015

° Arms Around the Child Award, 2014

° Grammy Award, Best Contemporary World Music Album, Sings, 2015

° David Rockefeller Bridging Leadership Award, 2015

° Impact Award, Population Council Organization, 2015

° Visionary Leadership Award, 2015

° The Dag Hammarskjold Fund, 2014

° David Rockefeller Bridging Leadership Award, 2015

° Mappie Award, 2015

° All African Music Awards, 2014

° Grammy Award for Best Contemporary World Music Album, 2015

Angelique Kidjo and one of her daughters.
Angelique Kidjo and one of her daughters.

Is Angelique Married?

Yes, kindly, Angelique got married to Jean Hebrial, a French musician and producer in 1987.

As it was, while Angelique was in Paris Jean is the producer who assisted her with musical productions.

Now, the couple is married and are living happily ever after. In 1993, they gave birth to their daughter Naimat Hebrial Kidjo.

Honorary Doctorates Degree

These among others are some of prestigious institutions that have honored Angelique with an honorary doctorate degree;

° Yale University

° Middlebury College

° Berklee College of Music

° UCLouvain University

Angelique Kidjo Quotes

° “From the moment you are clear in your vision of yourself and how you project that vision in your family, your community and in the world, that’s all that matters.”

° “I don’t care about the skin color, everybody is a human being. Beneath every skin color, you bleed red. That’s just the bottom line of the truth.”

° “It doesn’t matter what challenge you face, the most important thing is, when you fall, how you rise and how high you want to go, where you want to go from that rise on.”

° “Education is very political, because when you educate the people, then you have a country that you can’t fool anymore.”

° “Your brain is your greatest weapon. Connect it to your heart, and you can go anywhere.”

Over to you! What else do you want to know about Angelique Kidjo? Tell me about it with a comment box…

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About Samuel Ndụbụisi Ezegbunam 175 Articles
Samuel Ndụbụisi Ezegbunam is a passionate content writer with experience and accumulated skills in news writing, news reporting and independent research aimed at achieving a service-oriented and well-optimized content for audience engagement and enlightenment...'KISSing' the readers; develops engaging content for a wide variety of purposes.

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