Angélique Kidjo Biography: Age, Husband, Children, Awards & Net Worth

Angélique Kidjo – Parakou

Stage Name  Angélique Kidjo
Real Name Angélique Kidjo
Occupation Musician
Date Of Birth/Age 14th July, 1960 (63 years old)
Gender Female
Height 5 feet 8 inches
Weight 60kg
Place of Birth French Dahomey
State of Origin Ouidah
Nationality Benin
Marital Status Jean Hébrail- (Husband)
Education Berklee College of Music
Known for Parakou

Early Life

Angélique Kidjo is a Beninese-French singer-songwriter, actress, and activist known for her diverse musical influences and creative music videos. Born on July 14, 1960, in Ouidah, French Dahomey (now Benin), Kidjo comes from a family of performing artists. Her father was a musician, and her mother worked as a choreographer and theater director. Moreover, her mother is from Iseyin, a town in Oyo State, while her father is from the Fon people of Ouidah. 

Music Career

Kidjo’s musical style is a fusion of various genres, including traditional African music, jazz, pop, and funk. She has won five Grammy Awards and is recognized for her powerful voice and energetic stage presence. In 2007, Time magazine referred to her as “Africa’s premier diva.”

Early in her career, Kidjo faced challenges due to political conflicts in Benin, which led her to relocate to Paris in the 1980s. She initially planned to become a human rights lawyer but ended up studying music at the CIM, a renowned jazz school in Paris. There, she met musician and producer Jean Hebrail, whom she later married.

Albums

Kidjo’s first international album, “Parakou,” was released in 1989, marking the beginning of her collaboration with Jean Hebrail. She gained widespread recognition with albums like “Logozo,” which reached number one on the Billboard World Albums chart in 1991. Over the years, Kidjo has continued to release successful albums, exploring themes ranging from African roots to social and environmental issues.

Her notable albums include “Djin Djin,” which won a Grammy for Best Contemporary World Music Album, and “Eve,” dedicated to the women of Africa. “Remain in Light” (2018) is a track-by-track re-imagination of Talking Heads’ landmark 1980 album, showcasing Kidjo’s ability to blend different musical styles.

Angélique Kidjo at a concert
Angélique Kidjo at a concert

Achievements

In addition to her musical achievements, Kidjo is a passionate activist. Since 2002, she has served as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, advocating for children’s rights. She has traveled to various African countries with UNICEF, addressing issues such as education and healthcare.

Kidjo is also involved in numerous other charitable initiatives. She founded The Batonga Foundation in 2006, aiming to empower and educate adolescent girls in sub-Saharan Africa. The foundation focuses on providing education, safe spaces, and mentorship to girls, emphasizing financial independence and empowerment.

Her advocacy extends to climate change, women’s rights, and social justice. Kidjo has collaborated with various artists and organizations to raise awareness and support causes such as the fight against HIV/AIDS and poverty reduction.

In 2019, Kidjo was named the spokesperson for the AFAWA initiative (Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa) during the G7 Summit. This initiative aims to close the financing gap for women entrepreneurs in Africa.

Angélique Kidjo and Yemi Alade
Angélique Kidjo and Yemi Alade
Also Read on

Awards and Achievements

Angélique Kidjo’s contributions to music and activism have earned her numerous awards and accolades throughout her career. Here are some of the notable honors she has received:

Grammy Awards

Kidjo has won multiple Grammy Awards, showcasing her excellence in the music industry.

Her album “Djin Djin” won the Grammy for Best Contemporary World Music Album in 2008.

“Eve,” dedicated to the women of Africa, won the Grammy Award for Best Global Music Album at the 57th Grammy Awards in 2015.

The album “Celia,” a tribute to Cuban singer Celia Cruz, won the Grammy Award for Best World Music Album in 2020.

Polar Music Prize (2023)

Angélique Kidjo was awarded the prestigious Polar Music Prize in 2023. This award is often referred to as the “Nobel Prize of Music” and recognizes exceptional contributions to the world of music.

Time 100 Most Influential People (2021)

In September 2021, Time magazine included Kidjo in their list of the 100 most influential people in the world, acknowledging her impact as a musician and activist.

Other Recognitions

  • Kidjo’s album “Logozo” is ranked number 37 in the Greatest Dance Albums of All Time list compiled by Vice magazine’s Thump website.
  • She received the Africa Festival Award in Würzburg, Germany, in 1998.
  • Kidjo is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador since 2002, actively participating in various initiatives for the well-being of children.

Husband and Kids

In 1987, Angélique Kidjo married Jean Hébrail, a French musician and producer. The couple has a daughter named Naima, born in 1993 in France.

Net Worth

Her net worth is estimated to be $5 million. You can connect with her on Instagram.

error: