A look at the Mothers of African Music this Mother’s Day

Nathalie Mensah May 13, 2019

Angélique Kidjo aka “Africa’s Premiere Diva”

Starting at 8-years-old, Beninese artist Angélique Kidjo drew much of her earlier inspiration from many artists including Jimi Hendrix, Nina Simone, James Brown and South Africa’s own Miriam Makeba. In an interview with Carniege Hall she expressed how Miriam’s influence helped her during a rough patch in her early career, “She is an African woman, she had a career, she has a voice, she represented the Africa I wanted to present, if she can, I surely can.”

Her diverse group of influences spanning from Rock all the way to Latin would be a core foundation of how she would create her music. Angélique takes Africa wherever she goes and is sure to incorporate her 5 languages (Fon, French, Yoruba, Gen, and English) throughout her music. Looked at as one of the most versatile and iconic musical figures from the continent, she has collaborated with Alicia Keys, Ziggy Marley, Carlos Santana and a plethora of other artists around the world, truly showcasing her ability to be a driving force in any genre she enters without cultural compromise.

Known for: “Agolo”, “Batonga”, and renditions of “Voodoo Child” by Jimi Hendrix and “Once In a Lifetime” by the Talking Heads.

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