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Biography of Angélique Kidjo, Facts, Real Name, Age, Net-worth, Awards, Family, Relationships


Angélique Kidjo is a Beninese singer-songwriter, actress, and activist who is known for her diverse musical style that talks about social vices.

Kidjo was born in Ouidah, Benin. Her father is from the Fon people of Ouidah and her mother is from the Yoruba people in Nigeria.

She grew up listening to Yoruba and Beninese traditional music, Miriam Makeba, Hugh Masekela, James Brown, Manu Dibango, Otis Redding, Jimi Hendrix, Fela Kuti, Stevie Wonder, Osibisa, and Santana.

By the time she was six, Kidjo was performing with her mother’s theatre troupe giving her an early appreciation for traditional music and dance.

She was born into a family of performing artists. Her father was a musician, and her mother worked as a choreographer and theatre director.

Full Name: Angélique Kpasseloko Hinto Hounsinou Kandjo Manta Zogbin Kidjo

Date of Birth: July 14, 1960

Place of Birth: Ouidah, French Dahomey (now Benin)

Age: 61

Nationality: Beninese

Genre: Afropop Afrobeat, Reggae world, Music world

Occupation: Singer Songwriter, Actress

Record label: Island Mango, PolyGram Columbia Razor & Tie429

Instruments: Vocals

Net-worth: $5 Million


She started singing in her school band, Les Sphinx and found success as a teenager with her adaptation of Miriam Makeba’s “Les Trois Z”, which played on national radio.

She recorded the album Pretty with the Cameroonian producer Ekambi Brilliant and her brother Oscar. It featured the songs “Ninive”, “Gbe Agossi” and a tribute to the singer Bella Bellow, one of her role models.

She studied music at the CIM, a reputable jazz school in Paris where she met musician and producer Jean Hebrail, with whom she has composed most of her music and whom she married in 1987.

She started out as a backup singer in local bands. In 1985, she became the front singer of Jasper van ‘t Hof’s Euro-African jazz/rock band Pili Pili. Three Pili Pili studio albums followed: Jakko (1987), Be In Two Minds (1988, produced by Marlon Klein) and Hotel Babo (1990).

She was then ‘discovered’ in Paris by Island Records founder Chris Blackwell, who signed her in 1991.

Kidjo’s first international album Parakou, first released in 1989, was the beginning of a series of collaborations with producer and composer Jean Hébrail and featured Jasper van’t Hof.

Her first album for Island Records was recorded between Miami and Paris and produced by Miami Sound Machine drummer Joe Galdo and features Branford Marsalis and Manu DiBango on saxophones.

In 1998, she started a trilogy of albums (Oremi, Black Ivory Soul and Oyaya) exploring the African roots of the music of the Americas.

Oremi was produced by Peter Mokran and Jean Hebrail, recorded in New York, Oremi is a collection of songs mixing African and African-American influences.

She partnered with producer Jeff Bhasker (Rihanna, Kanye West, Harry Styles, Bruno Mars, Drake, Jay-Z) to create Remain in Light.

The record is a track-by-track re-imagination of Talking Heads’ landmark 1980 album, considered to be one of the greatest albums of the ’80s and deeply influenced by music from West Africa, notably Fela Kuti’s afrobeat.

She released another album Mother Nature in 2021, It features many collaborations with young African producers and singers including Yemi Alade, Burna Boy Mr Eazi, Zeynab, Shungudzo, Sampa The Great, Rexxie, African legend Salif Keita and French singer Matthieu Chedid.

IFÉ was premiered in 2014 it is a compilation of Three Yoruba songs for Angelique Kidjo and the Orchestre Philharmonique Du Luxembourg conducted by Jonathan Stockhammer at the Philharmonie hall in Luxembourg.

Philip Glass wrote the orchestral music based on three creation poems in Yoruba sung by Kidjo.

Personal Life:

She is married to French musician and producer Jean Hébrail they are blessed with a daughter Naima, who was born in 1993.

Kidjo founded The Batonga Foundation, which empowers some of the most vulnerable and hardest-to-reach young women and girls in Benin with the knowledge and skills they need to be agents of change in their own lives and communities.

UNICEF and Pampers launched a campaign to eradicate Tetanus “Give the Gift of Life” and asked Kidjo to produce the song “You Can Count On Me” to support the campaign. Each download of the song donates a vaccine to a mother or a mother-to-be.

Kidjo is a contributor to the Art Of Saving A Life Campaign initiated by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

At the G7 Summit in 2019, President Macron of France named Kidjo as the spokesperson for the AFAWA initiative (Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa) to help close the financing gap for women entrepreneurs in Africa.



Ewa Ka Djo (Let’s Dance)[citation needed]






Keep On Moving: The Best of Angelique Kidjo

Black Ivory Soul


Djin Djin


Spirit Rising

Mother Nature




“Wombo Lombo”



TV Shows:

Later with Jools Holland
Late Show with David Letterman in 2007
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in 2007
NOW with Bill Moyers in 2002
Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher in 2003
CBS Early Show in 2007
Austin City Limits in 2015


Time included her in their list of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2021.

She was on the list of the BBC’s 100 Women announced on 23 November 2020. In 2011, The Guardian listed her as one of its Top 100 Women in art, film, music and fashion and Kidjo is the first woman to be listed among “The 40 Most Powerful Celebrities in Africa” by Forbes magazine.

Forbes Afrique put Kidjo on the cover of their “100 most influential women” issue in 2015. On June 6, 2013, Kidjo was elected vice-president of the Confédération Internationale des Sociétés d’Auteurs et Compositeurs (CISAC).

Kidjo has received honorary doctorates from Yale University, Berklee College of Music, Middlebury College and UCLouvain.

Prix Découverte RFI SACEM (France, 1991)

Octave RFI (France, 1992)

Prix Afrique en Creation (France, 1992)

Danish Music Awards: Best Female Singer (Denmark, 1995)

Kora Music Awards: Best African Female artist (Africa, 1997)

Mobo Awards for Best World Music Act (UK, 2002)

Médaille De Vermeil De La Ville De Paris (France, 2004)

Africa-Festival Award (Germany, 2006)

SAFDA African Pride Award (South Africa, 2006)

Antonio Carlos Jobim Award (Canada, 2007)

N.A.A.C.P. Image Award for Outstanding World Music Album (USA, 2008)

Grammy Award for Best Contemporary World Music Album (USA, 2008)

Go Global World Music Award (Denmark, 2008)

Medal of the Presidency of the Italian Republic (Italy, 2008)

Commander of the National Order of Benin (Benin, 2008)

Making a Difference for Women Award from the National Council for Research on Women (USA, 2009)

Afropop Hall of Fame (USA, 2009)

Celebrating Women Award from the New York Women’s Foundation (USA, 2009)

Premio Tenco Prize for her entire singing career (Italy, 2009)

On May 8, 2010, Kidjo was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Music by Berklee College (USA)

Officier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (France, 2010)

Grand Prix Des Musiques Du Monde De La Sacem for her entire songwriting career (France, 2010)

Prix Special de la Francophonie (Washington DC, USA, 2011)

Champions of the Earth Award (United Nations, 2011)

Angelique won the Grammy for Best world music album at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards in 2020.

The UCLouvain University gave an Honorary Doctorate to Angelique Kidjo along with Nuccio Ordine and François Taddei

Kidjo’s Grammy nominations include the Best Music Video of 1995 and Best World Music Album for works completed in 1999, 2003, 2005, 2007, 2010, 2014 2015, 2019 and 2020.

Kidjo was included in the 2020 BBC 100 Women list. The list compiles “the most inspiring and influential women in the World in 2020”

Angelique was awarded the Legion of Honor, the highest French award of merit along with Roberto Alagna and Yann Arthus Bertrand in 2021.

Time magazine included Angelique in their Time 100 list.

March 2022, Forbes Woman Africa Entertainer Award.

Angelique’s Mother Nature wins “Best Global Music Album” at the 64th Grammy award on April 3rd, 2022.

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