Angélique Kidjo is a creative force noted for her diverse musical influences and global activism.

Why you should listen

Five-time Grammy Award winner Angélique Kidjo is a creative force in international music, with 14 albums to her name. As a performer, her striking voice, stage presence and fluency in multiple cultures and languages have won respect from her peers and a following that extends across national borders. Her music cross-pollinates the West African traditions of her childhood in Benin with elements of R&B, funk and jazz, as well as influences from Europe and Latin America.

As a UNICEF and Oxfam ambassador, Kidjo also travels the world advocating on behalf of children. At the G7 Summit in 2019, French President Emmanuel Macron named her spokesperson for the AFAWA initiative (Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa) to help close the financing gap for women entrepreneurs in Africa. She has also created her own charitable foundation, Batonga, dedicated to supporting the education of young African girls.

TIME magazine called Kidjo "Africa's premier diva" and named her one of the most influential people in the world in 2021. The BBC, Forbes magazine and The Guardian have all highlighted her importance to the people of the African continent. She is the recipient of the 2015 Crystal Award given by the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the 2016 Amnesty International Ambassador of Conscience Award and the 2018 German Sustainability Award.

Angélique Kidjo’s TED talk

More news and ideas from Angélique Kidjo


TEDWomen Presents: Women leading joy, with Angélique Kidjo and Femi Oke

October 28, 2022

Joy is one of the most under-prioritized essentials to social progress. How do we reconnect to it during life’s hardest moments? The fifth and final day of TEDWomen Presents — an online festival featuring interviews with leading women, interactive workshops, specially curated film screenings and more — focused on the value of joy, with a […]

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