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ISPA Distinguished Artist Award Recipient - Angélique Kidjo

ISPA Award Recipient

Angélique Kidjo

Angélique Kidjo

2020 Distinguished Artist Award Recipient

Three-time Grammy Award winner Angélique Kidjo is one of the greatest artists in international music today, a creative force with fourteen albums to her name. Time Magazine has called her "Africa's premier diva”; 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.

As a performer, her striking voice, stage presence and fluency in multiple cultures and languages have won respect from her peers and expanded her following across national borders. Kidjo has cross-pollinated the West African traditions of her childhood in Benin with elements of American R&B, funk and jazz, as well as influences from Europe and Latin America.

After exploring the roads of Africa's diaspora — through Brazil, Cuba and The United States — and offering an electrifying take on the Talking Heads album Remain In Light (called “one of the year’s most vibrant albums” by the Washington Post), the French-Beninese singer is now reflecting on an icon of the Americas, celebrated salsa singer Celia Cruz. Kidjo’s album Celia divests itself of the glamour to investigate the African roots of the Cuban-born woman who became the "Queen" of salsa.

Angelique also advocates on behalf of children as a UNICEF Ambassador. She created her own charitable foundation, Batonga, dedicated to support the education of young girls in Africa.

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