Angélique Kidjo began her rise to fame in the 1980s. Acclaimed singer and prolific songwriter, she is globally recognized for her many hits, such as Adouma, Batonga and We We, and Grammy-winning albums like Oyo and Djin Djin, among others. This Beninese-French music icon achieved global stardom with panache, winning five Grammy awards during her illustrious career that has yielded 16 albums, so far. She is fluent and sings in five languages, including in her native Fon and Yoruba.


Following in the footsteps of Myriam Makeba and Celia Cruz, Angélique Kidjo personifies both the diversity and unity of peoples worldwide. It comes to no surprise, then, that she has been ranked among Forbes’s list of Africa’s Most Powerful Women! Despite her many awards, Kidjo’s strong humanistic commitment to the world’s most vulnerable remains undiminished. In fact, this passionate campaigner for women’s and children’s rights was appointed UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in 2002.


Recent winner of the 2023 Polar Music Prize—often referred to as the Nobel Prize of Music—Kidjo shares her Benin with the world through her music and powerful voice.  Time magazine once dubbed her “Africa’s premier diva” and, in 2021, listed her among the world’s most influential people. Now a proud New Yorker, she made music history in during the 2009 Mandela Day celebration, when she teamed up with the distinguished Alicia Keys to sing her classic, “Afrika.”


An inexhaustible creative force and source of inspiration, the singer-songwriter has been masterfully combining the divine rhythms of West Africa with those of R&B, funk and jazz, as well as incorporating European and Latin American elements. In fact, the jury for the Swedish-based Polar Music Prize described her as one of the best singer-songwriters in global music.

Angélique Kidjo
Festival international Nuits d'Afrique - 37e