Thursday, October 29, 2015

Africa's Premier Diva: Angélique Kidjo and "Bahia"

The legendary Angélique Kidjo sings the random tune for today, Bahia. A Grammy award winning singer-songwriter from Benin, Kidjo regularly makes world lists of notable and inspiring African women and as one of the world's greatest musicians. She is known for an astonishing variety of musical influences from diverse musical personalities and an array of genres. She sings in four languages (Fon, Yoruba, French and English) as well as her own personal language. After a childhood in Benin listening to traditional Beninese music as well as other world stars such as Fela Kuti, James Brown, Miriam Makeba, Jimi Hendrix, Hugh Masakela and Stevie Wonder, among others, she began her musical career in Benin before moving to Paris in 1983 where she was discovered and signed to a major label. She has put out at least 15 albums. She does various forms of advocacy for UNICEF, African girls' education, hunger and third world health, among other things. Bahia can be found on her 2002 album Black Ivory Soul, and on the compilation CD Putumayo Presents: Women of Africa (2004). This video is from a live performance at the Newport Jazz Festival.