Program Books/Angélique Kidjo (she/her)

Angélique Kidjo (she/her)

concept, music, and principal

Global pop star and five-time Grammy winner Angélique Kidjo is an international creative force. Her striking voice, illuminating stage presence, and fluency in multiple cultures and languages have 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. She has received the prestigious Crystal Award from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland (2015) and the Amnesty International Ambas­sador of Con­science Award (2016). Kidjo has appeared in several films, and she was named Best Actress in a Supporting Role at the African Movie Academy Awards for her performance in Nigerian director Kunle Afolayan’s The CEO. It’s no surprise that acting is also in her blood. Kidjo’s mother founded a theater company in Benin, and Kidjo made her stage debut at age six.

Yemandja represents Kidjo’s first foray into musical theater.