Angelique Kidjo: 40 Year Career Celebration at Royal Albert Hall

by Sylvia Eze

On November 17th, 2023, to celebrate her 40-year career in music, Angelique Kidjo took to the stage to perform her greatest hits alongside the talented Chineke! Orchestra, led by conductor Chris Cameron. The concert, which was hosted at the Royal Albert Hall, London, also had special guest appearances like Ibrahim Maloouf, who has been nominated for a Grammy Award, and reggae star Stonebwoy.

Angelique Kidjo is a famous singer/songwriter from West Africa who is also known for being an activist and has won up to five Grammy awards throughout her career. She has been making music for over 40 years now and has released a total number of sixteen exceptional albums. 

Presently, she is widely considered one of the best and most talented musicians in the world. In 2021, Time Magazine recognized her as “Africa’s premier diva”, and they made sure to include her in their list of the 100 most influential people in the world for that year. Her recognition didn’t end there, as BBC also acknowledged her as one of the continent’s 50 most iconic figures while Forbes Magazine placed her on their list of the “Most powerful celebrities” in Africa.

Throughout her career, Kidjo has released numerous albums with elements of pop, jazz, and world music. Some of them include Logozo, Oremi, Djin Djin, and EVE. 

Her body of work far extends beyond her solo performances. She has collaborated with various artists and musical genres to offer more “refreshing and electrifying” interpretations to both old and new audiences. A few of her most notable collaborations include her album Remain in Light, a reimagining of the classic Talking Heads album, and her collaboration with the Metropole Orkest for the album SINGS. 

Additionally, her album ‘Mother Nature.’ pays tribute to the celebrated salsa singer Celia Cruz, featuring a collaboration with young West African musicians. Other than the Royal Albert Hall in London, she has performed at prestigious venues and events such as the Carnegie Hall and the Montreux Jazz Festival.

Kidjo’s musical talent has earned her multiple Grammy Awards, including Best World Music Album for her albums Djin Djin, Eve, and Celia. She is also a recipient of other prestigious awards, such as the 2015 Crystal Award from the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, and was named the 2016 Amnesty International Ambassador of Conscience. In 2018, she received the German Sustainability Award, followed by the 2023 Vilcek Prize in Music and the 2023 Polar Music Prize.

In addition to her musical success, Angelique Kidjo is actively involved in advocacy work. She serves as a UNICEF and OXFAM Goodwill Ambassador, advocating for children’s rights and supporting initiatives that empower women entrepreneurs in Africa. She also founded a charitable organization called Batonga that focuses on helping African girls access education.

Angelique Kidjo is not only an extraordinary singer-songwriter but also a passionate activist and philanthropist. Her pure and hybrid musical forms have earned her countless awards, including five Grammy wins, making her one of the top African artists to achieve such a feat.

You may also like

Leave a Comment