Spirit Rising: My Life, My Music

Spirit Rising: My Life, My Music

Angélique Kidjo, Rachel Wenrick

Language: English

Pages: 144


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Grammy Award-winning singer Angélique Kidjo is known for her electrifying voice and fearless advocacy work. In this intimate memoir, she reveals how she escaped Communist Africa to make her dreams a reality, and how she's prompting others all around the world to reach for theirs as well.

Born in the West African nation of Benin, Angélique Kidjo grew up surrounded by the rich sounds, rhythms, and storytelling of traditional Beninese culture. When the Communists took over, they silenced her dynamic culture and demanded that she sing in praise of them. In Spirit Rising: My Life, My Music, Angélique reveals the details of her dangerous escape into France, and how she rose from poverty to become a Grammy Award--winning artist and an international sensation at the top of Billboard's World Albums chart. She also explains why it's important to give back by sharing stories from her work as a UNICEF ambassador and as founder of the Batonga Foundation, which gives African girls access to education.

Desmond Tutu has contributed the foreword to this remarkable volume; Alicia Keys has provided an introduction. Her eloquent, inspiring narrative is paired with more than one hundred colorful photographs documenting Angélique's life and experiences, as well as a sampling of recipes that has sustained her on her remarkable odyssey.

Bill Bryson's African Diary (UK Edition)

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Lost Boy, Lost Girl: Escaping Civil War in Sudan

African Independence: How Africa Shapes the World

















curse and my grammar was impeccable, but by the end of the year I’d learned to use bad language just so they would accept me. I embraced this a little too much because even today I tend to swear a lot. I loved jazz because it helped me understand the connections between classical music, pop, and African rhythms. I studied the way the musical notes flowed together. I also studied its history and influence on popular culture. I learned how jazzmen like Coltrane revered their African roots, and how

friend Branford Marsalis. Island Records The whole team behind Miami Sound Machine was part of the extensive community of Cubans living in exile. We did the preproduction work for Logozo in a suite in one of their offices. Everyone was speaking Cuban Spanish with its dropped and soft consonants. It was the opposite of the Fon language. Its sonorities are so rough and course with all kinds of percussive consonants. It drives Jean crazy when we write songs. We have to work really hard—and

London accent, she is a tornado. She came to UNICEF from CNN and brought that culture of making things happen with her. We soon found ourselves in a small village at the frontier, gathered in a hut behind someone’s house. It provided some shade, but the sun still made its way through the woven palm fronds, spilling onto the sand under our feet. I was given a seat behind a little table. The men, each wearing a henna-dyed beard in the Muslim tradition, sat across from me. Dheepa was standing

truce ending hostilities with the militia, a quick return to normal life was impossible. The devastation was too great. Some people returned to their homes, some remained in the refugee camps, but everyone was traumatized. We arrived in a camp that consisted of huts made of dried mud as far as the eye could see. It was then that I realized the scale of the conflict that had displaced so many. I went from hut to hut and tried to talk to as many people as possible. Speaking with a pregnant woman

me, “You have to promise not to cancel any show for me. Please promise. You were born to do this. It is a gift to be able to give joy and empower people.” I knew I had to keep my word. Manu and Evelyn helped me gather myself before the show. I barely put on any makeup. Evelyn had to help me get dressed. I thought maybe somehow my father had chosen where I was to be when he died. In a place that could help me. I’ve always loved Scandinavian countries because the women are empowered. Gender

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