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HONORARY COMMISSIONER

Grammy winner Angélique Kidjo is one of the greatest artists in international music today, a creative force with twelve albums to her name. Time Magazine has called her “Africa’s premier diva”. The BBC has included her in its list of the continent’s 50 most iconic figures, and in 2011 The Guardian listed her as one of their Top 100 Most Inspiring Women in the World. Forbes Magazine has ranked Angelique as the first woman in their list of the Most Powerful Celebrities in Africa. She has collaborated with such luminaries as Peter Gabriel, Alicia Keys, Bono, John Legend, Carlos Santana, Herbie Hancock and Phili Glass. 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. Angelique also travels the world advocating on behalf of children in her capacity as a UNICEF and OXFAM goodwill Ambassador. She created her own charitable foundation, “Batonga”, dedicated to support the education of young girls in Africa. Her critically acclaimed album DJIN DJIN won a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary World Album in 2008. EVE her latest highly anticipated Savoy Records album debuted in January 2014 at number one in the Billboard World Music chart. It is dedicated to the African women, for their beauty and their resilience and was named for Angelique’s own mother as well as the mythical “mother of all living”. The Beninese born, singer/songwriter builds on this ever-evolving legacy with a 13-track, three interlude set of melodically rich, rhythmically powerful expressions of female empowerment. These songs become all the more intimate and emotionally urgent with Kidjo’s dynamic collaborations with traditional women’s choirs from Kenya and various cities and villages in Benin. The singer and her newfound native lady friends sing in a wide array of native Beninese languages, including Fon (Kidjo’s first language), Yoruba, Goun and Mina. The singer is releasing EVE in conjunction with “Spirit Rising: MY LIFE, MY MUSIC”, an autobiography published by Harper Collins. The telling of Kidjo’s dramatic rise ties in perfectly with the female empowerment themes that make Eve an epic achievement in her career.