Angelique Kidjo, one of Africa’s most prominent musicians, won her third Grammy on earlier this week and dedicated it to all the aspiring artists on the African continent.
The Beninese-born singer won the Grammy for Best World Music Album for “Sings,” a collection of her songs infused with Western classical traditions in a collaboration with the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg.
This is the second consecutive year that Kidjo has won the Best World Music Album prize, after last year’s “Eve” that paid tribute to African women.
A very happy Kidjo, dressed in a colorful African dress, ran to the stage to accept the award and danced to James Brown’s “I Feel Good,” performed by a pit orchestra.
“I want to dedicate this Grammy to all the traditional musicians in Africa, in my country, to all the young generation,” Kidjo said.
“Africa is on the rise, Africa is positive, Africa is joyful,” she said.
“Let’s get together and be one with music, and say no to hate and violence,” she said to applause.
Kidjo, who is based in New York and plans another concert at Carnegie Hall in the upcoming season, said she was open to further work with artists of other genres.
“I work with everyone who believes that music is the tool of peace. For me, music is the only form of art that connects the entire world,” she told AFP after accepting the award.
– ‘Open-minded’ awards –
Kidjo has long worked with Philip Glass, one of the leading living US composers.
Glass notably worked with Kidjo on music set to three poems from Yoruba mythology.
The three others in contention for the World Music Grammy were all previous nominees — sitarist Anoushka Shankar, Brazilian legend Gilberto Gil and South Africa’s Ladysmith Black Mambazo.