Posted by: koolwine | April 30, 2017

Benin: Spirit Rising

Angélique Kidjo’s inspiring memoir chronicles her rise from child singer to global superstar and activist.

Country Focus: Benin

Spirit Rising: My Life, My Music
By Angélique Kidjo with Rachel Wenrick
Forward by Desmond Tutu
Introduction by Alicia Keys
Published by Harper Design, 2014.
255 pgs.

Genre: Memoir

About the author:  Kidjo is a three-time Grammy Award-winning musician who passionately believes in the unifying power of music. “Listening to music, the color of a person disappears, language disappears. Even enemies listen to the same music.” Kidjo has been a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador since 2002. In 2007, she founded the Batonga Foundation to promote and provide secondary and higher education for African girls.

World Lit Up Rating:
(On a scale of 1-5, with 1 book = turned off and 5 books = lit up)

Angelique Kidjo


That day, when I learned of apartheid, I wrote “Azan Nan Kpé,” which means that the day will come when there won’t be any oppression or oppressed anymore. The first version of that song was very, very violent. My father said to me, “Not in my house. No violence in my house. No hatred in my house. Music has nothing to do with hatred. I understand your frustration and I understand your anger, but you’re going to revise your copy. You can’t use your songs to add fuel to the fire. Music is supposed to bring people together and fight for peace, because it is art and beauty, not just politics.” To this day, I always keep this in mind when I write a song.

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