175 x 238 x 25mm
Arguably one of the most powerful women of our generation, singer/songwriter/activist ANGLEIQUE KIDJO has been dubbed “Africa’s Premier Diva” by Time Magazine, listed by The Guardian as one of the 100 Most Inspiring Women in the World, named by BBC as one of Africa’s 50 most iconic figures, described by The Daily Telegraph as “the undisputed queen of African music.” Her close circle of friends, which include the likes of Alicia Keys, Carlos Santana, Dave Matthews, Peter Gabriel, and Josh Groban, have shaped the music world with her at their side. Bill Clinton gave a speech praising her. Nelson Mandela considers her a confidante. Barack Obama specially requested her to perform for him.
Before Angelique Kidjo became the Grammy-award winning, Billboard topping, world-traveling star she is today; before she became a UNICEF Ambassador, the creator of the Batonga Foundation making education accessible to girls all around Africa, and before she embarked on her journey to unite different world cultures through music, she was a young girl living in Benin, her voice censored by the Communist regime. Angelique Kidjo: Recipes for the Soul is her story, in her own words, of how she made her dreams a reality and how she’s prompting others all around the world to do the same.
The story begins with young Angelique surrounded by the rich sounds, rhythms, and storytelling of traditional Beninese culture. When the Communists take over, they take this away. They name her the national star, but demand that she sing only in praise of them.
After a dangerous escape into France, she finds herself penniless, sleeping in the Metro, struggling to make ends meet. But she never loses her faith in the good of mankind; her core belief that the world can be united through empathy, compassion, music, and love never quavers. In 1991, this pays off. The good will she puts out circles its way back to her. A music agency finds her and without any name recognition, her album Logozo sells 40,000 copies. It becomes #1 on the Billboard World Music Tour, and for the first time, she gets to travel the world, to spread warmth and goodwill around globe.
Today, more than a decade later, Angelique has released ten albums. She’s won a Grammy, been nominated for eight. She’s topped the Billboard lists numerous times. She has a home in New York and a family, she’s achieved the “American Dream.” Yet she isn’t content to the world as it. She continues to spend her time traveling every year, and at each performance she encourages audience members to join her on stage, to dance with her, because this is her natural impulse. Boys and girls, women and men, of all cultures experience the high of what it’s like to be in her presence. The elegant text in this book seeps with wisdom. Each page leads into the next and is filled with colorful photographs documenting her life and experiences. It also has a recipe that opens each chapter, one that sets the flavor for what’s to come. In Benin, readers will get a taste of Angelique’s grandmother’s home cooking. In Paris, a meager stew with just a bit of added spice has to sustain her. In the States, they’ll get a recipe for shrimp and crab meat. This is a gift from Angelique to her readers because for her, there are two things in life that sustain us: music and food.