free hit counter code Spirit Rising: My Life, My Music - GoBooks - Download Free Book
Ads Banner
Hot Best Seller

Spirit Rising: My Life, My Music

Availability: Ready to download

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 ric 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.


Compare
Ads Banner

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 ric 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.

30 review for Spirit Rising: My Life, My Music

  1. 5 out of 5

    Petra-X

    Angelique Kidjo has been one of my favourite singers since my days of writing about World music (a term she and Miriam Makeba despise) as a journalist. She's won a couple of Grammies, and as this book makes clear she is singer, a musician, of great depth. She's not in any way related to a pop princess who are just flavour of the month and whose talents mostly rely on not too many clothes and a great deal of production. (view spoiler)[ Beyonce, Rihanna, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga et al. I do like Riha Angelique Kidjo has been one of my favourite singers since my days of writing about World music (a term she and Miriam Makeba despise) as a journalist. She's won a couple of Grammies, and as this book makes clear she is singer, a musician, of great depth. She's not in any way related to a pop princess who are just flavour of the month and whose talents mostly rely on not too many clothes and a great deal of production. (view spoiler)[ Beyonce, Rihanna, Katy Perry, Lady Gaga et al. I do like Rihanna and Beyonce, but talent is not what they are famous for. (hide spoiler)] . Not that Angelique despises production. Quite the contrary, she's very precise about who she wants to produce her songs, and will call in people from all over the world to get the rhythms and vibes she seeks. Arguably her version of Gershwin's Summertime given it's African flavour is the best ever. The first section of the book is about Angelique's interesting childhood in a liberal, feminist household in Benin and her development as a singer. Most of the rest of the book is about Angelique the singer, how she made records, where she made them, her inspirations and other musicians. It really helps if you know who she is talking about and can hear the different rhythms and genres of music in your head. I'm not sure I would have enjoyed the book so much if I hadn't been familiar with most of them. Angelique travels from Benin to her base in France, thence to America, Jamaica, Latin America and Cuba among other countries and traces the roots of the music in Africa, especially the drums. In Cuba, they have kept the words in one ritual song alive for centuries but never knew what they meant. Angelique did and translated it for them. The last quarter of the book is about Angelique's involvement as a UN Ambassador in Africa, mostly trying to raise the status of women. One of the most interesting things was that in one country, goitre (hypothyroidsm) is endemic (as it is in areas of South Wales where I am from). This is due to lack of iodine in the diet and easily cured by adding iodine to salt. There is a small device costing a single dollar that will change the colour of salt in the presence of iodine so that women can buy it and make sure they are getting what they need. Salt purveyors also buy it to show that they are selling iodised salt. Such a simple and cheap treatment, but not a 'sexy' newsworthy one that the journalist flock out to Africa and do documentaries on. The last section of the book is back to Angelique's personal life again. She was very attached to her father and when he died and made her promise to not stop singing, she had to sing that same night in Finland. She did, but could not do an encore. She explained to the crowd that her father had died that morning and she couldn't sing an encore. The whole crowed stood up in sympathy. It was very moving to read. I've seen Angelique on stage. She's not so much beautiful as really unique looking, small and very curvy and muscular and as strong a dancer as she is a powerful singer. If you've never heard her sing anything, Naima (and ode to her daughter who is mixed race as her French husband is white) sung with Santana is a good place to start. Here's the Youtube video. Also Agolo, which is one of my favourite songs. This video is of a performance on British tv. The opening of the song always brings out goose pimples on my arms, it's so powerful. In real life where the stage was much better, her dancing and that of her backing singers filled it. If you click on it, I hope you enjoy it. GR deleting books and reviews again (view spoiler)[and pretending it doesn't happen. Or is it the sort of librarians who think being on the Top Librarians list is the best thing since sliced bread? White sliced bread isn't good for you and librarians like that aren't either. I added this book to 'currently reading' a short while ago, it had the notes (beneath) and 13 likes. Today I came to update the status as I'm reading and really enjoying this book and it had DISAPPEARED from my booklist. Just not there.... No point in writing to Support because I've done it so many times and they palm me off with some anodyne copy and pasted answer that means nothing at all. No point in putting this on Feedback. Others will say that it has happened to them, but all you get is some "concerned" mod saying please to provide examples and email Support. Provide examples on Feedback and get ignored. Send them in and ... get ignored. But I've always wondered why this happens and if it has anything to do with librarians (some of whom are in it to be on the Best Librarian list and care nothing for accuracy) and combining. This is what was deleted: "I used to be a World music journalist - mostly African. Angelique Kidjo was one of my favourite singers. Even now her songs Agolo and Naima are going through my head. Her version of the Gerwin classic Summertime is superlative. I saw her live a few times but never met her. She could really, really dance. And now she's a political activist. Sounds a really interesting book I've just got to read. " (hide spoiler)]

  2. 4 out of 5

    Mysia

    When I received an advance reading copy of SPIRIT RISING, I knew absolutely nothing about either the life or the music of Angelique Kidjo. While I have yet to hear her sing, I now count myself among the fans of this remarkable artist and activist. Angelique's personal success story of overcoming obstacles and defying stereotypes is as inspiring as her commitment to uniting diverse musical styles while raising global respect for Africa's contributions to contemporary culture.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ann

    I first heard Angelique Kidjo on NPR and thought her biography might be interesting. But, what a great surprise this was. Most biographies have a few black and white photos in the center. This is a gorgeous full color, glossy coffee table book. The chapter dividers are beautiful prints of African fabric. The attention to detail is amazing. Every page is beautifully put together. The most amazing thing is that, after reading this, I feel like I know Angelique. I have heard that, at her concerts, I first heard Angelique Kidjo on NPR and thought her biography might be interesting. But, what a great surprise this was. Most biographies have a few black and white photos in the center. This is a gorgeous full color, glossy coffee table book. The chapter dividers are beautiful prints of African fabric. The attention to detail is amazing. Every page is beautifully put together. The most amazing thing is that, after reading this, I feel like I know Angelique. I have heard that, at her concerts, the audience comes up on stage to sing and dance with her. Now I know why. She is a true artist and a warm human being whose goal is to share her music and love of Africa. I have been listening to her music on Youtube and become a real fan.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Shirleynature

    Angélique Kidjo uses her world-renowned singer-songwriter voice to empower; she is a wise, humanitarian truth-teller. And her music is captivatingly joyful. Read her book to learn about her family, advocacy work and rich, culturally-sensitive world-wide music career. Visually stunning personal photos are interspersed throughout and her favorite recipes are included in the back. I dove into this book after reading Swing Time by Zadie Smith. This has been an illuminating, complementary follow-up fo Angélique Kidjo uses her world-renowned singer-songwriter voice to empower; she is a wise, humanitarian truth-teller. And her music is captivatingly joyful. Read her book to learn about her family, advocacy work and rich, culturally-sensitive world-wide music career. Visually stunning personal photos are interspersed throughout and her favorite recipes are included in the back. I dove into this book after reading Swing Time by Zadie Smith. This has been an illuminating, complementary follow-up for the shared topic of educational opportunities for girls in Africa and themes of rhythm and dance. I’m comparing Kidjo’s nonfiction memoir to Smith’s latest fictional novel. Angélique Kidjo’s memoir shares real-life wisdom about music’s power to transcend language barriers and insight for the diversity of rhythms throughout the African continent. She also explains many of the challenges for girls in Africa, including the widespread lack of educational support. She has traveled to many different countries in Africa as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and co-founder of the Batonga Foundation for Girls’ Education in Africa. A quote from her book: “We created the Batonga Foundation to give girls access to a secondary education, so they can become leaders and change Africa. The solution to Africa’s problems must be provided by Africans who’ve experienced them firsthand, especially the African women who are the continent’s backbone.” By contrast, the fictional book Swing Time by Zadie Smith includes a fictional Australian music popstar who decides to fund a girls’ school somewhere in Africa; her commitment is questioned because she doesn’t holistically address the infrastructure of the school nor the students’ needs. Swing Time by Zadie Smith is a coming-of-age story with clever, searing insights about friendship, race, class and more. It’s also filled with serendipitous truth & wit and framed in vivid reflections of cultural icons and dance perfection. I’m so glad to have read both of these books! I wrote a blog article to celebrate Angélique Kidjo's advocacy, book-memoir & her music, http://www.lawrence.lib.ks.us/2016/12...

  5. 4 out of 5

    Andre

    As a fan of her music, the book does provide some insight into her being, like what sparked her to write certain songs, what musical artists inspired her to pursue a career in entertainment, etc. Angélique Kidjo has lived a charmed life, relatively speaking. She comes from a solid family that was very supportive and encouraging. While growing up in Benin, she was able to have access to James Brown and Aretha Franklin, whom she says is the first woman she ever saw on an album cover. Readers will As a fan of her music, the book does provide some insight into her being, like what sparked her to write certain songs, what musical artists inspired her to pursue a career in entertainment, etc. Angélique Kidjo has lived a charmed life, relatively speaking. She comes from a solid family that was very supportive and encouraging. While growing up in Benin, she was able to have access to James Brown and Aretha Franklin, whom she says is the first woman she ever saw on an album cover. Readers will find enjoyment in her story as you follow her from child to international recording star. One can appreciate her tenacity in maintaining her cultural voice and speaking it the world. Too often, artists get turned into marketing machines and what starts out as wanting to bring your particular music to the world stage gets lost in all the expert "advice." She never lets African music take a back seat to any other music from around the world. She asserts the validity of the music and certainly all readers root for one who fights for their truth. The book itself is beautifully designed with plenty of pictures and the pages are akin to those found in art books. She even includes some of her favorite recipes at the end of the book, the only thing lacking was a complete discography!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Trevor Nicholson

    I have been a huge fan of Angelique Kidjo for many years and have even been fortunate to see her perform live twice. She is such a vibrant, warm, talented musician that you can't help but fall in love with her personality and talent. Unfortunately, as much as I was a fan of her, I knew very little about where she came from, and so I was extremely excited when I saw that she had a book coming out. This book was everything I had hoped it would be. It gave me a window into the life of a woman that I have been a huge fan of Angelique Kidjo for many years and have even been fortunate to see her perform live twice. She is such a vibrant, warm, talented musician that you can't help but fall in love with her personality and talent. Unfortunately, as much as I was a fan of her, I knew very little about where she came from, and so I was extremely excited when I saw that she had a book coming out. This book was everything I had hoped it would be. It gave me a window into the life of a woman that I've idolized for years. It gave me the opportunity to learn about her upbringing, culture, and the meaning of many of the songs I've grown to love. There is a lot in this book explaining the importance West Africa has played in the global music scene, and provides some incredible insight into the history of slavery and voodoo. I loved every part of this book, and found it nearly impossible to put down, which is why I read it much faster than I normally read any book. I love this book and would recommend it to anybody, even if you have never heard Angelique sing. She is a fierce, strong woman that everyone will love.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Maya

    Spirit Rising was just fantastic – I rarely read biographies, but I just had to read Angélique’s! I learnt so much more about her life – about how her career began in Benin but that she had to flee to Paris where she tried to break into the music scene whilst living in some questionable accommodation, about the meanings behind the albums of hers that I love; how she went around the world to find out about the links between genres and styles of music – particularly those with African roots – abou Spirit Rising was just fantastic – I rarely read biographies, but I just had to read Angélique’s! I learnt so much more about her life – about how her career began in Benin but that she had to flee to Paris where she tried to break into the music scene whilst living in some questionable accommodation, about the meanings behind the albums of hers that I love; how she went around the world to find out about the links between genres and styles of music – particularly those with African roots – about her marriage and the birth of her daughter and about the work she has done on behalf of UNICEF and her own foundation. I couldn’t put the book down and I have to admit I cried a little when I finished it – I was sad to say goodbye to my insight into the world of one of my role models. If you are into music and interested in Angelique Kidjo then book is a must read, you will learn so much about the history of ‘World Music’ (in ‘-‘ because I don’t like the term – all music is from the World!) and it’s a good book to read to learn about an inspirational woman!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Stacia

    Angélique Kidjo, if you've not heard of her, is an incredible singer from Benin, West Africa. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the book, by which I mean the quality of the physical product. It's printed on nice glossy paper, is loaded with photographs, and even has an appendix with some recipes that I definitely want to try. It's also a book well worth reading--she's a strong, motivated, incredibly talented woman who is dedicated to creating positive change in Africa. I recommend her Angélique Kidjo, if you've not heard of her, is an incredible singer from Benin, West Africa. I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the book, by which I mean the quality of the physical product. It's printed on nice glossy paper, is loaded with photographs, and even has an appendix with some recipes that I definitely want to try. It's also a book well worth reading--she's a strong, motivated, incredibly talented woman who is dedicated to creating positive change in Africa. I recommend her music and her book.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    This book had a good balance of both Angelique's life and music, and I loved learning more about both. I especially was interested in learning about Benin under Communism and about her family's traditions. The writing is true to her voice, the photos are beautiful, and the message is important. I'm a bigger Angelique Kidjo fan for reading this!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sonja

    Quote My ancestors on my father's side came from the village of Ouidah, not far from the Atlantic Ocean, and just a few dozen miles from Cotonou. My family are descendants of the Pedah, a tribe of fishermen who cast their nets all along the magnificent, immaculate beach that goes on for miles and miles. Ouidah holds a tragic place in history. It was from there that so many slaves were forced to leave their continent for the Americas. (p.25) End of quote Quote My dad was a Fon, which is the main ethn Quote My ancestors on my father's side came from the village of Ouidah, not far from the Atlantic Ocean, and just a few dozen miles from Cotonou. My family are descendants of the Pedah, a tribe of fishermen who cast their nets all along the magnificent, immaculate beach that goes on for miles and miles. Ouidah holds a tragic place in history. It was from there that so many slaves were forced to leave their continent for the Americas. (p.25) End of quote Quote My dad was a Fon, which is the main ethnic group in Benin, and my mom is a Yoruba, another important one with roots in Nigeria....Having a Fon dad and a Yoruba mom put me in a special place. It gave me access to so much culture and music. (pp. 28-29) End of quote Your voice doesn't belong to you. You have the responsibility to care for it and use it for those who are voiceless. Jerry Rawlings I said to the girls, Let's invent a word the boys won't be able to understand. That's when I made up the word batonga, which for us meant Give me a break. I'll do what I want. I can be who I want to be. Angelique, this is James Brown. Say it loud! I answered, I'm black and proud! Then he screamed, Soul power!(p.92) Quote In Benin, drums are at the center of the music. Everything revolves around them. Their impact on your body is like a heartbeat. (p.113) End of quote Quote Music is often that spontaneous in Africa. It exists in the present moment and everyone participates. There is no separation between musician and audience. That's what's so difficult with traditional African music - to really understand its power you have to experience it. You have to see it. You have to be present in the moment that it's made. That's why I always go out into the crowd during my shows, and it's why I have the audience come onstage. I want them to feel that experience. (p.125) End of quote Henri Salvador's voice: Imagine The world as a baby Give it much caress and Forgiveness He listened to my voice. Then he said, In the studio, you have to breathe like this for people not to hear. He showed me how he exhaled through his mouth and inhaled through his nose at the same time. When he sang, you couldn't even feel when he was breathing. It is something I still use to this day. (p.187) Quote Whenever I go back to my home continent, the strength of the people reminds me of the importance of life. They live under hard circumstances and are still able to laugh, to enjoy life to a certain extent. It's mot like the Western world. Here, we live in fear of what we might lose. There, because of what is lost every day, you live in the moment. If I don't remember that, I can't help anyone. It's about honoring people's dignity; it's not about pity. Pity only brings you pain. (p. 212) End of quote

  11. 5 out of 5

    Mom

    I happened to hear Angelique Kidjo on NPR and was so impressed by her thoughtfulness and compassion that I immediately went and got her memoir. I'd not heard of her before and was unaware of her success as a singer. A Grammy award-winning singer from Benin (Dahomey), Kidjo is an intelligent, passionate and inspiring woman. While the memoir is mostly about Kidjo's rise to musical fame and her interactions with celebrities such as Eric Clapton, Ziggy Marley, and Alicia Keyes, the essence of her mem I happened to hear Angelique Kidjo on NPR and was so impressed by her thoughtfulness and compassion that I immediately went and got her memoir. I'd not heard of her before and was unaware of her success as a singer. A Grammy award-winning singer from Benin (Dahomey), Kidjo is an intelligent, passionate and inspiring woman. While the memoir is mostly about Kidjo's rise to musical fame and her interactions with celebrities such as Eric Clapton, Ziggy Marley, and Alicia Keyes, the essence of her memoir is her love of family, of her community, and of human rights. One of my favorite passages is when she describes the death of her money-hungry grandmother. Several days after the grandmother's death, the family assembled before the armoire where she had been saving her money for years. "All the bills had crumbled to dust. The absurdity of that moment imprinted itself on me." This moment and this realization led to Kudjo's involvement as a UNICEF ambassador and human rights activist, and her founding of the Batanga Foundation, which works to promote education for African girls. In another section, Kudjo discusses female genital mutilation. She stresses that the practice is practiced as a rite of passage and an important cultural symbol. Therefore, she says, we can't just condemn it but must find "a new rite to replace it.... a ceremonial cutting .... to say that the tradition is respected." This makes so much sense, and is an idea I'd not heard before. This is a wonderful book by a really amazing lady.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Yasmin

    And the spirit shall rise ever more and stay rising always and for forever. As with Keeping Hope Alive this is a book by a beautiful woman and I don't mean appearances. She has a beautiful soul, a beautiful mind and a beautiful body. She is warm, generous, spirited, truthful and she has known all the joys and pains there are in this world. She will keep rising and she will keep taking us with her and even when we all learn love together we shall keep rising. When we make earth as beautiful as he And the spirit shall rise ever more and stay rising always and for forever. As with Keeping Hope Alive this is a book by a beautiful woman and I don't mean appearances. She has a beautiful soul, a beautiful mind and a beautiful body. She is warm, generous, spirited, truthful and she has known all the joys and pains there are in this world. She will keep rising and she will keep taking us with her and even when we all learn love together we shall keep rising. When we make earth as beautiful as heaven and when we all learn to sing and to dance together we will have women like Angelique, Wangari and Hawa guiding us all the way.

  13. 4 out of 5

    CS

    Ms Kidjo's book is the story of the world. Africa. African Music. World music. Creativity. Family. The Diaspora. History. Women's rights. Children's rights. Artistry and creativity. Genius. Politics and change. Aid and transformation. Education for social change. Advocacy. Joy. She has woven all these threads into her biography seamlessly , and her beautiful spirit and passion for music and people shines through. The photographs of her life and the cloths are exquisite . It should be required re Ms Kidjo's book is the story of the world. Africa. African Music. World music. Creativity. Family. The Diaspora. History. Women's rights. Children's rights. Artistry and creativity. Genius. Politics and change. Aid and transformation. Education for social change. Advocacy. Joy. She has woven all these threads into her biography seamlessly , and her beautiful spirit and passion for music and people shines through. The photographs of her life and the cloths are exquisite . It should be required reading.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Susan Frazier-Kouassi

    A wonderful insightful biography into the life of a woman that has transformed music from Africa. It is amazing to note that some artists are born that way from the womb....moving, dancing, singing, performing - and it cannot be suppressed like in Angelique. I love the charitable work that she is doing with the Batonga Foundation. I wish more high-profile artists and performers would follow suit.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sandra

    I saw Angelique kidjo at her Carnegie Hall concert in November of 2010, which she describes in the epilogue to this book. My admiration for her was sealed that night. She has tremendous energy, pride and purpose. She is outspoken (and loud!). Her book filled in many details--probably too many details--about her childhood, exile from Benin, her songs and albums, big singers who inspired her and the causes she supports for African women. It is not beautifully written nor does it have more than a c I saw Angelique kidjo at her Carnegie Hall concert in November of 2010, which she describes in the epilogue to this book. My admiration for her was sealed that night. She has tremendous energy, pride and purpose. She is outspoken (and loud!). Her book filled in many details--probably too many details--about her childhood, exile from Benin, her songs and albums, big singers who inspired her and the causes she supports for African women. It is not beautifully written nor does it have more than a chronological organization. It reads like a Life magazine article. But her spirit comes through, the photos are fun and I liked getting some feeling for the connections between her and Benin and the US and the world concert circuit.

  16. 4 out of 5

    RainbowWriter

    A nearly perfect picture of Angelique Kidjo's life and career for now. Wonderful photos and delicious West African recipes. The only reasons why I didn't give full five stars to her autobiography are that as a huge fan I was surprised that she didn't mention a couple of her career's highlights such as South Africa's FIFA World Cup Kick-off Concert and her greatest hits album. As a huge fan of hers I also would have liked to learn more about the meaning and creative process of her songs. She did A nearly perfect picture of Angelique Kidjo's life and career for now. Wonderful photos and delicious West African recipes. The only reasons why I didn't give full five stars to her autobiography are that as a huge fan I was surprised that she didn't mention a couple of her career's highlights such as South Africa's FIFA World Cup Kick-off Concert and her greatest hits album. As a huge fan of hers I also would have liked to learn more about the meaning and creative process of her songs. She did tell about it more or less on each of her albums but I was missing even more interesting facts behind them :).

  17. 4 out of 5

    Rhapsody Phoenix

    Although I am not a big fan of autobiography there are a select few i enjoy and this, "Spirit Rising" Angelique story is among them. It is a true testament to the resiliency of the human spirit. She is a wonderfully dynamic woman.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ann-marie

    A pretty good read on a talented and successful musician's life, filled with family, love of humankind, passion for the music, and lots of beautiful photos. And...there are even recipes in the back of the book which I've made while listening to her music!! What a treat.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Jbondandrews

    I enjoyed reading about Angelique Kidjo. She is a wonderful person and a great singer, even though I have only one of her CDs I think her music is amazing and I hope in future to acquire more of her music.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Lud

    One of my favorite performers has written a lovely memoir - ‘music has no color, no language, no boundaries.’

  21. 4 out of 5

    Desiree

    This book made me want to listen to all the different artist that she mentioned in her book. I really like her style!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ann Logue

    It was a good autobiography, almost like a coffee table book because of its gorgeous photos. This is good for a music fan.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Pamela

    The energy that she was described as exuding did not come through in her writing, which, for me, fell flat.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    Kidjo writes with such adoration for her people and her music. It is heartwarming and contagious. She starts off sharing about her childhood, family, and how her singing career started. She gives a brief (and not too political) history lesson in Benin - and why she left. Then she delves into her music. When Kidjo writes about drums and how they relate to her art, it is a sheer delight. She makes drumming the pulse of a people, and I started to feel that pulse as I read. This idea continues throu Kidjo writes with such adoration for her people and her music. It is heartwarming and contagious. She starts off sharing about her childhood, family, and how her singing career started. She gives a brief (and not too political) history lesson in Benin - and why she left. Then she delves into her music. When Kidjo writes about drums and how they relate to her art, it is a sheer delight. She makes drumming the pulse of a people, and I started to feel that pulse as I read. This idea continues through the entire book. She bases several chapters on her major albums. In those she shares about her life during that time. She also introduces artists that impacted or participated in her work. In other books, this might feel like name-dropping. Instead with Kidjo, she is sharing how an artist’s work or philosophy impacted her, changed her, grew her music. Toward the end of the book, she brings in her work with the UN. Again here I expected the writing to turn overtly political or drive a specific call to action. Instead Kidjo’s voice is warm, heartfelt, and still matter of fact. She does not glorify the work of the UN; she does not demonize political factions; she shares what she saw, experiences, and felt. And she shares how she believes her work with the UN, and as an artist, helps. This book exceeded my expectations in its content and writing. Rachel Wenrick, who wrote with Kidjo, and Kidjo created a book that inspires appreciation in music and action.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Dana DesJardins

    It took me awhile to finish reading this engaging, uplifting memoir, as I kept stopping to listen to her music, looking up other musicians and artists she collaborated with, and learning about the aid organizations for women's and educational issues with whom Kidjo partnered. The volume includes gorgeous photographs, many of Kidjo dancing, and each chapter opens with a full color wax cloth print. She ends the book with several recipes for traditional African dishes. I felt my own spirit rising a It took me awhile to finish reading this engaging, uplifting memoir, as I kept stopping to listen to her music, looking up other musicians and artists she collaborated with, and learning about the aid organizations for women's and educational issues with whom Kidjo partnered. The volume includes gorgeous photographs, many of Kidjo dancing, and each chapter opens with a full color wax cloth print. She ends the book with several recipes for traditional African dishes. I felt my own spirit rising as I read about where she's come from and where she's going -- a much needed boost of hope and agency in a time when the U.S. STILL hasn't passed an anti-lynching bill.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Joanne G.

    Note to self: I may not be able to read this, as the font is too small.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kay

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lori

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ana Schlanzky

  30. 5 out of 5

    Erik Van Ballaer

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.