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The world according to Angelique Kidjo / The Root

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She speaks and sings in five languages-no, six, if you count her recent foray into the native Spanish of the late Celia Cruz for her 17th album, released in April and simply titled Celia. Kidjo's Wikipedia page alone is a dizzying array of accolades and mentions of artists as diverse as Alicia Keys and David Byrne, whose 1980 Remain in Light album (with Talking Heads) Kidjo reimagined last year, bringing its African influences to full fruition. Now, she does the same for the Afro-Cuban roots of the "Queen of Latin Music."

Speaking with Kidjo, you're keenly aware of how aware she is. It's as if she vibrates at a different frequency-which you might initially assume is due to her own lauded status as "the undisputed queen of African music," as the Telegraph called her in 2012. But to use her own words, it's something deeper. "When you meet and you encounter truth, it's so clear that even if you want to deny it, you can't," she tells The Glow Up. "It's like you're in a bowl of light that is sucking you into it."

Fittingly, "La Vida Es Un Carnaval" will be the anthem of the 38th annual Fête de la Musique in Paris on June 21. And despite releasing two albums in as many years, Kidjo is already brimming with excitement about her next project: Famed composer Philip Glass is designing a symphony around her voice, timpani, and organ, using the poetry from David Bowie's 1979 album Lodger.

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