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Angelique Kidjo: Celia on npr - First Listen

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Angélique Kidjo now has a pair of albums that are essentially covers of other artists, but interpreted with an African sensibility so majestic as to render the originals almost as source material.

Celia refers to Celia Cruz, perhaps the most well-known vocalist to come from Cuba during any era. The ten tracks span several decades of Cruz's career, from before she left Cuba in 1960 to her groundbreaking recordings for the celebrated Fania Records label in New York in the 1970s, to "La Vida Es Un Carnaval," the 1998 song that became her late career hit and anthem. Kidjo's reinterpretations rearrange the molecules of songs that many of us know by heart. The results are glorious.

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