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13 février 2008

Grammy winner Angelique Kidjo launches headlining trek

Fresh off her first Grammy win, world music songstress Angelique Kidjo is getting ready to hit the road for headlining tours of North America and Europe.

The African-born singer will kick things off Feb. 21 in Seattle and play cities all over the US, as well as a couple of Canadian provinces, through April 9. She will immediately segue into her European jaunt, which runs into late May. North American dates are listed below and overseas shows can be found at Kidjo's website.

Last Sunday, the singer won the Best Contemporary World Album Grammy for her latest release, "Djin Djin." In her acceptance speech, she dedicated the award to the "women of Darfur, the women who are fighting every day to give their kids an education."

"Djin Djin," which surfaced in May, has Kidjo partnering with guest stars including Alicia Keys, Peter Gabriel, Carlos Santana, Joss Stone, Ziggy Marley, Branford Marsalis and Josh Groban, with whom she toured last year. The critically acclaimed set, produced by Tony Visconti (David Bowie, Morrissey), reached No. 58 on The Billboard 200 and nabbed the top spot on the magazine's World Albums chart.

The record follows 2004's "Oyaya!" and is billed as a return to Kidjo's Beninese roots, capturing the most traditional rhythms from her country. It comprises material sung in her native languages as well as in English and French. A couple of songs from the set are streaming at Kidjo's MySpace page.

In addition to her music career, Kidjo has devoted much of her adult life to global charity work, according to a press release. She is a spokesperson for UNICEF and Oxfam, and recently created her own charity, Batonga, which aims to create a culture that values and supports the secondary education of girls in Africa.

February 12, 2008 By Kym Kilgore LiveDaily Contributor

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