Woman of the Week: Angélique Kidjo’s Musical Tribute to Celia Cruz

Woman of the Week: Angélique Kidjo’s Musical Tribute to Celia Cruz

Who we picked: Renowned vocalist Angélique Kidjo.

Why we picked her: A fixture in the world music scene since the ’90s, Kidjo would have been an ideal pick for this series any day of the year. But we selected the West African singer this week because her new album, “Celia,” was released on April 19, and it’s a glorious addition to the Grammy Award-winning artist’s discography.

Over the course of the album’s 10 tracks, Kidjo manages to blend Cuban and African tradition to craft a symphonic love letter to Latin artist Celia Cruz, who died in 2003. Songs like “Elegua” and “Cucala” are especially notable inclusions, demonstrating not only the strength of Kidjo’s own vocals but also Cruz’s impact and legacy on contemporary music. It’s a treat of an album, earning rave reviews from NPRThe New York Times and a slew of other publications.

We had the pleasure of speaking with Kidjo about her musical influences and what Celia — the album and the singer — mean to her. Watch in the video below.

Top Image: Laurent Seroussi/Courtesy of the artist