Singer and songwriter. Appointed a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in 2002. Born in Benin and began career at age six by performing in her mother's theatre troupe. Music is heavily influenced by West African rhythms and incorporates a range of other traditions, such as funk, rumba, salsa, jazz, souk and makossa. Recipient of a number of awards, including the 2008 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary World Music for album Djin Djin. First woman to be listed among "The 40 Most Powerful Celebrities in Africa" by Forbes Magazine; named the “undisputed queen of African music", The Daily Telegraph. As a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, travels widely and makes time to visit UNICEF projects while on concert tours. 2007, co-founded the Batonga Foundation to provide African girls with secondary school and higher education opportunities. Campaigner for children and youth, speaking out on issues that affect them, especially their right to an education.