Born In: Dallas, Texas, United States
Erykah Badu is a noted singer-songwriter, record producer, disc jockey, activist, and actress of African-American descent. Brought up in artistic environment by her actress mother, she developed a love for singing and acting at a very early age. Although she entered Grambling State University to study theatre, she soon changed her mind and returned home without acquiring a degree to concentrate on music. Shortly, she formed a hip-hop duo with her cousin Robert Free Bradford, travelling around and cutting a nineteen-song demo. Very soon, she attracted the attention of Kedar Massenburg, eventually signing a contract with his company, Kedar Entertainment. Her first album, ‘Baduizm’, was a big hit, establishing her as a popular star by the age of twenty-five. Since then, she has produced eight more albums. Among her eight albums, one is a live performance, the other is ‘ICON: The Best of Erykah Badu,’ a compilation of her hit songs, and one mixtape. For her songs, she has received numerous awards and nominations, making her one of the icons of her time.
Also Known As: Erica Abi Wright
Spouse/Ex-: Tracy Lynn Curry
father: William Wright Jr.
mother: Kolleen Maria Gipson
siblings: Jabbada, Nayrok
children: Mars Merkaba Thedford, Puma Sabti Curry, Seven Sirius Benjamin
Partner: André 3000 (1995–1999), Lonnie Rashid Lynn Jr. (2000–2002), Timothy Elpadaro Thedford, Tracy Lynn Curry
Born Country: United States
Ancestry: Cameroonian American
City: Dallas, Texas
Erykah Badu was born as Erica Abi Wright on February 26, 1971, in Dallas, USA. Her father, William Wright Jr, lived away from the family most of the time. He spent considerable period in jail, nobody knew for what. In 1975, he vanished altogether only to return twenty years later.
Her mother, Kolleen Gipson-Wright, a much respected actress in the local theatre, raised her children almost single-handedly. In this, she was helped by her own mother, Thelma Gipson, and her mother-in-law, Viola Wright. Erykah spent a lot of time with these ladies while her mother was busy on the stage.
Erykah was born elder of her parents’ two daughters. She has a younger sister named Koryan (Nayrok), born in 1974. Later in 1983, her mother gave birth to another child, a son named Eevin.
Erica inherited her mother’s artistic traits and a desire to perform. She would often sing in front of the mirror pretending that she was a background singer for Chaka Khan. She would also make her grandmother sit up and watch her while she sang, danced and acted.
In 1975, Erykah Badu first appeared on stage, performing with her mother at Dallas Theatre Centre and by seven, she started learning to play the piano. Her favorite song was ‘The Greatest Love of All’.
Along with acting and singing, little Erykah Badu also began to expand her cultural horizon, attending different festivals, especially Harambee Festival in South Dallas, slowly developing an interest in African culture and dress. The tall headgear she would wear one day originated from these visits.
In 1980, she was enrolled in a dancing troupe called Mahogany, learning to dance first under Dr Van Gilbert. Later she also learned formal ballet with Etta Piper Jamison Company. By 1982, she had also started rapping and hip-hopping.
Her big chance came when in 1994, Erykah opened a show for D’Angelo. Through him, she caught the attention of Kedar Massenburg, an American record producer and founder of Kedar Entertainment. Impressed, he set her up to record a duet, ‘Your Precious Love' with D'Angelo.
While ‘Live’ was being recorded Badu was pregnant with her first child. After its release, she took some time off to raise her child, returning in 1999, to collaborate with The Roots, a distinguished hip-hop group. She created the song ‘You Got Me’ and became a member of Soulquarians.
In 2005, she launched her own music label, ‘Control FreaQ Records’ so that artists could enjoy creative freedom. In the same year, she co-founded Sugar Water Festival, a musical festival that also aims to make African-American women aware of health issues.
On February 26, 2008, Erykah Badu had her fourth studio album, ‘New Amerykah Part One’ released. However, “Honey”, the album’s lead single, was released on December 11, 2007. She had composed most of these songs in 2005, after receiving a computer as a Christmas gift in 2004.
Erykah Badu is best known for her debut album, ‘Baduizm’, which contains popular numbers like ‘On & On’, ‘Next Lifetime’, ‘Other side of the Game’, and ‘Apple Tree’. She co-wrote most of the songs. Recorded throughout 1996, the album was released in early 1997, and instantly established her as a popular singer and songwriter.
Erykah Badu is a single mother with three children. In 1995, she partnered with André 3000 of OutKast, and had her first child, Seven Sirius Benjamin (born in 1997), with him. The relationship ended sometime in 1999.
In 2000, she started another relationship with the fellow Soulquarian, Lonnie Rashid Lynn, Jr. (stage name Common). It ended in 2002. Thereafter, she started dating West Coast rapper Tracy Lynn Curry (stage name The D.O.C) and gave birth to their daughter, Puma Sabti Curry, in 2004.
In 2009, she gave birth to her third child, a daughter named Mars Merkaba Thedford, fathered by Timothy Elpadaro Thedford (stage name Jay Electronica). They remained together for five years before going on their separate ways.
Erykah Badu Movies
(Comedy, Documentary, Music)
(Music, Action, Musical, Comedy, Crime)
|2003||Best R&B Song||Winner|
|2000||Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group||Winner|
|1998||Best R&B Album||Winner|
|1998||Best Female R&B Vocal Performance||Winner|
|2008||Best Direction||Erykah Badu: Honey (2008)|