Erykah Badu, born on February 26, 1971, is an American singer-songwriter, producer, and actress whose musical career began as far back as 1994. Her musical style has transitioned over the years. However, Badu focuses on the neo-soul musical subgenre and draws from R&B, ‘70s soul, and ‘80s hip hop. She’s a fantastic singer, an alluring performer, and a phenomenal actress, hence our reason for celebrating her special day today.
Erykah Badu is a revered name in the American music industry. Her singing and performance style is so unique and fascinating that she has been referred to as “the first lady of neo-soul.” Badu was born Erica Abi Wright on February 26, 1971, in Dallas, Texas. Her mother raised her and her siblings after separating from their father, William Wright. Badu is of West and Central African descent, as revealed by DNA and Ancestry testing. As a Pisces, Badu’s interest in music began at age four, and by 14, she was freestyling on local radio stations. The transition of Erica Wright to Erykah Badu began after she realized ‘Kah’ suited her better and ‘Badu’ was her favorite jazz scat sound. She attended Booker T. Washington High School and studied Theater at Grambling State University. However, she dropped out in 1993 to focus on her first love, music.
By 1997, Badu had released her debut album, “Baduizm.” The album debuted at number two on the Billboard Charts and peaked at number one on Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums under Billboard. It went on to be triple platinum-certified by RIAA and gold-certified in Canada and Britain. Badu also recorded her first live album, “Live,” the same year. It was double platinum-certified by the RIAA, and its lead single “Tyrone” was a hit. In 2000, she released her second studio album “Mama’s Gun,” and her single “Big Lady” peaked at number six on the Billboard Hot 100. Badu went on to release three more studio albums, a compilation album, and one mixtape.
Badu has done multiple tours, dropped the hottest tracks, won a Grammy, and given riveting performances. She’s also ventured into acting and has been nominated for the SAG Awards, giving her an enviable resume in film and music. Badu has never been married. She however has three children from separate fathers.
The album “Baduizm” debuts.
After taking time off to raise her child, Badu releases “Mama’s Gun.”
Badu’s fifth studio album drops, bearing the song ‘Window Seat,’ whose video becomes highly controversial.
Badu plays the role of ‘Sister,’ in the film “What Men Want.”
Why We Love Erykah Badu
She’s unapologetically herself
Badu’s best feature is her unique individuality. She strives to portray her uniqueness in everything, ranging from her music to her style, clothing, and general appearance.
She is talented
From her angelic yet soulful voice to the myriad of accolades, Ms. Badu’s talent is axiomatic. She’s a great performer too.
She is hilarious
We love a celebrity who can make us laugh and Ms. Badu does this effortlessly. She’s funny without trying.
5 Surprising Facts
She is a doula
Badu is a practicing doula and was a spokesperson for the International Center for Traditional Childbearing.
She is a herbalist
Badu is a herbalist who grows her own herbs.
She is a physicist
Before dropping out of college, Badu minored in Quantum Physics.
She owns over 700 headwraps
Headwraps are a staple for Badu; she owns 726 of them.
She has a celebrity crush
Ms. Badu’s celebrity crush is Billy Dee Williams.
Erykah Badu FAQs
What is Erykah Badu’s religion?
Although her lyrics and appearance might hint at a heightened sense of religion or spirituality, Badu does not conform to any organized religion.
Is Erykah Badu still Vegan?
Yes. She hasn’t swayed from the Vegan lifestyle she adopted in 2006.
What is Erykah Badu’s best meal?
For Ms. Badu, Coconut Collard Greens will do it.
Erykah Badu’s birthday dates