Angélique Kidjo got her first taste of the stage by performing with her mother's theatre troupe. By the time she reached 20, she was already singing professionally. After the recording of her debut album Pretty (1980), she left her native Benin to settle in Paris. In 1987 she released Parakou, her first international effort. A string of albums followed, namely Logozo (1991), Fifa (1996), and Oyaya! (2004). Õÿö (2010) blends Afro-beat, soul, jazz, and R&B and features guest spots from Bono and Dianne Reeves. She has collaborated with a score of top notch musicians, including Branford Marsalis, Cassandra Wilson and Carlos Santana. A dedicated philanthropist, Kidjo promotes education for young African girls through her Batonga Foundation and as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.