Erykah Badu
Erykah Badu Profile Photo

Erykah Badu

Famous As
R&B/soul & hip hop singer
Birth Name
Erica Abi Wright
Birth Date
Feb 26, 1971
Birth Place
Dallas, Texas, USA
Erykah Badu Biography

It was in South Dallas, Texas that a future star was born under the name Erica Wright. The girl who was delivered to the world on February 26, 1971 has one sister and one brother but her father walked away from the family when she was still a little. Her mother had to fight for their existence by engaging in several jobs as an actress. It was the exact same thing that influenced Badu to choose her career path later, While still a four year old, she was taken by her mother to perform and dance at Dallas Theater center. Coming to the age of teen, she has been quite apt in freestyling that eventually led her to meet beatboxer Ray Hargrove. Once she graduated from high school, she set her mind straight to performing education. She was a theater student of Black College Grambling State University before choosing music over the course. Just before she graduated from the college, Badu abandoned the education to pursue what she loves, music.

With the help from her cousin, she recorded a demo tape that drew the attention of producer Kedar Massenburg. It was not long until she was introduced to D'Angelo for a duet and was signed to Universal Records. Her first eponymous album "Baduizm" was released in 1997 and it was not relatively hard for the album to reach #2 on Billboard Hot 200 chart with the highly-acclaimed single "On & On". Beside helping the set to reach platinum, the single also later won Badu her first Grammy in 1998 for Best R&B Vocal Performance - Female. Her love ride also blossomed when she tied a romantic relationship with Andre 3000 from OutKast. She became pregnant with his child in 1997 but continued to record an album while carrying the bun in the oven. Her first live album titled "Live" was dropped in November 1997 to another acclaim. It reached platinum with the help of radio hit "Tyrone" and her raw delivery of her songs.

She gave birth to a son named Seven but separated from Andre in late '90s. After taking some time to nurse her child, Badu tried her skills at acting. In 1998, she was cast in "Blues Brothers 2000" and the year after, the Oscar-winning drama "The Cider House Rules". For her role as a raped woman named Rose Rose, Badu received a win at 2008 Black Reel Awards for Theatrical - Best Supporting Actress. Meanwhile, she was also thriving with her music career as more and more collaborations with Soulquarians members like ?uestlove, J Dilla, Q-Tip were done. Eventually, it led her to be the only female member to join the like-minded group that later spawned successful solo artists. Her second studio album "Mama's Gun" was released in October 2000 to another warm reception. Although it did not sell as much as her first two efforts, the album managed to secure Badu's name as one of the prominent Neo-soul singers in the world. "Bag Lady", a single from the album, gained two nominations at the 2001 Grammy Awards which were followed by three others in the same event in 2003 for her collaboration with then lover Common in "Love of My Life (An Ode to Hip Hop)".

During 2002 and 2003, Badu supported "Mama's Gun" in a tour which is dubbed "Frustrated Artist Tour". She was traveling while performing to seek inspiration for her next studio record. Once the tour was concluded, she began the work that resulted in the 2003 "Worldwide Underground" and for the release she was again a nominee at Grammy awards year 2004 for Best R&B Album. In that same year she was back on screen as a singing lady in prison in Robin Williams-starring movie "House of D". Months before that, she gave birth to daughter Puma who was the result of her relationship with rapper The D.O.C. whom she dated after the break up with Common in 2002. Taking a three-year break, Badu surprisingly announced that she was working on materials that will make up three CDs in 2007. the first one "New AmErykah, Pt. One: 4th World War" was released on February 26 with first single "Honey". The other two was scheduled to follow after in six months interval.