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April 23, 2014

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Angelique Kidjo Kicks Off World Cup with Curtis Mayfield Classic

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Yesterday, Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter and activist Angelique Kidjo performed hr rendition of the 1970 Curtis Mayfield classic 'Move On Up' at the kick-off celebration for the 2010 FIFA World Cup at Orlando Stadium in Soweto/Johannesburg, South Africa. The performance was broadcast in the United States by ABC, ESPN, and Vevo.

2010 marks the first year that the tournament will be held on the African continent.
'Move On Up,' which in 1971 spent ten weeks in the top 50 on the UK Singles Chart, is recognizable for its masterfully sung lyrics and funk-driven sound. Kidjo's rendition is no exception.

It's featured on Kidjo's critically acclaimed new album 'OYO,' inspired by her life growing up in Benin. Accompanying Kidjo on vocals are U2's Bono and R&B-pop sensation John Legend, who also joined Kidjo for this crowd-pleasing World Cup performance.

Kidjo, an international icon whose career has spanned three decades, will continue touring internationally throughout the rest of the year in support of 'OYO.' She will also appear on 'Late Night with Jimmy Fallon' on July 27 where she will perform "Move On Up" backed by The Roots.

The recently debuted video, directed by Kevin J. Custer, explodes with color and features dancers from the acclaimed Broadway musical 'Fela!,' centering on the life and times of the groundbreaking Afrobeat musician and activist Fela Anikulapo Kuti.

Created and directed by world class choreographer by Bill T. Jones, the show is up for 11 Tony Awards, and has been endorsed by a slew of celebrities from Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith to Jay-Z. Due to the overwhelming response and forthcoming international run, Fela! will also also grace the silver screen. In addition, a biopic on Kuti's life is in the works, with Nigerian-British actor Chiwetel Ejiofor cast in the role of Kuti.

The same energy exemplified in 'Fela!' is palpable from watching the video and witnessing the free-flowing and powerful movements of the dancers and Kidjo included.

This year's World Cup officially begins June 11, with the first game taking place between host team South Africa and Mexico.

Check out the video for Kidjo's rendition of the Mayfield classic. We dare you not to dance.



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