Universal Motown recording artist Erykah Badu, best known for her eccentric style and cerebral music, is a four-time GRAMMY® award winning American soul singer and songwriter. Regarded as the "First Lady of Neo-Soul" or the "Queen of Neo-Soul", Badu’s sound -- a concoction of soul, hip-hop and jazz -- cannot be contained to a single genre.
Self-described as a “mother first”, Badu is a touring artist, dj, teacher, community activist, holistic healer, doula, vegan, recycler, and conscious spirit. Baduizm, Badu's highly acclaimed debut album, was released in early 1997 went triple platinum and, along with "On & On," won Grammy Awards at the 1998 ceremony. Spring of 2010, Badu released her fifth studio album, and second installment of a two-part New Amerykah series. New Amerykah, Part 1: Fourth World War, a concept album that was digitally produced and political in tone, debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart and Rolling Stone named it one of the year’s best albums.
New Amerykah, Part II: Return of the Ahnk, which features lush live instrumentation and taps into Badu’s emotional side by thematically focusing on romance and relationships, made its debut at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 chart.
There is perhaps one story that explains Erykah Badu's cyclical outlook on her new album, New Amerykah Part Two: Return Of The Ankh, and it involves a visit to a Santeria priest in Cuba in 1999. When Badu says "return of the ankh," she doesn't mean she's returning to wearing the head wrap or any other accessory that evokes 1997's Baduizm epoch. She means much more. The return of the ankh is the return of a feeling, what makes her creative, what makes her passionate, what makes her Badu. Indeed, diehard fans of Badu will love New Amerykah Part Two: Return Of The Ankh and newcomers to Badu's world will be curiously intrigued by the mystique and authenticity of an artist who is totally comfortable in her own skin. Whether directing a dope music video or exposing her vulnerabilities in rhyme, Badu transcends image. Just like the Santeria priest she met in Cuba, Badu no longer tries to be, she just is.