Badu's Mama's Gun achieved platinum success. Badu's debut album, Baduizm, is considered by many to be a classic, and went on to sell 3 million copies.
Accolades and recognition followed: four Grammys, four Soul Train Awards, four Soul Train Lady of Soul Awards, two NCAAP Image Awards and an American Music Award in the first year.
Born in 1972 in Dallas, TX, where she continues to make her home base, Badu performed on stage at age four with her mother, Kolleen Wright, a professional actress, and wrote her first song at seven on an old piano her grandmother bought for her. While at Booker T. Washington High School, an art-oriented magnet school, she had a regular spot rapping on a local hip-hop radio show, tagged Apples. Then, seizing her own self-hood, she renamed herself entirely, changing her name from Erica Wright to Erykah Badu, kah for the inner self and ba-du," after the scat singing of the great jazz vocalists.
Badu entered Grambling University in Louisiana as a theater studies major. Badu's commanding on-screen presence, apparent from the first viewing of On and On, was repeatedly confirmed by her subsequent acting roles: cameos on the daytime drama One Life to Live and Blues Brothers 2000, and especially her moving, honest work in The Cider House Rules.
Read earlier biographies on this page.
Erykah Badu Facts
|February 26, 1971 (53)
|Dallas, Texas, USA
|5' (1m52) How tall is Erykah Badu compared to you?
|A Bird in Hand
|House of D
|Chappelle's Show 208
|Before the Music Dies
|DJ Lance's Super Music & Toy Room
|Hip Hop Nation Volume 6
|The Cider House Rules
|Erykah Badu & The Roots Live
|Dave Chappelle's Block Party