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Erica Abi Wright

Also Known As: "Erykah Badu"
Birthdate:
Birthplace: Dallas, Dallas County, Texas, United States
Immediate Family:

Daughter of Private and Private
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Mother of Private; Private and Private
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Managed by: Private User
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Immediate Family

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      child
    • Private
      ex-partner
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    • Private
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About Erykah Badu

From Wikipedia

Erykah Abi Wright (born Erica Abi Wright; February 26, 1971), better known by her stage name Erykah Badu (/ˈɛrɨkə bɑːˈduː/), is an American singer-songwriter, record producer, activist, and actress. Badu's career began after opening a show for D'Angelo in 1994 in her hometown; Kedar Massenburg was highly impressed with her performance and signed her to Kedar Entertainment. Her first album, Baduizm, was released on February 11, 1997. It spawned three singles: "On & On", "Next Lifetime" and "Otherside of the Game". The album was certified triple Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).

Early life

Erykah Badu was born Erica Abi Wright in Dallas, Texas on February 26, 1971. Her mother raised her, her brother Eevin, and her sister Nayrok alone after their father, William Wright Jr., deserted the family early in their lives. To provide for her family, the children's grandmother often helped to look after them while Erykah's mother, Kolleen Maria Wright (née Gipson), worked as an actress in theatrical productions. Influenced by her mother, Erykah had her first taste of show business at the age of 4, singing and dancing with her mother at the Dallas Theatre Centre.

By the age of 14, Erykah was free-styling for a local radio station alongside such talent as Roy Hargrove. In her youth, she had decided to change the spelling of her first name from Erica to Erykah, as she believed her original name was a "slave name." The term 'kah' signifies the inner self. She adopted a surname of Badu because it is her favorite jazz scat sound; also, among the Akan people in Ghana, it is the term for the 10th-born child.

Upon graduating from Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Badu went on to study theater at Grambling State University, a historically black college. To concentrate on music full-time, she left the university in 1993 before graduating, and took on several minimum-wage jobs to support herself. She taught drama and dance to children at the South Dallas Cultural Center.

Working and touring with her cousin, Robert "Free" Bradford, she recorded a 19-song demo, Country Cousins, which attracted the attention of Kedar Massenburg. He set Badu up to record a duet with D'Angelo, "Your Precious Love," and eventually signed her to a record deal with Universal Records.

Personal life

Badu has become a strict vegan and says of this practice: "Vegan food is soul food in its truest form. Soul food means to feed the soul. And to me, your soul is your intent. If your intent is pure, you are pure." Badu splits her time between Dallas and the Fort Greene neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York.

In 1995 Badu became involved with rapper André 3000 of OutKast, with whom she had her first child, a son named Seven Sirius Benjamin, who was born on November 18, 1997. Their relationship ended sometime in 1999. Their relationship inspired André 3000 to write the song "Ms. Jackson". In 2000, Badu was in a romantic relationship with fellow Soulquarian Common; their relationship ended in 2002. On July 5, 2004, Badu gave birth to a daughter, Puma Sabti Curry; Puma's father is West Coast rapper The D.O.C., originally from Dallas. On February 1, 2009, Badu gave birth to her third child, a girl named Mars Merkaba Thedford; with her boyfriend of five years, rapper Jay Electronica. It was a family event attended by Puma and Seven as well.

On April 2, 2010, Badu was charged with disorderly conduct, a class C misdemeanor, for appearing nude in Dealey Plaza in Dallas while filming the music video for "Window Seat." No witnesses called police at the time of the incident, but the Dallas police actively sought witnesses after the release of the video. Sgt. Warren Mitchell said the decision to cite Badu for a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $500 — came after witness Ida Espinosa, 32, of Vernon, offered a sworn statement to police Thursday, April 1. Espinosa declined to comment to The Associated Press. On April 28, 2010, Badu pled not guilty rather than paying the fee by mail. On August 13, she paid the $500 ticket and began a term of six months' probation.

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Erykah Badu's Timeline

1971
February 26, 1971
Dallas, Dallas County, Texas, United States