The Winner Of the 17th Ella Fitzgerald Award is…Erykah Badu!

Ella Fitzgerald may have been the Queen of Jazz, but her legacy lives on through the jazz musicians of the modern age. Erykah Badu is one of them.

Active as a jazz musician since the late 90’s, Badu has released five studio albums and pleased crowds in a number of live shows and festivals, including last year’s Bluesfest. She has also won a Grammy in 1998 for Best Female R&B Vocal Performance for her single On & On. 

Badu has once again been recognised for her exceptional talent by being awarded with the Ella Fitzgerald Award at Monday’s Festival International de Jazz de Montréal. She joins huge names like Diana Ross, Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Tony Bennet and Diana Krall, who have also received the award in past years.

She accepted the award, humbly:

“I am so honored, and I hope that Ella hears my voice and my song, because she is one of my greatest influences. I just still feel like a little girl from south Dallas; that I have not done anything yet.” But when it came to praising Fitzgerald, Badu’s words were bold and resolute. “How can I be compared to such a voice, such a frequency. And the way she makes me feel is the way I wish to make people feel, and if I am doing that, then I am very, very grateful. I do not take it for granted.”

She was in the news a couple of weeks ago when she performed a 17-minute “Ode to Hip Hop” with The Roots at The Roots Picnic 2015. Her performance of Love Of My Life by Common has been particularly praised. Click the link below to see why she truly deserves this award.

Watch the festival’s co-founder Alain Simard present the award to Badu at the press conference before the ceremony.