Erykah Badu (born Erica Abi Wright on February 26, 1971 in Dallas, Texas) is one of the best US-American neo-soul, R&B/hip hop artist whose work crosses over into jazz. She is best known for her singles "You Got Me," her collaboration with The Roots, as well as her own songs "Tyrone", "Next Lifetime", "On & On", and "Clevah." Her lyrics are highly personal urban philosophies which throw emotional challenges in the face of the listener. She weaves unusual musical influences together creating a rich texture of sound.
Some music journalists have labeled her Nu soul or neo soul, often comparing her to Billie Holiday in lyrical delivery and grouping her with Maxwell and D'Angelo in musical genre. Badu dropped her "slave name" "Erica Wright" in favor of "Badu", which she reports is Arabic for "to manifest truth." She has performed with roots rock reggae musician and singer Burning Spear.
Badu has a son named Seven with actor and ex-boyfriend, Andre 3000 of Outkast fame. On July 5, 2004, Badu gave birth to a daughter, Puma, in her Dallas home; the father is reportedly rapper The D.O.C..
Badu also serves as an activist in South Dallas, Texas where she grew up. Her charity organization, Beautiful Love Incorporated Non Profit Development (B.L.I.N.D.) provides community-driven development for inner-city youth through music, dance, theater and visual arts. Badu has teamed up with contemporary painter Dawn Okoro to hold art shows which help raise funds for B.L.I.N.D.
Badu appeared in the films Blues Brothers 2000, The Cider House Rules, House of D, and Dave Chappelle's Block Party.