Erica Abi Wright (born February 26, 1971), better known by her stage name Erykah Badu (pronounced /ˈɛrɨkə bɑːˈduː/), is an American singer-songwriter, record producer, and actress. Her work includes elements from R&B, hip hop and jazz. She is best known for her role in the rise of the neo soul sub-genre, and for her eccentric, cerebral musical stylings and sense of fashion. She is known as the "First Lady of Neo-Soul" or the "Queen of Neo-Soul".
Early in her career, Badu was recognizable for wearing very large and colorful headwraps. For her musical sensibilities, she has often been compared to jazz great Billie Holiday. She was a core member of the Soulquarians, and is also an actress having appeared in a number of films playing a range of supporting roles in movies such as Blues Brothers 2000, The Cider House Rules and House of D. She also speaks at length in the documentary Before the Music Dies.
Erykah Badu was born Erica Abi Wright in Dallas, Texas, on February 26, 1971. Her mother raised her and her brother and sister alone; their father, William Wright, Jr., had deserted the family early in their lives. To provide for her family, the children's grandmother often helped