Janelle Monae

Janelle_Monáe<_The_Electric_Lady_(Target)
Singer Janelle Monáe became an R&B sensation in with the release of her futuristic albums The ArchAndroid and The Electric Lady. Born in Kansas in 1985, singer Janelle Monáe began performing as a child and got her big break in 2005 when she was invited by Big Boi to perform on several OutKast tracks. She was later signed by famous producer Sean “Puffy” Combs to his Bad Boy Records label. In 2010 her debut full-length album, The ArchAndroid, rose to No. 17 on the Billboard U.S. album chart and received a Grammy nomination. She followed up with the sophomore album The Electric Lady (2013), which featured singers Prince and Erykah Badu.
Singer Janelle Monáe Robinson was born on December 1, 1985, in Kansas City, Kansas. Her mother was a janitor and her father was a garbage truck driver who struggled with drug addiction throughout Monáe’s childhood. “I come from a very hard working-class family who make nothing into something,” she says. Monáe’s hardscrabble background and early experiences with the perils of drug addiction inspired her intense drive to succeed.
“I’ve never forgotten where I come from,” she says. “It’s crazy, but I really want to be the one to show everyone back home that it can be done. And not by selling drugs but by being passionate about the right thing—and the right things will come your way.” She pays homage to her parents with a signature black-and-white tuxedo she wears for every performance. “I call it my uniform,” she explained. “My mother was a janitor and my father collected trash, so I wear a uniform too.”
After graduating from F.L. Schlagle High School in Kansas City, Monáe received a scholarship to study musical theater at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City, where she was the only black woman in her class. However, Monáe quickly dropped out of the Academy because she felt creatively stifled. “I wanted to write my own musicals,” she recalled. “I didn’t want to have to live vicariously through a character that had been played thousands of times—in a line with everybody wanting to play the same person.”