Janelle Monae's Funky Otherworldly Sounds

Janelle Monae, the 24-year-old singer, songwriter and performer from Kansas City, blends cabaret, soul, funk and rock 'n roll in her music.

Janelle Monae i i

Janelle Monae has said she uses her imagination as an escape from a rough childhood, which was marked by her father's addiction to drugs. Scott Gries/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Scott Gries/Getty Images
Janelle Monae

Janelle Monae has said she uses her imagination as an escape from a rough childhood, which was marked by her father's addiction to drugs.

Scott Gries/Getty Images

Her 2007 debut album Metropolis: The Chase Suite featured a character named Cindi Mayweather, Monae's android alter-ego from the year 2719. "Many Moons," a single off the album, earned the singer a Grammy nomination, and helped Monae catch the ear of Sean "Diddy" Combs, who signed her to his Bad Boy roster and re-released the album.

In 2005, Outkasts's Big Boi included two of her songs on his compilation, Got Purp?, Vol. 2. Monae also performed in Outkast's Idlewild soundtrack.

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