ByKeisha Swafford, writer at
I am a beautiful black queen and a child of God. I love writing stories and poems. Enjoy reading and watching movies!
Keisha Swafford

Janelle Monae is anything but ordinary. She is a musical and fashion icon who breaks the boundaries of what’s the norm and is fearlessly herself. Her music transcends time as she sings about futuristic androids and alter egos. Just like Beyonce has an alter-ego so does Monae, who she calls Cindi Mayweather. She wrote songs about Cindi, who was described as an android and represented the model of love people usually don’t accept. Monae envisioned a world full of androids because of the growing world of technology.

In her first album, Cindi was running because she had fallen in love with a human and was being disassembled for that. In each music video, she shows off her vocal talents and her amazing dance moves! She is a jack of all trades because she is a rapper, singer, and actress. Monae is an amazing storyteller because she thinks outside the box and that’s what makes her stand out from the crowd! Let me count the ways why Janelle Monae is way ahead of her time and how she has impacted the entertainment world!

Monae Came from Humble Beginnings!

Growing up in Kansas City, Kansas, Janelle Monae felt that her creativity and talents were constricted in this small town. After high school, she moved to New York to attend the American Musical and Dramatic Academy with the intention of pursuing musical theater.

In 2004, after performing a couple of off-Broadway shows, she realized there weren’t roles available to her that she wanted. Seeing that Atlanta was the place to be, she moved there and soon joined a band and began touring the local college circuit, where she eventually met with her future partners in Wondaland Arts Society, a collective label that looked to promote experimental arts. OutKast’s Big Boi took notice of her talents and was so impressed by her that he put two of her songs on his 2005 album, Got Purp? Vol. 2. She also appeared on Outkast’s 2006 soundtrack, Idlewild, even appearing in the video, "Morris Brown".

Her Music is Out of this World!

In August 2007, Monae debuted with the first of four planned Metropolis installments, or suites, an EP entitled The Chase, a concept piece revolving a character named Cindi Mayweather and the year 2719. The album combined cabaret, hip-hop, rock, and soul, which was so well-received that she caught the attention of Sean “Diddy” Combs. In March 2008, she was signed to his label, Bad Boy Records. The second and third suites of Metropolis was issued together as components of The Archandroid, which was released in May 2010.

It debuted at number 17 on the Billboard 200 and was nominated for a Grammy for Best Contemporary R&B Album. “Tightrope” was nominated for Best/Urban Alternative Performance. Grammy nominations kept coming her way in 2013 when she made a guest appearance on the song, “We Are Young” by Fun. Fueled by the momentum, she produced a new album, The Electric Lady in September 2013, where suites four and five were created. Two of my favorite songs on the album are "Primetime" featuring Miguel and "Q.U.E.E.N." featuring Erykah Badu.

Monae is a Be-You-tiful Role Model!

Her songs inspire people of all ages to be themselves and not let anyone stand in their way. She is a courageous woman who is not afraid to speak her mind on controversial issues like sexual orientation, drugs, and women’s rights. She dances and sings with a wonderful freedom and confidence. She is a safe haven for those who feel like they are different and isolated from society. She is a beautiful young woman who fights for what she believes in and dances to the beat of her own tap shoes! President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama invited her to the White House, where she sung an electrifying rendition of her hit song, “Tightrope ”at the Grammy Museum Education Awards. She supported Michelle Obama’s promotion of music and arts education to children by saying, “Statistics would even say that I wouldn’t even be standing here right now because of my environment. But all because of music, and music being my outlet, I stand here before you right now.” Recently, she teamed up with Michelle Obama to help her sing, “This is for My Girls.”

Monae’s Fashion Game is Always on Point!

I have always been fascinated by her clothes. She’s an amazing singer but what makes her stand out the most is the way she dresses. Every time she steps outside, she makes a fashion statement! Her tuxedo-inspired style of clothing inspired women to be unique and fearless in the way they dressed. She has these crazy hairstyles that blow people's minds. She used to only wear black and white colors, but now she is exploring more vibrant colors like red and blue. Her fashion choices are becoming less masculine and transforming into soft, feminine colors. When asked about her drastic wardrobe change, she said that she was evolving. She is the newest face of Covergirl, but she looks flawless with or without makeup. No matter what she wears, she is bold, fearless, and confident!

Monae is Going to Make Amazing Movies!

In October 2015, Monae will make her big screen acting debut in the upcoming film, Moonlight. She is starring alongside Naomie Harris, Andre Holland, and Mahershala Ali set to be released in 2016. Monae has also been cast in the movie, Hidden Figures, as Mary Jackson, one of two colleagues of the African American mathematician, Katherine Johnson, played by Taraji P. Henson. The film recounts the true story of Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Dorothy Vaughan (played by Octavia Spencer, star of the show, How to Get Away with Murder) who helped NASA catch up in the Space Race, set to be released on January 13, 2017. Using their calculations, John Glenn became the first African American astronaut to make a complete orbit of the Earth. Her most famous role to date was when she voiced veterinarian, Dr. Monae, in the 2014 movie, Rio 2 and her song, "What is Love?" was featured on the movie soundtrack. I can’t wait to see Janelle Monae take off like a rocket as she soars to new heights in her acting career!

Janelle Monae is a true visionary and artist who loves making music and enjoys performing for her fans. She uses her powerful voice to spread positivity, love, and joy to the world! She is a shining light to the darkness that shadows those who don't think they are good enough. She is a firecracker on stage whose energy is contagious and we are enthralled by her beauty and grace. She is the kind of woman you want to rock with, dance with, and have fun with. Monae is a triple threat who can do it all and there is no sign of her slowing down any time soon.


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