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Cynthia Erivo's Performance at TED2017 Might Move You to Tears

The British-Nigerian actress and singer lends her powerful vocals to a Mali Music ballad and an Aretha Franklin classic in this stunning performance from TED2017.

Cynthia Erivo, the multitalented singer, songwriter and actress behind Cele in the critically-acclaimed Broadway version of The Color Purple, and Harriet Tubman in an upcoming biopic about the abolitionist hero's life, stopped by the TED2017 to deliver a passionate and moving musical performance.

The skilled singer ran through a pensive rendition of Mali Music's "Johnny and Donna" before shifting gears to deliver a heart-wrenching cover of Aretha Franklin's classic soul ballad, "Natural Woman."


"I love to sing," says the actress ahead of her final song. "And it's because I feel like it's the fast-track route to the heart." She certainly reaches our hearts with this powerful performance.

Watch the full 10-minute performance below, and revisit our video feature with Erivo from earlier this year, where she talks about creating more safe spaces for young black women and encouraging their participation in the arts.

OkayAfrica was on the ground at this year's TEDGlobal in Tanzania, see what went down by revisiting our conversations with some of the conference's most innovative African creatives, including Wale Oyejide of Ikiré Jones, and Kenyan, female percussionist Kasiva Mutua.

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Photo: Courtesy of Amazon Prime

The ‘Coming 2 America’ Original Motion Picture Soundtrack & ‘The Rhythm Of Zamunda’ Are Out Now

Featuring Tiwa Savage, Tekno, Larry Gaaga, Alpha P, Davido and many more.

It has been more than 30 years since the premiere of the beloved classic comedy Coming to America. Its highly anticipated sequel promises to be greater than its predecessor. The film will be accompanied with two albums—Coming 2 America original motion picture soundtrack and Rhythms of Zamunda, whose tracklist is inspired by the movie. Both albums, which are currently available on all major streaming platforms, feature African music royalty Tiwa Savage, Tekno, Larry Gaaga and Alpha P, who joined a select group of artists from around the continent to produce these tracklists.

Still blazing charts after the success of his debut album Old Romance, Tekno has a growing list of impressive collaborations with artists like Davido, Drake, Beyonce, to name a few. The singer does not have not one, but two of his hit songs featured; "Waka Waka" is featured on the official soundtrack and "Skeletun" on Rhythms of Zamunda.

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Thebe Magugu's AW21 Collection 'Alchemy' Is An Exploration of African Spirituality

Magugu collaborated with Kristin-Lee Moolman to create a '70s-style B movie called Banyoloyi A Bosigo