The Woman Who Is The Epitome Of Cool: Janelle Monáe

September 11, 2013  |  



From The Grio 

I noticed her hair first. I watched this African-American woman with an Elvis bouffant piled high on her head.

I saw a video of her at the AfroPunk festival in 2009.  She sang, danced, and commanded the stage in her black-and-white tuxedo. Her songs about androids and aliens were not the typical topics of R&B songs.

After seeing her perform, I thought, “She should be a star.’’ After the success of her debut album, The ArchAndroid, in 2010, Janelle Monáe became a star — and not just for her hair. She became a celebrity based on talent, hard work, and yes, her uniqueness.

With the release of her new album, The Electric Lady, Monáe shows that black women can succeed by being themselves and being different.

Monáe has created a successful persona by combining a love of science fiction movies like Metropolisand literature with memorable songs.  Unlike the current crop of mainstream R&B acts, she sings and performs without solely depending on her sex appeal.

As she told Essence magazine earlier this year, “I like skirts and dresses just like everyone else, but I had a message I needed to put out there. It was up to me to show people to show young girls there was another way.’’  Monáe shows young black girls that there is another way to succeed without selling out their ideals.

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