Grammy Award-winning and multi-platinum recording artist Patti LaBelle will join the cast of the award-winning Broadway musical FELA! on September 14, when she takes over the role of revered Nigerian musician Fela Kuti’s mother, Funmilayo Anikulapo-Kuti.
“I am both thrilled and honoured to be joining the cast of FELA! After seeing the show, I was struck by the choreography and work of Bill T Jones, and the passion and joy that overflows from the stage.
“Funmilayo was an inspiring woman, and I am so privileged to be able to pay tribute to her on the Broadway stage,” says LaBelle.
The Kutis were held in high esteem. Fela’s father was a reverend, while his mother was a school teacher – and the first woman to drive a car in Nigeria. A strong character, she watched her son constantly persecuted for his belief as he fearlessly attacked the government on its excesses.
A brilliant lyricist and saxophonist, Fela’s Afrobeat music remains timeless. But it’s not only his music that is a source of memory, but also his unbelievable stamina that saw him having lots of women. He made history when he married 27 women – all his backing vocalists – in one ceremony.
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This is would be a movie to watch when it finally comes out....foreign casts playing the life and times of Fela Anikulapo-Kuti........