Erica Abi Wright was born on February 26, 1971 in Dallas, Texas. She began singing and dancing at the early age of four years old in theaters in Dallas. In her teenage/young adult years, she changed the spelling of her name from Erica to Erykah. She added the last name Badu after her favorite jazz scat. She continued to study music throughout high school at the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. She attented Grambling University but left early in order to focus on music. Badu got her start in the music industry when she opened up for D’Angelo in Texas. With this performance, she caught the attention of a label executive and was signed to her first record label. Badu was praised by fans for her uniqueness and her distinctive voice. In the 90s, a neo-soul movement brought forth a new sub genre of music that combined jazz, soul, hip hop, fusion, and other forms of music. The neo-soul genre was mostly dominated by black women and Erykah Badu would go on to be dubbed the Queen of Neo-Soul. Badu serves as an influence to many young black artists in the music industry today. However, her style can never be duplicated and she has earned her legacy as an icon in her own right. She helped to popularize and bring neo-soul to the forefront. While the genre may not have it’s same commercial presence, her music is still loved by fans and music critics alike.