JM npr 434465Janelle Monae electrified the audience with her opening number at the 2020 Academy Awards.  She describes herself as a black queer artist, telling stories.  She’s had roles in the films Hidden Figures and Moonlight.  She first became known for her afro-futurist funk soul hip hop, performed as her alter ego, an android named Cindi Mayweather. In 2018, her album Dirty Computer was named by many critics as Album of the Year.  This year, she starred in Season 2 of the Amazon series Homecoming.

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(Photo: Janelle Monáe's film roles include Moonlight and Hidden Figures. Her most recent album is Dirty Computer- Gabriel Olsen/Getty Images for Absolut Elyx)

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