Erykah Abi Wright, better known by her stage name Erykah Badu, is an American singer-songwriter, record producer, activist, and actress. Born February 26, 1971 in the Dallas, Texas. Raised by her actress mother, Kolleen Maria Gipson, Badu was exposed to the arts early on. She danced and sang for her mother at a very young age, and eventually started performing at local Dallas theater shows. She attend Booker T. Washington high school: performing and visual art. Her main goal while at school was to focus on her dancing and singing. During her time in school she realized that she was surround by like minded creative people meaning she was free do what she pleased and didn't have to worry about what others thought about her. It gave her the confidants to express her feeling through art. Following her graduation she attended Grambling State University, in Louisiana where she majored in theater and minored in quantum physics. In 1983 Badu left school to purse her music career. Later down the line she starts to call herself Erykah-"kah" is an Egyptian term for one's "inner self," and "badu" is her favorite jazz-riff scat sound.