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Birth name Janelle Robinson
Birth 1 december 1985 (37 years)
Janelle Monáe Robinson (born December 1, 1985), known professionally as Janelle Monáe (/dʒəˈnɛl moʊˈneɪ/), is an American musical recording artist and actress, signed to Bad Boy Records, Wondaland Arts Society, and Atlantic Records. After making a mark with her first unofficial studio album, The Audition, she debuted publicly with a conceptual EP titled Metropolis: Suite I (The Chase), which peaked at number 115 on the Billboard 200 in the United States.
In 2010, Monáe released her first full-length studio album, The ArchAndroid, a concept album sequel to her first EP; it was released by Bad Boy Records. This album received critical acclaim and garnered a Best Contemporary R&B Album nomination at the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards. The song "Tightrope" was also nominated for Best Urban/Alternative Performance at the same ceremony. With this industry recognition, the album has also been more successful commercially, officially reaching the number 17 spot on the Billboard 200.
Monáe's music has garnered her six Grammy Award nominations. In March 2012, "We Are Young" by Fun., on which Monáe appears as a guest vocalist, reached number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, her first appearance in the US Top 10. In August 2012, Monáe became a CoverGirl spokeswoman. On September 10, 2013, she released her second studio album, The Electric Lady, to critical acclaim. Boston City Council named October 16, 2013 "Janelle Monáe Day" in the city of Boston, Massachusetts, in recognition of her artistry and social leadership.
Although Monáe has never personally addressed the rumors of her sexuality in public, during a 2011 interview with London Evening Standard she said that when it comes to her sexuality, she "only dates androids," a reference to her musical alter-ego found in many of her songs. She has also said, "I speak about androids because I think the android represents the new 'other.' You can compare it to being a lesbian or being a gay man or being a black woman... What I want is for people who feel oppressed or feel like the 'other' to connect with the music and to feel like, 'She represents who I am'," adding that she would talk about her sexual orientation "in due time." In 2013, Monáe stated that she wants both men and women to "still be attracted to [her]"; and she went on to express her support for the LGBT community.