Monáe in 2019
|Birth name||Janelle Monáe Robinson|
|Born||December 1, 1985|
Kansas City, Kansas, U.S.
Janelle Monáe Robinson (//; born December 1, 1985) is an American singer-songwriter, rapper, actor, and record producer. Monáe is signed to Atlantic Records, as well as to their own imprint, the Wondaland Arts Society. Monáe has received eight Grammy Award nominations. Monáe won an MTV Video Music Award and the ASCAP Vanguard Award in 2010. Monáe was also honored with the Billboard Women in Music Rising Star Award in 2015 and the Trailblazer of the Year Award in 2018. In 2012, Monáe became a CoverGirl spokesperson. Boston City Council named October 16, 2013 "Janelle Monáe Day" in the city of Boston, Massachusetts, in recognition of their artistry and social leadership.
Monáe's musical career began in 2003 upon releasing a demo album titled The Audition. In 2007, Monáe publicly debuted with a conceptual EP titled Metropolis: Suite I (The Chase). It peaked at number two on the US Top Heatseekers chart, and in 2010, through Bad Boy Records, Monáe released a first full-length studio album, The ArchAndroid, a concept album and sequel to their first EP. In 2011, Monáe was featured as a guest vocalist on fun.'s single "We Are Young", which achieved major commercial success, topping the charts of more than ten countries and garnering Monáe a wider audience. Their second studio album, The Electric Lady, was released in 2013 and debuted at number five on the Billboard 200, serving as the fourth and fifth installments of the seven-part Metropolis concept series.
In 2016, Monáe made their theatrical film debut in two high-profile productions; Monáe starred in Hidden Figures as NASA mathematician and aerospace engineer Mary Jackson, and also starred in Moonlight. Hidden Figures was a box office success, while Moonlight won the Academy Award for Best Picture at the 89th annual ceremony. Monáe's third studio album, Dirty Computer, also described as a concept album, was released in 2018 to widespread critical acclaim; it was chosen as the best album of the year by several publications and earned Monáe two nominations at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year. The album debuted at number six on the Billboard 200 and was further promoted by Monáe's Dirty Computer Tour, which lasted from June to August 2018.
—Monáe, on her childhood musical inspiration
Janelle Monáe Robinson was born on December 1, 1985 in Kansas City, Kansas and was raised in a working-class community of Kansas City, Quindaro. Her mother, Janet, worked as a janitor and a hotel maid. Her father, Michael Robinson Summers, was a truck driver. Monáe's parents separated when Monáe was a toddler and her mother later married a postal worker. Monáe has a younger sister, Kimmy, from their mother's remarriage.
Monáe was raised Baptist and learned to sing at a local church. Her family members were musicians and performers at the local AME church, the Baptist church, and the Church of God in Christ. Monáe dreamed of being a singer and a performer from a very young age, and has cited the fictional character of Dorothy Gale from The Wizard of Oz as a musical influence. The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, which Monáe bought two copies of with her first check, was another source of inspiration. She performed songs from the album on Juneteenth talent shows, winning three years in a row.
As a teenager, Monáe was enrolled in the Coterie Theater's Young Playwrights' Round Table, which began writing musicals. One musical, completed when she was around the age of 12, was inspired by the 1979 Stevie Wonder album Journey Through "The Secret Life of Plants".
Monáe attended F. L. Schlagle High School, and after high school, moved to New York City to study musical theater at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy, where she was the only black woman in her class. Monáe enjoyed the experience, but feared that she might lose her edge and "sound, or look or feel like anybody else". In a 2010 interview Monáe explained, "I felt like that was a home but I wanted to write my own musicals. I didn't want to have to live vicariously through a character that had been played thousands of times – in a line with everybody wanting to play the same person."
After a year and a half, Monáe dropped out of the academy and relocated to Atlanta, enrolling in Perimeter College at Georgia State University. She began writing her own music and performing around the campus. In 2003, Monáe self-released a demo album titled The Audition, which she sold out of the trunk of a Mitsubishi Galant. During this period, Monáe became acquainted with songwriters and producers Chuck Lightning and Nate Wonder. The three would eventually form the Wondaland Arts Collective. She worked at an Office Depot but was fired for answering a fan's e-mail using a company computer, an incident that inspired the song "Lettin' Go", which in turn attracted the attention of Big Boi.
2005: Career beginnings
Monáe appeared on the Purple Ribbon All-Stars album Got Purp? Vol. 2 as well as on OutKast's 2006 album Idlewild, where she is featured on the songs "Call the Law" and "In Your Dreams". Big Boi told his friend Sean Combs about Monáe, of whom at the time Combs had not yet heard. Combs soon visited Monáe's MySpace page and according to a HitQuarters interview with Bad Boy Records A&R person Daniel 'Skid' Mitchell, Combs loved it right away: "[He] loved her look, loved that you couldn't see her body, loved the way she was dancing, and just loved the vibe. He felt like she has something that was different – something new and fresh."
Monáe signed to the label, Bad Boy, in 2006. The label's chief role was to facilitate her exposure on a much broader scale rather than developing the artist and music, because in the words of Mitchell, "She was already moving, she already had her records – she had a self-contained movement." Combs and Big Boi wanted to take their time and build her profile organically and allow the music to grow rather than put out "a hot single which everyone jumps on, and then they fade because it's just something of the moment."
2007–2011: Metropolis and The ArchAndroid
In 2007, Monáe released her first solo work, Metropolis. It was originally conceived as a concept album in four parts, or "suites", which were to be released through her website and mp3 download sites. After the release of the first part of the series, Metropolis: Suite I (The Chase) in mid-2007, these plans were altered following signing with Sean Combs's label, Bad Boy Records, later in the year. The label gave an official and physical release to the first suite in August 2008, which was retitled Metropolis: The Chase Suite (Special Edition) and included two new tracks. The EP was critically acclaimed, garnering Monáe a 51st Annual Grammy Awards Grammy nomination for Best Urban/Alternative Performance for the single "Many Moons", festival appearances and opening slots for indie pop band of Montreal. Monáe also toured as the opening act for band No Doubt on their summer 2009 tour. Her single "Open Happiness" was featured in the 2009 season finale of American Idol. Monáe told MTV about the concept for her new album and also discussed an alter-ego named Cindi Mayweather, she said:
Cindi is an android and I love speaking about the android because they are the new "other". People are afraid of the other and I believe we're going to live in a world with androids because of technology and the way it advances. The first album she was running because she had fallen in love with a human and she was being disassembled for that.
In a November 2009 interview, Monáe revealed the title and concept behind her album, The ArchAndroid. The album was released on May 18, 2010. The second and third suites of Metropolis are combined into this full-length release, in which Monáe's alter-ego, Cindi Mayweather – also the protagonist of Metropolis: The Chase Suite – becomes a messianic figure to the android community of Metropolis. Monáe announced plans to shoot a video for each song on The ArchAndroid and create a film, graphic novel and a touring Broadway musical based on the album. The Metropolis concept series draws inspiration from a wide range of musical, cinematic and other sources, ranging from Alfred Hitchcock to Debussy to Philip K. Dick. However, the series puts Fritz Lang's 1927 silent film Metropolis, which Monáe referred to as "the godfather of science-fiction movies", in special regard. Aside from sharing a name, they also share visual styles (the cover for The ArchAndroid is inspired by the iconic poster for Metropolis), conceptual themes and political goals, using expressionistic future scenarios to examine and explore contemporary ideas of prejudice and class. Both also include a performing female android, though to very different effect. Where Metropolis android Maria is the evil, havoc-sowing double of the messianic figure to the city's strictly segregated working class, Monáe's messianic android muse Cindi Mayweather represents an interpretation of androids as that segregated minority, which Monáe describes as "... the Other. And I feel like all of us, whether in the majority or the minority, felt like the Other at some point."
Monáe received the Vanguard Award from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers at the Rhythm & Soul Music Awards in 2010. Monáe covered Charlie Chaplin's Smile on Billboard.com in June 2010. In an NPR interview in September 2010, Monáe said she is a believer in, and a proponent of, time travel. Monáe performed "Tightrope" during the second elimination episode of the 11th Season of Dancing with the Stars on September 28, 2010. Monáe performed at the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards in 2011 alongside artists Bruno Mars and B.o.B; they performed the synth section of B.o.B's song "Nothin' on You" and she then performed the track "Cold War" with B.o.B on the guitar and Mars on the drums. The performance received a standing ovation. Monáe's single "Tightrope" was also featured on the American Idols LIVE! Tour 2011, performed by Pia Toscano, Haley Reinhart, Naima Adedapo, and Thia Megia.
In September 2011, Monáe was featured as a guest vocalist on fun.'s single, "We Are Young", which achieved major commercial success, topping the charts of more than ten countries and selling over ten million units worldwide. The song garnered Monáe three Grammy nominations at the 55th Annual Grammy Awards, including Record of the Year. Nate Ruess, the lead singer of fun., performed an acoustic version of "We Are Young" with Monáe.
2012–2014: The Electric Lady and other projects
Monáe was also featured on "Do My Thing" for Estelle's studio album, All of Me. In June 2012, Monáe performed two new songs, "Electric Lady" and "Dorothy Dandridge Eyes" – from her then-upcoming sophomore studio album, The Electric Lady – at the Toronto Jazz Festival. In July 2012, for the second year in a row, Monáe appeared at the North Sea Jazz Festival in Europe as well as in the 46th edition of the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland on the 14th.
In August 2012, Monáe was chosen as CoverGirl's newest spokesperson. In September 2012, Monáe performed at CarolinaFest in support of President Obama, just before the 2012 Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina. In October 2012, Monáe starred in a commercial for the Sonos Wireless HiFi home audio system, and appeared in a Sonos commercial in 2012 with Deep Cotton. Boston City Council named October 16, 2013 "Janelle Monáe Day" in the city of Boston, Massachusetts, in recognition of her artistry and social leadership.
Monáe's first single from The Electric Lady, "Q.U.E.E.N.", featuring Erykah Badu, premiered on SoundCloud and made available for download purchase at the iTunes Store on April 23, 2013. "Q.U.E.E.N." garnered 31,000 digital sales according to Nielsen Soundscan with the accompanying music video gaining four million YouTube views within its first week of release. In her 2013 interview with fuse, Monáe said "Q.U.E.E.N." was inspired by conversations she shared with Erykah Badu about the treatment of marginalized people, especially African-American women, and the title is an acronym "for those who are marginalized"; Q standing for the queer community, U standing for the "untouchables", the first E standing for "emigrants", the latter standing for "excommunicated" and N standing for "negroid". Thematically, The Electric Lady continues the utopian cyborg concepts of its predecessors, while presenting itself in more plainspoken, introspective territory in addition to experimenting with genres beyond conventional funk and soul such as jazz ("Dorothy Dandridge Eyes"), pop-punk ("Dance Apocalyptic"), gospel ("Victory") and woozy, sensual vocal ballads ("PrimeTime", featuring Miguel). The album features guest appearances by Prince, Solange Knowles, aforementioned Miguel and Esperanza Spalding with production from previous collaborator Deep Cotton (a psychedelic punk act) and Roman GianArthur (a soul music composer), and was released to critical acclaim on September 10, 2013.
On September 14, 2013, Monáe performed along with Chic at the iTunes Festival in London. On September 28, Monáe performed at the Global Citizens Festival in Central Park alongside Stevie Wonder. Monáe performed as the featured musical guest on Saturday Night Live October 26 with host Edward Norton.
Monáe's voice is heard as veterinarian Dr. Monáe in the movie Rio 2, released in the U.S. on April 11, 2014, and the song "What Is Love" was featured on the soundtrack. In April 2014, Monáe was invited to perform along with Tessanne Chin, Patti LaBelle, Aretha Franklin, Jill Scott, Ariana Grande, and Melissa Etheridge at the White House as a part of the PBS-broadcast "Women of Soul" event, which celebrated American women artists whose work has left an indelible and profound impact on American national musical culture. She performed "Goldfinger", "Tightrope", and joined in on the all-inclusive performance of "Proud Mary".
On April 14, 2014, Monáe was the recipient of the inaugural Harvard College Women's Center Award for Achievement in Arts and Media for achievements as an artist, advocate and feminist. She tweeted earlier that day, "Headed to #Harvard to meet the beautiful ladies in the Women's Center. Can't believe I'm the honoree today. Just So thankful." Monáe was also recognized as the 2014 Woman of the Year by the Harvard College Black Men's Forum at their annual Celebration of Black Women gala.
In mid-2014, Monáe had an interview with Fuse where she teased a follow up to The Electric Lady, saying "I'm working on a new, cool creative project called 'Eephus'" and "It's a big concept and you're not going to see it coming. It'll just land." Later in 2014, Monáe was featured on Sérgio Mendes' album, Magic. She sings on the track titled "Visions of You".
2015–2017: The Eephus, Moonlight, and Hidden Figures
In February 2015, Monáe along with Epic Records and its CEO and chairman L.A. Reid announced that Monáe's independent label Wondaland Arts Society has signed a "landmark joint venture partnership" to revamp the label, now known as Wondaland Records, and to promote the artists on the label. Jem Aswad of Billboard called Monáe a "mini-mogul" because of the deal and revealed that "the partnership will bow in May with a 5-song compilation EP called The Eephus, including tracks from rapper Jidenna [...], Roman, St. Beauty, Deep Cotton and Monáe herself." With this move, Monáe has become one of the few black women who run their own independent record label in conjunction with a major record label.
In late March 2015, Monáe released the single "Yoga" from the album The Eephus. The album debuted at number 22 of the Billboard 200 and at number 5 of the top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums with an equivalent album sales of 47,000 units.
In mid-2015 Monáe attended various fashion events including London Fashion Week and the 2015 Met Gala. She began collaborating with Nile Rodgers for a new Chic album and Duran Duran for the album Paper Gods, their first album in over five years, and their single called "Pressure Off".
On August 14, 2015, Monáe and the body of her Atlanta-based Wondaland Arts Society collective performed the protest song "Hell You Talmbout", which raised awareness of the many black lives that were taken as a result of police brutality, with lyrics such as "Walter Scott, say his name. Jerame Reid, say his name. Philip White, say his name ... Eric Garner, say his name. Trayvon Martin, say his name ... Sandra Bland, say her name. Sharondra Singleton, say her name." She also gave a speech about police brutality after the performance on NBC's Today Show, "Yes Lord! God bless America! God bless all the lost lives to police brutality. We want white America to know that we stand tall today. We want black America to know we stand tall today. We will not be silenced ..."
By March 15, 2016, First Lady Michelle Obama proclaimed that she had assembled a collaborative track featuring vocals from Monáe, Kelly Clarkson, Zendaya and Missy Elliott, alongside production credit from pop songwriter Diane Warren and Elliott, titled "This Is for My Girls". The iTunes-exclusive record was used to both coincide with Obama's Texan SXSW speech and to promote the First Lady's third-world educational initiative Let Girls Learn.
In October 2016, Monáe made her big screen acting debut in the critically acclaimed film Moonlight, alongside Naomie Harris, André Holland, and Mahershala Ali. Monáe also starred in the film Hidden Figures, alongside actors Taraji P. Henson and Octavia Spencer; the film was released in December 2016.
2017–present: Dirty Computer and continued acting
While filming these two movie roles, Monáe remained active in music with features on Grimes' "Venus Fly" from her Art Angels album and also the soundtrack for the Netflix series The Get Down with a song titled, "Hum Along and Dance (Gotta Get Down)". Monáe was also on the tracks "Isn't This the World" and "Jalapeño" for the Hidden Figures soundtrack.
In an interview with People, Monáe revealed that she was already working on her third studio album when she received the scripts for her two first acting roles; therefore, she put the album on hold. Monáe also revealed in the interview that she would be releasing new music sometime in 2017, although by the end of the year no album or single was announced. On February 16, 2018, Monáe revealed her third studio album, entitled Dirty Computer, through a teaser video released on YouTube. The album was accompanied by a narrative film project, and the teaser video aired nationwide in select theaters prior to screenings of Black Panther. Monáe recently held a series of "top-secret" listening sessions in Los Angeles and New York in support of the album. On February 22, 2018, Monáe released "Make Me Feel" and "Django Jane" as the first two singles from Dirty Computer, both accompanied by their respective music videos and announced that the album would follow on April 27, 2018. Monáe stated in an interview with BBC Radio 1: "Prince was actually working on the album with me before he passed on to another frequency, and helped me come up with some sounds. And I really miss him, you know, it's hard for me to talk about him. But I do miss him, and his spirit will never leave me."
On April 27, 2018, Monáe released a sci-fi film companion "emotion picture" to her new record Dirty Computer. The album debuted at the number six of the Billboard 200 with 54,000 equivalent units and on the top ten charts of Canada, United Kingdom and Ireland. It was chosen as the best album of the year by three publications: the Associated Press, New York Times, and NPR. The album received the nomination for Album of the Year at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards. She also contributed to the soundtrack to the dark comedy film Sorry to Bother You, collaborating with The Coup.
On November 15, 2018, it was announced that Monáe would receive the Trailblazer of the Year award at the 2018 Billboard Women in Music event, which was held on December 6, 2018. Also in 2018, Monáe co-starred in the fantasy drama feature film Welcome to Marwen, by filmmaker and screenwriter Robert Zemeckis alongside Steve Carell and Leslie Mann. On January 3, 2019, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival announced that Monáe will co-headliner the stage with Childish Gambino. Glastonbury Festival also confirmed Monáe's presence as headlining the West Holts stage of the festival. Four days after the Coachella setlist announcement, Monàe released a new music video for the song "Screwed". She replaced Julia Roberts in the second season of the Amazon Prime Video series, Homecoming, playing "a tenacious woman who finds herself floating in a canoe, with no memory of how she got there or who she is." Also in 2019, she co-starred in the film Harriet, about abolitionist Harriet Tubman. Monáe returned to the big screen twice in 2020, with her first lead role in September 2020 with horror film Antebellum, and another supporting role with biopic The Glorias.
On February 9, 2020, Monáe opened the 92nd Academy Awards with a performance featuring Billy Porter that highlighted the many films nominated as well as films that were snubbed by the Academy, including Dolemite Is My Name and Midsommar.
In September 2020, Monáe released Turntables a music video as part of the Amazon Studios’ bipartisan voter registration campaign. The song is used over the end credits of the Stacey Abrams backed film, All In: The Fight for Democracy.
Musical styles and influences
Monáe has a mezzo-soprano voice. The Telegraph published an interview with Monáe, talking about her first studio album, in which the journalist Bernadette McNulty said, "I begin to worry for a moment that Monáe may not just be a humourless science-fiction nerd, but actually an android herself, created in a laboratory as a super-musical cross between James Brown, Judy Garland, André 3000 and Steve Jobs, invented to test the desperate incredulity of music journalists." She also compared Monáe to artists such as Annie Lennox, Lauryn Hill, and Corinne Bailey Rae. Monáe's musical styles have been described as "a soaring orchestral trip enlivened with blockbuster vocals, mysterious imagery and notes of Sixties pop and jazz". The Guardian has noted some of Monáe's influences as: Michael Jackson, Janet Jackson, Prince, Outkast, Erykah Badu, James Brown, Grace Jones, Stevie Wonder, David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, Bernard Herrmann, Funkadelic and the Incredible String Band. Matthew Valnes likens Monáe's dancing style in the music video for "Tightrope" to that of James Brown. In an opinion piece for The Quietus, John Calvert places Janelle Monáe within the Afrofuturism movement, pointing out her similarities to Sun Ra and George Clinton. He asserts that Janelle Monáe is innovating the genre. Monáe has said she has an alter-ego named Cindi Mayweather who according to Monáe is from the year 2719. In her first EP Monáe gave this alter-ego a back-story that she was on the run after breaking the law in her home town of Metropolis by falling in love with a human named Anthony Greendown. Monáe explained about Cindi, saying "The Archandroid, Cindi, is the mediator, between the mind and the hand. She's the mediator between the haves and the have-nots, the oppressed and the oppressor. She's like the Archangel in the Bible, and what Neo represents to the Matrix." In her second album, Cindi Mayweather returned to Earth to liberate Metropolitans from the Great Divide, an oppressive oligarchy that used time travel to "suppress freedom and love". Chris Champion of The Observer described Metropolis and The ArchAndroid as "psychedelic soul with a sci-fi twist". Matthew Valnes describes Monáe as innovating a more contemporary Neo-Afrofuturism, where the android role is used as a tool to critique the representation of Black female musicians in the funk genre. Funk music of 1960s through 1980s is a prevalent music style influencing Monáe. The website for Monáe's Wondaland Arts Society Collective asserts "We believe there are only three forms of music; good music, bad music, and funk." Monáe has also referred to herself as a "funkstress".
Monáe's roots in Kansas City, Kansas, where she were born and raised, are evident in her lyrics and style. According to Carrie Battan's Pitchfork feature on Monáe, the song "Ghetto Woman" directly addresses Monáe's working-class K.C., Kansas mother – as well as the portrayal of working-class black women in U.S. culture – with the line "Carry on, ghetto woman, even when the news portrays you less than you could be." Monáe also told the London Evening Standard she has internalized her KCK (K.C., KS) roots by wearing the working-class uniform of her parents and expressing concern that she cannot let "her community down". On the album The ArchAndroid, especially in songs like "Cold War" or "BabopbyeYa", Monáe relates "the dystopian cityscapes depicted in Metropolis to the boarded-up projects of poverty-wracked Kansas". Kansas City, therefore, not only represents Monáe's physical roots within her hometown, but also serves as an important influence on the lyrics and science-fictional setting.
—Monáe, on her image and artistic freedom
Monáe's signature style is her tuxedo wardrobe. She said "I bathe in it, I swim in it, and I could be buried in it. A tux is such a standard uniform, it's so classy and it's a lifestyle I enjoy. The tux keeps me balanced. I look at myself as a canvas. I don't want to cloud myself with too many colors or I'll go crazy. It's an experiment I'm doing. I think I want to be in the Guinness Book of World Records." Monáe's signature look harkens back to dandyism. Citing Grace Jones and Josephine Baker as role models, Monáe takes the classical 18th-century look in the classical white and black pattern. Monáe's signature look can also be attributed to the early days in her career, when she was employed as a maid. She mentioned this in her acceptance speech for the "Young, Gifted, and Black" award at the 2012 Black Girls Rock! ceremony. Monáe has been known to distribute the Ten Droid Commandments which encourages her fans to be individuals. The Telegraph also commented on her image as an artist saying "Sitting in a grey, airless record company office, this slight, stiff young woman delivers her speech in slow, deliberate tones, utterly expressionless. Dressed in her trademark starched shirt and tuxedo, hair immaculately coiffed, Monáe's face is an opaque mask of perfection: all silken smooth skin, button nose and glassy brown eyes." Monáe describes tuxedos as being a uniform for her career, speaks of wanting to redefine how women dress, and has been featured in the "Style 100" of InStyle magazine.
During a 2011 interview with London Evening Standard, Monáe said she "only dates androids", a reference to her musical alter-ego found in many of her songs. She 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.'" She added that she would talk about her sexual orientation "in due time". In 2013, Monáe said she wants both men and women to "still be attracted to [her]" and expressed support for the LGBTQ community.
Monáe has said she identifies with both bisexuality and pansexuality. On January 10, 2020, she tweeted the hashtag #IAmNonbinary, along with a quoted tweet, which trended on Twitter that day. Monáe said in an interview with The Cut a month after the tweet that "I tweeted the #IAmNonbinary hashtag in support of Nonbinary Day and to bring more awareness to the community. I retweeted the Steven Universe meme ‘Are you a boy or a girl? I’m an experience’ because it resonated with me, especially as someone who has pushed boundaries of gender since the beginning of my career. I feel my feminine energy, my masculine energy, and energy I can't even explain."
|2014||Rio 2||Dr. Monae (voice)|
|Hidden Figures||Mary Jackson|
|2018||Welcome to Marwen||Julie|
|Lady and the Tramp||Peg (voice)|
|2020||The Glorias||Dorothy Pitman Hughes|
|2009||Stargate Universe||Herself||Episode: "Earth"|
Performed "Many Moons"
|2010||Dancing with the Stars||Herself||Performed "Tightrope"|
Episode: "The Boring Identity"
|2013||Saturday Night Live||Herself||Episode: "Edward Norton/Janelle Monáe"|
|2014||In Performance at the White House: Women of Soul||Herself||Performed "Goldfinger" and "Tightrope"|
|2014||Sesame Street||Herself/performer||Episode: "The Power of Yet"|
|2017||Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams||Alice||Episode: "Autofac"|
|2018||Dirty Computer||Jane 57821||Short television film|
|Homecoming||Jackie||Main cast (Season 2)|
|2019||Heroes of the Storm||Qhira||Voice|
As a supporting act
Awards and nominations
- "Cover Story: Janelle Monáe | Features". Pitchfork. Retrieved February 11, 2014.
- Garcia, Carlos (April 6, 2014). "Janelle Monae Songs, Net Worth, Boyfriend News: 'Electric Lady' R&B Singer Pays Tribute To David Bowie, Covers 'Heroes'". Latin Post. Retrieved April 11, 2014.
- Kellman, Andy. "Janelle Monae AllMusic Bio". AllMusic. Retrieved September 13, 2020.
- Gundersen, Edna (October 24, 2013). "'Billboard' names Janelle Monáe its 2013 Rising Star". USA Today. Retrieved August 20, 2020.
- Ellis, Stacy-Ann (February 19, 2015). "The Future of Janelle Monae's Wondaland Records Is Very Bright". Vibe. Retrieved June 26, 2015.
- "Janelle Monáe's Wondland Records and Epic Records Launch Landmark Joint Venture Partnership!". EpicRecords.com. Archived from the original on April 21, 2015. Retrieved April 21, 2015.
- "Janelle Monae Signs to Bad Boy Records". Whudat.com. Retrieved August 17, 2012.
- "Artists". Atlantic Records. Retrieved August 17, 2012.
- "Janelle Monae Celebrity Interview". June 16, 2011. Retrieved June 28, 2013 – via YouTube.
- Brown, Marisa. "Janelle Monáe: Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved April 8, 2013.
- "Janelle Monae". GRAMMY.com. March 17, 2014. Retrieved January 21, 2019.
- "61st GRAMMY Awards: Full Nominees List". GRAMMY.com. December 7, 2018. Retrieved December 8, 2018.
- "Janelle Monae Album & Song Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved August 17, 2012.
- Bailey, Rachel (February 11, 2010). "Janelle Monáe to (Finally!) Release Debut Album in May". Paste. Retrieved August 17, 2012.
- "Janelle Monáe, 'The ArchAndroid'". Billboard. September 14, 2009. Retrieved August 17, 2012.
- Lewis, Pete. Janelle Monáe: Funky Sensation. Blues & Soul. Retrieved on July 12, 2010.
- Mendelson, Scott. "Why It's A Big Deal That 'Hidden Figures' Topped $200M Worldwide". Forbes. Retrieved March 12, 2019.
- "2019 GRAMMY Awards: Complete Nominations List". Grammy.com. December 7, 2018. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
- "Janelle Monáe announces Dirty Computer tour dates, plus video for 'I Like That': Watch". Consequence of Sound. April 23, 2018. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
- "Who is Janelle Monae?". randb.about.com. December 1, 1985. Archived from the original on December 28, 2010. Retrieved February 23, 2011.
- Spanos, Brittany (April 26, 2018). "Janelle Monáe Frees Herself". Rolling Stone. Retrieved April 26, 2018.
- Pascoe, Alley (April 5, 2018). "Janelle Monáe Opens Up About The Strong Women Who Raised Her". Marie Claire. Retrieved March 7, 2020.
- Alexander, Danny (October 21, 2010). "Janelle Monae's roots in one of Kansas City's most historic – and troubled – neighborhoods". Pitch. Archived from the original on September 24, 2015. Retrieved April 21, 2015.
- "Janelle Monae brings her talents to the Fillmore Miami Beach on Saturday". Miami Herald. November 18, 2013. Retrieved March 7, 2020.
- Stokes, Paul (July 19, 2019). "6 things we learned about Janelle Monae ... from The First Time". BBC. Retrieved March 7, 2020.
- Wortham, Jenna (April 19, 2018). "How Janelle Monáe Found Her Voice". The New York Times. Retrieved March 7, 2020.
- Lynskey, Dorian (August 26, 2010). "Janelle Monáe: sister from another planet". The Guardian. London.
- St. Félix, Doreen (March 1, 2018). "The Otherworldly Concept Albums of Janelle Monáe". The New Yorker. Retrieved March 7, 2020.
- Credits: Idlewild. Allmusic. Retrieved on May 10, 2010.
- "Interview With Daniel 'Skid' Mitchell". HitQuarters. October 25, 2010. Archived from the original on December 15, 2010. Retrieved November 10, 2010.
- "Janelle Monáe Interview – 51st Grammy Awards Blog post". Grammy.com. Archived from the original on July 29, 2010. Retrieved October 5, 2016.
- "Janelle Monáe opening for of Montreal and No Doubt (dates)". Brooklynvegan.com. April 10, 2009. Retrieved May 16, 2010.
- "'Open Happiness' Featured on the Season Finale of American Idol! van Janelle Monae op Myspace". Myspace. Archived from the original on February 7, 2009. Retrieved August 17, 2012.
- "Janelle Monae Talks To Our Urban Blog". MTV. May 13, 2010. Retrieved April 23, 2013.
- "Janelle Monae on new album, The Arch Android". YouTube. November 11, 2009. Retrieved May 16, 2010.
- Dacks, David (May 22, 2010). "Janelle Monae Buys into Independence". Exclaim!. Retrieved August 17, 2012.
- DeLuca, Dan (June 4, 2010). "Janelle Monae bringing a diverse pop platter to the Tower". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Archived from the original on June 11, 2010.
- Colter Walls, Seth (May 28, 2010). "Music Review: Janelle Monáe – Newsweek and The Daily Beast". Newsweek. Retrieved August 17, 2012.
- Carroll, Jim (July 9, 2010). "Minority report". The Irish Times. Retrieved August 17, 2012.
- "Janelle Monae | Monae To Receive Ascap Award". Contactmusic.com. June 8, 2010. Retrieved August 17, 2012.
- "Janelle Monáe". NPR.org. Retrieved April 19, 2017.
- "Dancing with the Stars". TV Guide. September 28, 2010.
- Melinda (February 13, 2011). "Janelle Monae, Bruno Mars & B.O.B. Grammy Awards 2011 Set". Rnbmusicblog.com. Archived from the original on September 13, 2012. Retrieved August 17, 2012.
- "Grammy Awards 2013: Major Nominees List". Billboard.com. Retrieved April 9, 2019.
- "Fun.: We Are Young ft. Janelle Monáe (ACOUSTIC)". YouTube. November 4, 2011. Retrieved April 9, 2019.
- "New Janelle Monae Music". Oh No They Didn't!. June 26, 2012.
- "Janelle Monae Featured in Vanity Fair". Necole Bitchie. August 4, 2012. Archived from the original on August 9, 2012.
- Steinman, Alex (August 15, 2012). "Janelle Monáe is the newest Cover Girl spokesmodel". New York Daily News.
- Tran, Vivyan (September 7, 2012). "Celebrities spotted at the Democratic National Convention". Politico.
- "Special Announcement – Janelle Monáe Latest News". Jmonae.com. Archived from the original on April 15, 2013. Retrieved April 23, 2013.
- Benjamin, Jeff. "Janelle Monae Says 'Q.U.E.E.N.' Is for the 'Ostracized & Marginalized'". Fuse.tv. Retrieved October 10, 2017.
- Lewis, Pete (July 2013). "Janelle Monae: Visionary Express". Blues & Soul. Retrieved June 26, 2014.
- "Janelle Monáe Enlists Prince and Miguel for 'The Electric Lady': Exclusive". Billboard. June 7, 2013. Retrieved June 7, 2013.
- "Chic & Nile Rodgers Delight at iTunes Festival". MTV UK. Retrieved September 16, 2013.
- Fitzpatrick, Kevin (October 14, 2013). "'SNL' Taps Edward Norton to Host, with Musical Guest Janelle Monae". ScreenCrush. Retrieved October 15, 2013.
- Rutherford, Kevin (March 4, 2014). "'Rio 2' Soundtrack Out March 25, Features Janelle Monae, Bruno Mars". Billboard.
- THECOMPLEX (February 21, 2014). "Photo: Janelle Monáe Voicing as the Doctor in 'Rio 2'". Sinuous Magazine.
- Newman, Melinda (March 4, 2014). "Check out Janelle Monaes irresistible new track, What is Love from Rio 2". HitFix.
- "Video: Women of Soul". Retrieved April 8, 2014.
- Le, Quynh-Nhu; Moreno, Yasmin; Schacter, Joanna R. (April 15, 2014). "Janelle Monáe Honored as Artist and Advocate". The Harvard Crimson.
- Khayla (April 16, 2014). "Janelle Monáe Receives Two Honors From Harvard". SoulBounce. Retrieved April 21, 2015.
- Janelle Monáe, Cindi [@JanelleMonae] (April 14, 2014). "Headed to #Harvard to meet the beautiful ladies in the Women's Center. Can't believe I'm the honoree today. Just so thankful" (Tweet). Retrieved April 21, 2015 – via Twitter.
- "Janelle Monae honored at Harvard College". V100.com. Archived from the original on January 2, 2015. Retrieved April 21, 2015.
- "Janelle Monae Teases New Project 'Eephus'". Fuse. Retrieved April 21, 2015.
- Cohen, Sandy (September 13, 2014). "Sergio Mendes keeps the 'magic' alive on his latest album". Washington Post. Retrieved April 21, 2015.
- Janelle Monáe, Cindi [@JanelleMonae] (February 13, 2015). "'We come in peace, but we mean business. Welcome to Wondaland Records.' tinyurl.com/WondalandEpic #WondalandRecords instagram.com/p/zDftnBH_ss/" (Tweet). Retrieved May 17, 2018 – via Twitter.
- Epic Records [@Epic_Records] (February 13, 2015). "WELCOME. TO. THE. FUTURE. bit.ly/1CoScue #Wondaland #BeEpic" (Tweet). Retrieved May 17, 2018 – via Twitter.
- Reid, L.A. [@LA_Reid] (February 13, 2015). ".@Wondaland Records partners w/ @Epic_Records Courtesy of @JanelleMonae bit.ly/1Ja5txa #TheFuture #BeEpic" (Tweet). Retrieved May 17, 2018 – via Twitter.
- Aswad, Jem (February 13, 2015). "Janelle Monae Becomes a Mini-Mogul With Her Revamped Label". Billboard.com. Retrieved February 14, 2015.
- Goble, Corban (March 31, 2015). "Janelle Monáe Shares 'Yoga' Featuring Jidenna". Pitchfork.com. Pitchfork Media. Retrieved April 20, 2015.
- "Chart III. 1 Various cases of return migration". doi:10.1787/428281631410. Cite journal requires
- Loum, Noretta (February 25, 2015). "Janelle Monae at Antonio Berardi Show During London Fashion Week". Afro Cosmopolitan. Retrieved May 7, 2015.
- Monaé, Ashley (May 5, 2015). "Celebrity Hairstylist Caprice Green Dishes on Janelle Monáe's Met Gala WondaBraid". Vibe. Retrieved May 7, 2015.
- Van Nguyen, Dean (April 28, 2015). "Elton John and Janelle Monáe to appear on new Chic album". NME. Retrieved May 7, 2015.
- Gallagher, Natalie (March 27, 2015). "Janelle Monáe collaborates with Duran Duran on the band's forthcoming album". Pitch.com. Archived from the original on May 6, 2015. Retrieved May 7, 2015.
- Weiner, Natalie (August 17, 2015). "Monae's Police Brutality Speech Cut Off on 'Today' Show". Billboard. Retrieved October 10, 2017.
- Lindner, Emilee (March 15, 2016). "Michelle Obama Teams with Missy Elliott, Janelle Monae, Zendaya & More for New Song". Fuse. Retrieved March 15, 2016.
- "Janelle Monáe Lands First Big Screen Role". Vibe. October 23, 2015. Retrieved October 26, 2015.
- Anderson, Tre'vell (October 24, 2016). "Songstress Janelle Monae stretches her dramatic muscles in 'Moonlight'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 27, 2016.
- Jefferson, J'na (March 9, 2016). "Janelle Monáe & Taraji P. Henson To Star in Film About Black Women in NASA". Vibe. Retrieved March 9, 2016.
- Barnes, Tom (February 2, 2017). "Grimes, Janelle Monáe smash patriarchy symbols as warrior queens in 'Venus Fly' video". Mic. Retrieved February 19, 2017.
- Roth, Madeline (August 10, 2016). "Janelle Monáe Channels the '70s with New Song 'Hum Along and Dance'". MTV News. Retrieved February 19, 2017.
- Itzkoff, Dave (January 3, 2017). "Pharrell Williams, Making Noise for 'Hidden Figures' Everywhere". The New York Times. Retrieved February 19, 2017.
- Miller, Mike (February 16, 2017). "Why Janelle Monáe Put Her Music on Hold to Take Hollywood by Storm". People. Retrieved February 19, 2017.
- Marine, Brooke (February 16, 2018). "Janelle Monáe's Dirty Computer Trailer is Full of Symbolic Looks You May Have Missed". W Magazine. Retrieved February 17, 2018.
- Kim, Michelle (February 16, 2018). "Janelle Monáe Announces New Album Dirty Computer". Pitchfork.com. Retrieved February 17, 2018.
- "Janelle Monae Announces First Album in Five Years, 'Dirty Computer,' With Teaser Video". Variety. February 16, 2018. Retrieved February 16, 2018.
- "This week's new releases". Official Charts Company. Retrieved February 22, 2018.
- Strauss, Matthew (February 22, 2018). "Janelle Monáe Details New Album, Drops New Song and Video 'Django Jane'". Pitchfork.com. Retrieved February 22, 2018.
- Jefferson, J'na (February 27, 2018). "Legendary: Prince helped Janelle Monaé with her new album". MSN.com. Archived from the original on July 22, 2018. Retrieved February 28, 2018.
- Zach, Dionne. "Android Queen Janelle Monáe Lands Perfect Sci-Fi Role on 'Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams'". Fuse. Retrieved June 6, 2017.
- "Janelle Monae releases sci-fi film companion to new album Dirty Computer". The Independent. April 27, 2018. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
- "Post Malone's 'Beerbongs & Bentleys' Breaks Streaming Record, Debuts at No. 1 on Billboard 200 Albums Chart". Billboard. Retrieved November 20, 2018.
- Fekadu, Mesfin (December 11, 2018). "AP's top 2018 albums: Janelle Monae, Kacey Musgraves, J Cole". AP NEWS. Retrieved March 13, 2019.
- Pareles, Jon; Caramanica, Jon (December 6, 2018). "The 28 Best Albums of 2018". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 13, 2019.
- "The 50 Best Albums Of 2018 (10–1)". NPR.org. Retrieved March 13, 2019.
- "Janelle Monáe and Cyndi Lauper to Be Honored at Billboard's Women in Music Event". Billboard. 2018. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
- Muhammad, Latifah (May 22, 2017). "Janelle Monae Lands Role in Robert Zemeckis Film". Vibe. Retrieved June 6, 2017.
- "Coachella 2019 – Line Up, Dates, Headliner And More ... Ariana Grande, Childish Gambino Confirmed". Capital. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
- "The third Glastonbury headliner has just been revealed". Evening Standard. January 7, 2019. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
- Shaffer, Claire (July 23, 2019). "Janelle Monae Will Star in Amazon's 'Homecoming' Season Two". Rolling Stone. Retrieved September 16, 2019.
- Bradley, Laura. "Antebellum, Janelle Monáe's Upcoming Horror Film, Looks Twisted and Terrifying". Vanity Fair. Retrieved February 12, 2020.
- N'Duka, Amanda. "Janelle Monáe Joins Gloria Steinem Biopic 'The Glorias: A Life On The Road'". Deadline. Retrieved February 12, 2020.
- Wood, Mikael. "Janelle Monáe kicks off Oscars with Mr. Rogers, Billy Porter and a troupe of 'Midsommar' hoofers". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved February 12, 2020.
- "Janelle Monae Shares Powerful 'Turntables' Video for 'All In: The Fight for Democracy' Film". Billboard. September 15, 2020. Retrieved September 18, 2020.
- Kevin Crust (September 16, 2020). "Review: Chin up, voters. Stacey Abrams and democracy are on your side". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved September 18, 2020.
- Reeves, Mosi (September 9, 2013). "Janelle Monae's The Electric Lady Strives to Match Her Sci-Fi Ambitions and Pop Smarts". Spin. Retrieved February 15, 2014.
- McNulty, Bernadette (June 25, 2010). "Janelle Monáe interview: the android has landed". The Daily Telegraph. London.
- "Janelle Monae: Funky Sensation". Bluesandsoul.com. Retrieved August 17, 2012.
- Valnes, Matthew (2017). "Janelle Monáe and Afro‐Sonic Feminist Funk". Journal of Popular Music Studies. 29 (3): e12224. doi:10.1111/jpms.12224.
- Calvert, John (September 2, 2010). "Janelle Monáe: A New Pioneer of Afrofuturism". The Quietus. Retrieved March 20, 2013.
- "Janelle Monae's Funky Otherworldly Sounds". NPR. June 17, 2009. Retrieved August 17, 2012.
- Andrews, Gillian 'Gus' (July 21, 2010). "Janelle Monae turns rhythm and blues into science fiction". Io9.com. Retrieved May 6, 2012.
- English, Daylanne (2013). "Now We Want Our Funk Cut: Janelle Monáe's Neo-Afrofuturism". American Studies. 52 (4): 217–230. doi:10.1353/ams.2013.0116. S2CID 145307593.
- Champion, Chris (June 13, 2009). "Flash forward: Janelle Monae". The Observer. London. Observer Music Monthly section, p. 35. Retrieved May 12, 2013.
- English, Daylanne K. (2013). "Now We Want Our Funk Cut: Janelle Monáe's Neo-Afrofuturism". American Studies. 52 (4): 217–230. doi:10.1353/ams.2013.0116. S2CID 145307593.
- Gardner, Jasmine (July 4, 2011). "RnB sensation Janelle Monáe is here because we need her". London Evening Standard. London. Retrieved June 9, 2013.
- Calvert, John (September 2, 2010). "Janelle Monáe: A New Pioneer of Afrofuturism". The Quietus. Retrieved June 24, 2014.
- "Janelle Monae covers Honey magazine and talks The ArchAndroid album". Theprophetblog.net. April 14, 2010. Archived from the original on April 21, 2012. Retrieved August 17, 2012.
- Anderson, Christina (September 17, 2012). "Emma Watson, Kate Moss And More Show Us How To Dress Like A Dandy, But Look Like A Woman". The Huffington Post. Retrieved March 24, 2014.
- "Janelle Monae Dubbed 'Girlie Grace Jones' in GQ Newcomer Spread". blindie.com. Retrieved March 24, 2014.
- "Janelle Monáe on Being a Former Maid and Why She Still Wears a Uniform". ColorLines. November 5, 2012. Archived from the original on November 7, 2012. Retrieved December 14, 2013.
- "Janelle Featured in the 'Style 100' of InStyle Magazine!". November 30, 2010. Archived from the original on March 13, 2012. Retrieved January 26, 2011.
- Dayfloat. "Janelle Monáe on Dating and Sexuality – Sway in the Morning". Okayplayer. Retrieved June 25, 2015.
- @JanelleMonae (January 10, 2020). "#IAmNonbinary" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
- Carmine (January 10, 2020). "There is absolutely nothing better than living outside the gender binary. #IAmNonbinary pic.twitter.com/1ttgRBeRdm". @carmineieroway. Retrieved February 29, 2020.
- Street, Mikelle (January 10, 2020). "Janelle Monáe Just Tweeted 'I Am Nonbinary'". Out. Retrieved January 11, 2020.
- Gay, Roxane (February 3, 2020). "Janelle Monáe's Afrofuture". The Cut. Retrieved February 29, 2020.
- "Behind the Scenes: 'In Performance at the White House: Women of Soul'". archives.gov. April 7, 2014. Retrieved August 26, 2018.
- "Watch Janelle Monae's 'Power'-ful 'Sesame Street' Visit". Billboard.com. Retrieved December 8, 2019.
- "Janelle Monáe Sings "The Power of Yet" on "Sesame Street"". Pitchfork.com. Retrieved December 8, 2019.
- "Janelle Monae's 'Dirty Computer' Film to Premiere on MTV and BET". Variety.com. April 20, 2018. Retrieved May 5, 2018.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Janelle Monáe.|