9 January 1957

Béatrice Adjorkor Anyankor was born in Accra (Ghana). Her childhood was marked by the many countries where her father, a Ghanaian diplomat, was assigned to. Affirming in adolescence a strong taste for show and song, she quickly moved towards the detriment of her studies. In the seventies returns to Africa where Bibie starts singing professionally. She enters a talent show on TV with a version of the Beatles’ ‘Let it be’. After that she joins the African show group Bombaya with whom she travels to the UK to try to break the European market. Without much luck. She returns again to Africa to perform in Togo and Niger with a program of soul numbers she performs at charity shows and small clubs along the Ivory coast. Here she is picked up by Guy Gluck who persuades her to go to Paris.

In Paris, she meets the composer Jean-Paul Dréau, who writes her debut single ‘Tout doucement’. This song became a huge success in 1985 and leads to her debut album. The song is even covered in Italian by Dalida. The follow up single ‘Je veux pas le savoir’ is also succesfull but the record label Red cat goes bankrupt and Bibie has to wait two years for a follow up with ‘Tout simplement’ (1988) on Trema (the label of Catherine Lara, amongst others). Meanwhile her debut album is re-released under the title ‘Regards’ and a second ‘Tendress’ moi’ follows quickly.

In the early 90s two more albums follow, but the public is no longer the same. Bibie is one of those singers, like Julie Pietri, Rose Laurens and Desireless, to name a few, who have been on the peak of their glory during the days of the Top 50 in the eighties. Much to everyone’s surprise she returns in 2003 with the sympathetic soul album ‘Sereine’.

On the web:

- Bibie doesn't have a website of her own but more info can be found on varietesrama.

If you like this, you probably like... / european counterparts:

Conny Vandenbos (The Netherlands)

What do we think:

DB: Some artists are mere footnotes in the europop history. Bibie is such a footnote but luckily that says nothing about the quality of the music she released. With her warm soulfull approach to French chanson she is the odd one out in a scene that is dominated by either sighing girls or robuste dames. 'Tout doucement' and 'Je veux pas le savoir' are smooth classics that deserve attention.

PR: Bibie has a very typical voice, very soft, warm and tender and - yes - black. Today her albums sound somewhat outdated due to the synths arrangements (those were the eighties...). But some of the songs are very nice and every time I listen to 'Tout simplement' I am moved again... Bibie is French-African soul!


♪♪♪♪ - Bibie - 1985

♪♪♪♪ - Regards (re-release of '85 debut) - 1988

♪♪♪ - Tendress'moi - 1988

♪♪ - La p'tite black - 1990

♪♪ - Femme d'ici ou d'ailleurs - 1992

♪♪♪ - Sereine - 2003

♪♪♪♪♪ = outstanding album, an absolute must-have
♪♪♪♪ = great album, highly recomended
♪♪♪ = nice album
♪♪ = be careful, requires listening before buying
♪ = best to be avoided