Kolleen raised Erykah single handily along with
her brother and sister, since their father had
left the family home early on in their lives.
Kollen Wright, performed as an actress in various
theatrical productions to provide for her family.
Having been influenced significantly by her
mother, Erica Wright had her first taste of
showbiz at the tender age of 4, singing and
dancing with her mother at the Dallas Theatre
Centre. Erykah says that her mother is magical.
She taught her she was the best and that she is
winner. And Erykah believed her. And as a result,
she never lost anything, ever. Kolleen says:
"It's going to sound like bragging but it is
fact. She is the most generous, truthful person
that I know. If she weren't my daughter, I would
definitely want her as my best friend. She is
true to herself. She is no joke. She is who she
is. She is a strict vegan. She is very much down
to earth and doesn't take herself too seriously."
Badu's younger sister Koryan (nickname: Koko, stage name: Nayrok) is one of Erykah's
backup singers but also manages a career on her
own. Koryan calls her music style "Hoodrok"
- a combination of rock and hip-hop with a funk
twist. Koryan's initial influence in music was
inspired by her mother's record collection. She
was a member of her church choir and the Maureen
F. Bailey Concert Choir of Dallas. Koko's love of
hip-hop and performing flourished when she and
her sister formed a rap group called Susta MCs.
On stage Koryan is uncharacteristically the
opposite of her otherwise demure person. She
performs with a band and sings from a perspective
inspired by years of love-hate relationships,
triumphs and shortcomings. A car accident in 1999
caused by a drunken driver in Houston left Koko
with two severely broken legs and two years of
rehabilitation. This life-altering event briefly
snatched some physical capabilities but
strengthened her mentally and musically. The
accident also gave rise to her personal motto,
with which Koryan ends every show: "Live
Hard, Love Hard, and Rock Harder."
Badu's younger brother, Eevin, travels with her
and serves as her merchandise manager. He is a
very important person in Erykah's life. Eevin
took part in recording Erykah's "Worldwide
Mrs Gipson often helped Erykah's mother in
looking after her children, when Kolleen had to
work as an actress to provide for her family. She
is very produ of Erykah. She says: "I knew
she was going to become famous-even as a little
girl 2 or 3 years old, she was always performing.
Everything comes natural to her, it is her gift
from the Lord."
Erykah's grandma Viola Wilson says that Badu is
passing on the same kind of confidence and self-esteem
that she and other family members instilled to
her daughter, Puma. "Puma told me one day, 'I
am wonderful, I am beautiful.' And I said 'you go
Erykah says that Gwen taught her how to be a lady
- a self-assured, elegant lady onstage and off.
Gwen says: "All of us together made sure
Erykah went into a positive direction and
cultivated the arts. We nurtured that.
Badu and her cousin, Robert "Free"
Bradford, formed a duo called Erykah Free and
performed at progressive nightspots around Dallas.
The group performed before Wu-Tang Clan, A Tribe
Called Quest and Mobb
Deep but eventually felt apart and both,
Erykah and Robert, decided to go on their own.
Robert was a producent of the "Baduizm".
Seven Sirius (born
Nov 18, 1997 at 2:07 PM in Dallas)
(born Jul 5, 2004 in Dallas)
(born Feb 1, 2009 at 1:30 PM in Dallas)