Since her debut album, Baduism, in 1997, Erykah Badu has shown us a new way of being. She taught us you don’t have to conform to industry standards of beauty; love can still exist where a romantic relationship no longer does; and you never have to stay within any one box.
Some of those very lessons from Bady were conveyed in the pages of ESSENCE. Over the years, the Texas-bred singer, songwriter, producer, and actress has covered five issues of the magazine, letting us into aspects of her life as a mother, a lover, an artist, and a muse. Bady has made statements with her fashion and her words, continuously encouraging women to tap into their spiritual side and be the version of themselves they were created to be.
As we celebrate one of our favorite Pisces’ 50th birthday today, here’s a look back at the beautiful Badu on the covers of ESSENCE.
Erykah Badu made her ESSENCE cover debut the same year she released her first album, Baduizm.
Black love reigned with this 2003 cover featuring Badu and her then-partner Common.
With the release of New Amerykah Part One, Badu once again graced the cover of the magazine, dishing out sage advice on demanding respect as a Black woman.
One year later, Badu took us on a global exploration of her music and muses while in Africa.