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The (9th) Wonder of Erykah Badu

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Neo-soul goddess Erykah Badu was born and raised in Texas, but she's got a few good ties to the Triangle -- most notably two folks from NC Central University. Central alumnus Yahzarah broke in as Badu's backup singer before going solo, while ex-Little Brother deejay 9th Wonder (Pat Douthit) is one of her regular producers.

"He was very humble," Badu said of Wonder in a recent interview. "Very pleasant. Works well with others. The things he does as a producer and as a DJ, he has no problem with showing or teaching. Some people are kind of funny about that, but he was very open. He's nice. Has a good heart."

It should come as no surprise that Wonder is a good teacher, because he comes by that honestly. And for more on Badu and her show in Durham, see the preview in Friday's paper.

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About the blogger

David Menconi has been the News & Observer's music critic since 1991. Before that, he spent five years at the Daily Camera in Boulder, Colo. He has a masters in journalism from the University of Texas and a B.A. in English from Southwestern University. You can find more of his writing here.