Erykah Badu. (Photo from Instagram.)

East Dallas neighbor Erykah Badu turns 49 today. Although there are surely more than 49 reasons to love this queen of soul, for the sake of time, this list will be capped at 13. Why 13? It’s the sum of the two digits in her age. With as much love as she’s getting today, we think she’ll understand cutting it short.

  1. From “Window Seat” to “On&On,” she’s a music legend.
  2. She’s a style icon. Check out what she wore to the Grammys.
  3. She wears many hats, literally and figuratively. Watch her try on Stetsons with rapper 2 Chainz.
  4. She gives back. Remember the time she gifted concert proceeds to a nonprofit that pays to process backlogged rape kits?
  5. She’s not afraid to say what she thinks and express how she feels. At her birthday show, she yelled, “I want some f—ing music in the monitors!” and “Get your s—t together!”
  6. She’s confident. You’d have to be to release a vaginally scented perfume.
  7. She and her daughter, Puma Curry-Wright, are the perfect pair. Watch them sing together on Good Morning Texas.
  8. She’s involved in the local community, like the time she passed out water to runners and cyclists at White Rock Lake.
  9. She’s got the best hidden talents. Did you know she once performed as an aerialist at the Lone Star Circus?
  10. She’s an entrepreneur. Her online store, Badu World Market, launched Feb. 20.
  11. She’s got a strong Twitter and Instagram game.
  12. She values education. After graduating from Booker T. Washington, she went to Grambling State University, a historically black college.
  13. She’s our neighbor. She’s lived on White Rock Lake for years.

Click to sign up for the Advocate's weekly news digest and be the first to know what’s happening in Lakewood/East Dallas.