Cesária Évora

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Biography

Cesaria Evora (27 August 1941 – 17 December 2011) was a Cape Verdean popular singer. Nicknamed the “Barefoot Diva” for performing without shoes, she was also known as the “Queen of Morna”. In the 1960s, she started singing on Portuguese cruise ships stopping at Mindelo as well as on the local radio. It was only in 1985 when at the invitation of Cape Verdean singer Bana she went to perform in Portugal. In Lisbon she was discovered by the producer José da Silva and invited to record in Paris. Évora’s international success came only in 1988 with the release of her first album La Diva Aux Pieds Nus, recorded in France. Her 1992 album Miss Perfumado sold over 300,000 copies worldwide, and included one of her most celebrated songs, “Sodade”. Her 1995 album Cesária brought her broader international success and the first Grammy Award nomination. In 1997, she won KORA All African Music Awards in three categories: “Best Artist of West Africa”, “Best Album” and “Merit of the Jury”. In 2003, her album Voz d’Amor was awarded a Grammy in the World music category.