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Amalia Rodrigues

The unrivaled queen of the Portuguese fado, singer Amália Rodrigues was born in Lisbon's Alfama district in 1920; one of ten children, she was abandoned by her mother at the age of one and raised by her grandmother, spending her formative years selling produce on the streets and working as a seamstress. Against the wishes of her family, as a teen Rodrigues performed as a tango dancer, and at 19 she made her professional singing debut alongside her sister, Celeste, at the fashionable Lisbon nightspot Retiro da Severa.

Within a year she was a star, selling out clubs every night; in 1944, she traveled to Brazil, drawing huge crowds during her stay at the Copacabana Casino and later returning to Rio de Janeiro to make her first recordings. Rodrigues not only popularized the fado throughout South America, she reinvented it -- brilliantly fusing the urban and rural styles of Lisbon and Coimbra, she also sought out material that moved far beyond the traditional tales of failed romance to explore instead the deepest crises of the soul and spirit, delivering performances unmatched in their fatalistic power and haunting beauty.

Because Rodrigues' manager, José de Melo, believed her native fans would stop attending her live appearances if they could buy her recordings, she did not enter a Portuguese recording studio until 1951, issuing a handful of sides on the Melodia label before moving to the Valentim de Carvalho imprint the following year. In the wake of World War II she began touring outside of South America, and scored an international hit in 1956 with "Coimbra," recorded live at Paris' Olympia Theatre.

In all, Rodrigues recorded upwards of 170 albums and even appeared in a number of feature films, retaining her drawing power even after the popularity of fado itself began to dissipate during the 1960s. She continued touring well past her 70th birthday, entering retirement only after undergoing surgery; she spent the final years of her life as a recluse, making her final public appearance at the opening of Lisbon's Expo in 1998. Rodrigues died October 6, 1999, at the age of 79; upon receiving news of her passing, Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Guterres ordered three days of national mourning, declaring her "the Voice of Portugal." ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

Aaaaaaaaaaay , dooooolooooo o o o o o r r r r r , me volvíste a dar!!!!
I first heard Fado in the series Tinker, Tailer, was enthralled. I finally found my way to Amelia via Pandora, Thankyou Amelia for your gift.
Amália a única Rainha no Panteão Nacional!
from lisbon .fado in my blod ... rip minha rainha
Amalia was and always be the queen of fado and no other fadista can be like her. She was the only one that entered in my heart to stay. Rest in peace Dear Amália.
npinto8
Amalia, Benfica e Eusebio
what a voice i just found!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! , how lucky I am.
I have always enjoyed listening to Amalia singing. My father was lucky enough to see her perform in person. She was our Barbara Streisand.
togarico2001
O menina, essa voz e' uma verdadeira maravilha. Obrigado pela mu'sica.
jwinterhalte r
for those of us that must forever wander --- fado is that call from the great blue wall
One of the greatest popular musical vocalist of our times. I put her in a category with Billie Holiday, Edith Piaf, Sarah Vaughn, Ella Fitzgerald, and Patsy Cline. The fact that she is virtually unknown in the U.S. is almost criminal.
hector58
The voice of passion..... La Reyna de Fado.
merah101
oh that haunting voice, it draws out your soul and wish for more ,for more songs and souls
lopes001
She always will be the voice of Portugal.
Joao Lopes
She was the undisputed Queen of Fado & will always be,

Sam Sheikh
La reina del Fado
John feteira
To me she is the best, there will never be another AMALIA RODRIGUES
Merry Christmas 2008 and Happy New Year 2009 www.mayorgal v a n . c o m
a_p111254
Ela e do melhor que eu saiba nao a voz igual a dela ela para mim foi e continua a ser a melhor fadista
elissefernan d e z
Marvelous! Such a richness of emotion!
She is Fado, No more needs to be said.

M. Fontes
Que voz tao linda, eu quando era novo nao gustava de fados, mas acordei de novo agora e a voz da Amalia vaz o meu coracao a bater mas depressa sempre..:)
She is the best!
Hauntingly beautiful voice.

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