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Cesaria Evora, Cape Verdes most famous singer

The barefoot Diva

The Cape Verde's most famous singer Cesaria Evora is known as the "Barefoot Diva" Born into wartime poverty in Mindelo, she sang from her teens. She became known as the "Queen of Morna." songs similar to the Brazilian Morra and derived from the English mourn.

Despite her superb voice and beauty which always attracted attention, her first tour to Portugal did not lead to discs. Jose Da Silva a Cape Verdean director invited her to record in Paris, when she was 47. Her Portuguese-Criolu ballads nostalgic, suffering and love-lorn are always in a minor key. These heartfelt songs full of sadness evoke Billie Holiday and Edith Piaf

Her first album La Diva aux Pieds Nus was released in 1988. After several more including Miss Perfumado in 1992 with 200,000 sold in France, she became a star. By 1995 she was nominated for a Grammy and voted "Best Singer" by The NY Times, which said that "her songs of loss and longing are as heart-rending as they are spellbinding." In 1997, she released the album Cabo Verde, and her single "Besame Mucho" was used in the movie Great Expectations.

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