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7 Interesting Facts About Cesária Évora, The “Barefoot Diva”

7 Interesting Facts About Cesária Évora The “Barefoot Diva"

On what would have been her 78th birthday, a Google Doodle honoured Cesária Évora, the Cape Verdean singer who was nicknamed “Barefoot diva.”

Cesária Évora was a phenomenal singer who had a beautiful voice and could entertain anyone despite the language barrier. After her death in 2011, many international artists paid homage to her for the inspiring life she led.

In a bid to honour her, Google created a special doodle for her to celebrate her posthumous 78th birthday.

Here are 7 interesting facts about the legendary “barefoot diva”

1. She sang In Creole-Portuguese

Évora composed and sang her music in Creole-Portuguese. She specialised in Morna which is the prevalent music style in Cape Verde, hence she was dubbed the “Queen of Morna.” Her sound had a rich blend of melancholy and poetic undertones, particularly her hit song ‘Sodade’, which she is best known for.

2. She Performed Barefooted On Stage

Évora had a unique style and she never failed to demonstrate this when performing on stage. One of the ways she did this was by performing barefooted on stage, hence she was dubbed the “Barefoot Diva.” Many have considered this as an act of solidarity to the poor, owing to the fact she came from humble beginnings. However, she later disputed this theory , in an interview with The Washington Post in 2001. She said:

“People used to say that I did that in solidarity with the hungry people and all the poor people of the world, but that’s not true.

“In Cape Verde, lots of people are like me. They just don’t like to wear shoes.”

3. She Once Gave Up On Music

At the tender age of 7, Évora lost her father, a musician, and was placed in an orphanage. She subsequently gained recognition as a singer but had to give it up in the 1970s due to financial struggles. However, she made a comeback in the 1980s and released her first album La Diva Aux Pieds Nus, in 1988.

4. Évora Had A Blossoming Career

After she had her big break in 1988, Évora went on to release new albums perhaps every two years over the course of 21 years. In 2004, her album Voz d’Amor won Best Contemporary World Music Album at the Grammys after she had been nominated for her 1995 album Cesária.She released her final album, Nha Sentimento, in 2009, two years before her death.

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5. She Was Quite Vocal And Took A Stand Against World Hunger

Évora was an ambassador for the United Nations’ World Food Programme, the world’s largest humanitarian organisation providing assistance in food assistance to countries during emergency situations.

6. She Was Immortalised In An Airport

To prove how legendary she was, she has an airport named in her honour. São Pedro Airport which operated since 1960 was renamed Cesária Évora Airport on March 8, 2012, in honour of the singer. A graceful statue of Évora also stands at the airport’s terminal entrance.

7. She Has Two Species Of Animals Named After Her

The animals include Chilades evorae, a butterfly in the family Lycaenidae which is found on the island of Santo Antão and Aegires evorae, a species of sea slug which exists in the northeast of the island of Sal in the area of Calhetinha.


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