I was quite shocked to learn of the ‘passing’ of Cesaria Evora… It hurts… the barefoot diva, the lady who sang ‘sodade‘ and ‘Angola‘, is no longer. The lady who started singing in her later days, and gained stardomship at the age of 50+, the lady who always performed barefoot on stage is no longer. She exemplified endurance and perseverance. Someone else could have given up… someone else could have said ‘there is no point singing, if I can barely make a living’. She knew all of that, but she also knew that she had a gift for singing and bringing the morna (Cape Verde music) to the international scene. She sang, and went on worldwide tours in her late 60s… giving concerts, etc… at an age when most people would have retired. She was truly an example of strength, confidence, endurance and perseverance. Her life was really all about endurance!
She lost her dad at the age of 7, and was placed in an orphanage at the age of 10 by her mother who could not raise all her 6 children. She started singing at the age of 16 in a sailors’ tavern. She won international acclaim for her album ‘La Diva aux Pieds Nus‘ in 1988, and the album ‘Miss Perfumado‘ released in 1992 sealed her international aura. In 1997, she won the Kora All African Music Awards for best Artist of West Africa, Best Album, and Merit of Jury. In 2004, came the Grammy in the world category (such a silly category… mixing musicians from Europe, Africa, Asia, and Latin America in one pot… unthinkable) for her album ‘Voz D’Amor‘. Keep singing, and check out her website Cesaria Evora, a video biography on BBC, An article by the Guardian newspaper, USA Today, NY Times, LA Times, So long Cesaria, we will keep singing ‘sodade‘ and dancing the morna, praising ‘Angola‘ and ‘Cabo Verde.’