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Amalia Rodrigues

Famous Portuguese People: Amália da Piedade Rodrigues

Amália Rodrigues

Amália Rodrigues, known as the Queen of Fado (Rainha do Fado) was a singer and actress who helped popularize fado overseas during her heyday in the 1950's-1970's

Born in 1920, Amália Rodrigues grew up in Lisbon, looked after by her grandmother until the age of 14.

Amália began performing when she turned 19 and backed by the compositions of mentor Frederico Valério, her rich voice soon saw her hailed as a rising star of fado. Amália traveled overseas and became popular in Spain, France and also Brazil.

Her appeareance in the movie The Lovers of Lisbon (Les Amants du Tage) guaranteed her fame and international success and during the 1950's and 1960's she performed all over the world, popular even in such far-away countries as Japan and Russia.

Amália's most acclaimed albums available on CD include The Very Best of Amalia Rodrigues, Coimbra, and This is Gold.

Amalia Rodrigues, Queen of Fado, Lisbon.
Amália Rodrigues, Queen of Fado

Amália teamed up in the 1960's with the French composer Alain Oulman, who wrote most of her later songs - many of which deviated from the typical fado sound. Never afraid to push the boundaries of the genre, Amália also starred in other movies and in the 1960's recorded the poems of Luís de Camões.

Personal Life

Amália was twice married and died without children in 1999. Her house, in Rua de São Bento in Lisbon, is now a museum dedicated to her life and music. She remains an inspiration and legend.

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