Amalia Rodrigues, born Amália da Piedade Rodrigues (July 23, 1920 – October 6, 1999), was a Portuguese singer and actress. She was known as the "Rainha do Fado" ("Queen of Fado") and was most influential in popularizing the fado worldwide. She was one of the most important figures in the genre's development, and enjoyed a 40-year recording and stage career.
Amália' performances and choice of repertoire pushed fado's boundaries and helped redefine it and reconfigure it for her and subsequent generations. In effect, Amália wrote the rulebook on what fado could be and on how a female fadista — or fado singer — should perform it, to the extent that she remains an unsurpassable model and an unending source of repertoire for all those who came afterwards. Amália enjoyed an extensive international career between the 1950s and the 1970s, although in an era where such efforts were not as easily quantified as today. She was the main inspiration to other well-known international fado and popular music artists such as Madredeus, Dulce Pontes and Mariza.
Amália Rodrigues was born in Lisbon, Portugal July 23rd, 1920 to a poor and numerous family. Since her childhood she showed a talent for singing although she debuted formally in 1939 at 19 years old, becoming a great popular success. During World War II she carried out long tours for Spain and Brazil and she obtained in 1945 her first great musical success with the song "Ai Mouraria".
In 1947 she debuted as an actress in the Portuguese movie "Capas Negras" (with Alberto Ribeiro) and it became the best movie of the year in Portugal and Amália became a great international celebrity and the most admired and loved star of Portugal.
Here’s E Ou Nao E? from above 2005 compilation.
This album presents 18 classic tracks by Portugal's revered Queen of Fado. Typically accompanied by acoustic guitar and mandolin, Rodrigues mesmerizes listeners with her intensely emotional voice, which perfectly embodies the melancholy Portuguese term "saudade." THE ART OF AMALIA RODRIGUES II draws primarily from Rodrigues's most prolific period in the 1950s and '60s, when she not only recorded many albums but also starred in a number of Portuguese films.
During the 50 and 60's Amália become the maximum exponent of Portugal's popular music and so, their main ambassador for her very successful movies (including "Sangue Toureiro", by the way, the first Portuguese movie filmed in color) as well as for her LPs. Among her well-known songs are: "Lisboa Antiga", "Foi Deus", "Coimbra" (also known as "April in Portugal"), "Barco Negro", "Canção do Mar", "Nem as Paredes Confesso", "Lisboa, Não Sejas Francesa", "Arranjuez, mon amour" (French version of "Concierto de Aranjuez" of Joaquín Rodrigo), "Vou Dar de Beber à Dor" and "Com que Voz", among many others. She also sang poems turned music of several Portuguese poets and, in fact, Variety's magazine chose her in 1959 as one of the four best female singers in history.
When the "Revolução Dos Cravos" ("Carnation's Revolution") happened on April 25th, 1974 which finished 48 years of Fascist government in Portugal, rumours arose that Amália collaborated with the deposed government. Her fame was seriously affected and she decided to retire from show business for not entering in polemic (although soon, after its death, it was discovered that she collaborated privately with the Communist Party of Portugal) but one year after, she acted in the Coliseu Theater of Lisbon where 5,000 people applauded her on foot, demonstrating with this that her public never released her. After that, Amália continued her career as if nothing happened and in 1980 she debuted as composer.
In April 19th, 1985 Amália presented her show in the Coliseu dos Recreios of Lisbon, being her first solo concert in Portugal after 10 years and she obtained a record of attendance. In 1989, for her 50 years of artistic career, the President of Portugal Mário Soares honoured her and the Pope John Paul II in Rome, Italy received her in private audience. During her last years, Amália received countless tributes inside and outside of Portugal and suddenly died while she slept in her house of Lisbon on October 6th, 1999. She was buried in an impressive funeral ceremony with the massive attendance of her fans.
Amalia Rodrigues - As Peras - 1980 Carlos / A.Rodrigues - "Les Poires"