7 curiosities about the Portuguese fado singer Amália Rodrigues

7 curiosidades sobre a fadista portuguesa Amália Rodrigues

Cult Fado singer Amália Rodrigues

Amália Rodrigues, whose full name is Amália da Piedade Rebordão Rodrigues, was born in Lisbon when her parents, Lucinda da Piedade Rebordão and Albertino de Jesus Rodrigues, were visiting their maternal grandparents. The date of July 23, 1920 appears on the birth registration, however, the artist adopted July 1 as her birthday throughout her life because there were some doubts about the exact day.He dropped out of school after completing primary education to help support his family. She was an apprentice seamstress, embroiderer and worker in a chocolate and candy factory. From a very early age, he showed a taste for singing, having his professional debut in 1939. It quickly became a success, being headliner in several venues. From the beginning of the 1950s, Amália Rodrigues performed several national but especially international tours. The first concert abroad took place in 1943, at a party of the Portuguese Ambassador in Madrid, Dr. Pedro Teotónio Pereira. Known worldwide due to Fado, Amália Rodrigues is considered one of the greatest ambassadors of Portugal.Among his most successful fados are "the fate of jealousy", "Strange way of life", "People you wash in the river", "Wash in the river, wash", "Tear", "Ai, Mouraria", "Portuguese Fado", "Black boat", "Portuguese house", "I'll give from drinking to pain", "Meia-Noite", "Casa da Mariquinhas", "A guitar", "My mistakes" and "It was God".Also in the seventh art, the fado singer left her mark on the film "Black Cloaks" (1946) fromArmando from Miranda.After her departure from the stage in 1994, the fado singer continued to be the guest of honor at numerous cultural events, namely during the Marchas Populares on Saint Anthony's Day in Lisbon. Discover in this article seven little-known facts about one of the unavoidable figures in the history of Fado.


1. «As soon as there is death, immediately life is absurd. I always thought so”. - Amália Rodrigues

The Portuguese fado singer mentioned in her biography, written in collaboration with Vítor Pavão dos Santos, that she attempted suicide several times. It is known that one of the attempts was due to a heartbreak with Francisco da Cruz and another due to the discovery of a tumor.


2. The homosexual community had her as an icon.

Amália Rodrigues never discriminated against people due to her orientations. Pedro Homem de Mello, José Carlos Ary dos Santos and José Manuel Osório were homosexuals and great friends of the artist. António Variações loved Amália Rodrigues and when Osório found out he was HIV positive, he had the support of the singer. Júlio Coutinho, also known as Lola, a transvestite, asked Amália for a dress, and she kindly gave it to him, with some advice: «Swhenever you are composed with the character Amália, come to the dance floor to perform and then go straight to the dressing room. Please do not make room».


3. Belenenses supporter

Due to her brothers being from Carcavelinhos, the singer was a fan of Belenenses, «to annoy my brothers». She sympathized with Benfica, however she was forced by PIDE agents to be present at Sporting's birthday party, on July 1, 1958.

«I remember going down the stairs from my room crying and saying: “There is no right to do this to a person”» - Amália Rodrigues


Amália Rodrigues | P55 Magazine | P55 - The Art Platform

 Amália Rodrigues


4. Known internationally

From the 1950s, he traveled non-stop on a tour of Africa and the Americas. In Paris, she became known thanks to the film “The Lovers of the Tagus”. He crossed paths with various personalities such as Anthony Quinn, Juliette Gréco, Frank Sinatra, Ava Gardner, King Umberto II of Italy, Chico Buarque, Roberto Carlos and Ernest Hemingway.


Amália Rodrigues | P55 Magazine | P55 - The Art Platform

poster of "The Lovers of the Tagus" 


5. Wasn't a fan of Madonna.

At a time when the singer Madonna was internationally famous, the Portuguese fado singer stated in an interview with Expresso: «I'm not old enough for her music. And much less for your temperament. I was raised by a grandmother who would die if she saw what Madonna does on stage».


6. Amália cover of Billboard magazine

In 1952, the song "Coimbra" reached the second position of the Billboard Hot 100 chart, from the North American magazine Billboard. It debuted in New York, in September of the same year, on the stage of the “La Vie en Rose”. Still in the United States of America, in 1953, he sang for the first time on television on NBC. In May 1954, he was on the cover of Billboard magazine, for his album "Amália in Fado & Flamenco” reach the first position among the best sellers in the United States of America.


Amália Rodrigues | P55 Magazine | P55 - The Art Platform

Amália Rodrigues -Amália in Fado & Flamenco


7. Over 30 million copies sold

By his death in October 1999, 170 albums had been released under his name in 30 countries, thus selling more than 30 million copies.Amália Rodrigues' last two projects were the album "Secret” from 1997, which brought together unpublished recordings made between 1965 and 1975, and the poetry book "Verses''.

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