Born in 1941, Cesária Évora was one of Cabo Verde’s greatest exports. Famous for performing without her shoes, the Barefoot Diva had a long and very successful career up until her death in 2011.

Starting out in the 1960’s by singing on Portuguese cruise ships that would stop at her home town of Mindelo, São Vicente, Cesária also had stints on the local radio until she was noticed by Cape Verdean singer Bana in 1985, who extended the invitation to perform in Portugal.

Springing to international success in 1988, Cesária released her first commercial album La Diva Aux Pieds Nus, recorded in France. Receiving a Grammy Award nomination in 1995 for her album, Cesária, the Cape Verdean singer also went on to win three awards in the KORA All African Music Awards. Raising funds for the UN World Food Programme, Cesária collaborated with Gianni Morandi, Gigi D’Alessio, and Ron, becoming an ambassador in 2003.

A decorated singer from a musically rich town, Cabo Verde are extremely proud of Cesária’s legacy, naming their third busiest airport after the singer in March 2012. Moreover, in December 2014 Cesária featured on a new series of Escudos banknotes that honoured Cape Verdean figures in literature, music and politics.

An inspiration to many, it is with great pride that Fantcha, RAJ’d signed artist, dedicates her upcoming album release to the legend. A dear friend and a mentor to Fantcha for many years, she brings her rich and soulful style in celebration of the great singer’s lasting legacy.