Amália da Piedade Rodrigues
Rainha do Fado (Fado’s Queen)
Date of Birth
23 July 1920, Lisbon, Portugal
Date of Death
6 October 1999, Lisbon, Portugal (natural causes)
She died in her house in São Bento. Her body is in Panteón Nacional, in Lisbon, next to important figures of Portugal.
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.
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, rumors 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 honored 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.
IMDb Mini Biography By: Juan Carlos Brazão
César Seabra, (between 1961 and 1997)
Francisco Da Cruz, (between 1942 and 1944)
Awarded the highest honors of Portugal: Ordem Militar de Sant’Iago da Espada (Grau de Cavaleiro) in 1958, Ordem Militar de Sant’Iago da Espada (Grau de Oficial) in 1970 both by President Américo Thomaz; Ordem do Infante D.Henrique (Grau Grande Oficial) in 1980 by President Ramalho Eanes; Ordem Militar de Sant’Iago da Espada (Grã Cruz) in 1990 by President Mário Soares. In 2001, posthumously, Amália was awarded with Ordem do Infante D. Henrique (Grã Cruz)by President Jorge Sampaio.
Sister of the Fado singer Celeste Rodrigues.
Her parents and older sibling moved to Fundão when Amália was 14 months old. She stayed with her grandparents in Lisbon. Amália move to her parents house at the age of 14 when they return to Lisbon.
In 1929 Amália started to studied in Tapada da Ajuda School.
In 1938 she represented Alcântara ward in the Spring Contest.
In 1939 she made her debut as a Fado singer in Retiro da Severa.
In 1949 she sang for the first time in Paris and London. And in 1952 she sang for the first time in New York in La Vie en Rose.
Awarded one of Spain’s highest honors, Orden de Isabel, la Catolica (Laço de Dama) in 1968.
Awarded France’s highest honors: Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 1970 and Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 1985.
Albertino de Jesus Rodrigues (1888-1962) and Lucinda da Piedade Rebordão.
Vicente, Filipe, José (died as a child), António (died as a child), Celeste Rodrigues, Ana, Maria da Glória (died as a child) and Maria Odete.
Bio extracted from IMdb in http://www.imdb.com/