Singing legend Cesaria Evora retires at 70: label

23rd September 2011, Comments 0 comments

Legendary Cape Verdian singer Cesaria Evora, nicknamed the "barefoot diva", has decided to retire at 70, her record label Lusafrica said Friday.

The company said the star had arrived in Paris "in a state of great weakness" and, unable to complete a planned series of French concerts, had decided to bring her career to a close.

"Her new health problems come after she had to undergo several operations in recent years, including open heart surgery in May 1010," the statement said.

"Her Paris doctors told her she had to cancel her upcoming tour, so Cesaria and her producer and manager Jose da Silva decided to end her career, and give up this wandering life that has taken her to the four corners of the world."

Evora has sung the melancholy, blues-influenced "saudade" of her native Cape Verde since she was 20-years-old, but came to world fame late in life in 1992 after decades singing in the bars of Mindello, on the island of Sao Vicente.

Her third album Miss Perfumado, which came out that year, was a worldwide hit and in all she has produced 10 studio albums and an anthology of historic radio recordings while touring far from her Atlantic island home.

In 2008 she suffered a stroke after a concert in the Australian city of Melbourne and returned to her Paris base to recover, but still managed to record her late album Nha Sentimento for release in 2009.

© 2011 AFP

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