Cape Verdean diva Cesaria Evora undergoes surgery in Paris

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Cape Verdean diva Cesaria Evora underwent open-heart surgery in Paris after being urgently admitted to hospital with a cardiac problem, her record label said Tuesday.

The 68-year-old acclaimed singer was operated overnight Monday to Tuesday and is beginning a long recovery that will force her to cancel all of her shows at least until the end of the year.

"Everything went as well as could be expected, according to the surgeons," said the record label Lusafrica in a statement. "She was placed in intensive care following the surgery and she regained consciousness in the morning."

The "Barefoot Diva" suffered cardiac trouble at the weekend and was rushed to a hospital emergency in Paris on Monday morning.

Following the release of her eleventh album "Nha Sentimento" (My Feelings) late last year, Evora was touring in Europe and planned to perform in the United States, Canada, China and Brazil over the coming months.

Nha Sentimento is her first album in three years.

A frequent visitor to France where she recorded her first album in 1988, Evora has won over audiences worldwide with her deep voice and ballads of lost love.

In 2003, she won a Grammy Award for best world music album for "Voz d'amor" (Voice of Love).

She is the best-known singer of moma, a Cape Verdean genre of music and dance often compared to the blues, and earned the title of "Barefoot Diva" because she oftens performs in barefeet.

Evora suffered a stroke in March 2008 that had forced her to drastically cut down on her concert engagements.

In February, President Nicolas Sarkozy decorated her with the Legion of Honour, France's highest award.

© 2010 AFP

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