Fafá De Belem
Fafá de Belém, born Maria de Fátima Palha de Figueiredo in Belém do Pará on August 9, 1956, is a Brazilian singer considered one of the great female singers of MPB (Musica Popular Brasileira). She took her stage name from the city of her birth and in addition to a successful recording career that spans over three decades, it is fair to say that she has been one of the great sex symbols of Brazilian pop music. Her husky mezzo-soprano voice is known for its extensive emotional range, from tender ballads, to sensual love songs, to Portuguese fados all the way to energetic sambas and lambadas.
Born in Belém in 1956, she made her public debut in her home town in 1973. In the next year she performed shows with Zé Rodrix in Rio de Janeiro and with Sérgio Ricardo in Belém and Salvador da Bahia. In the same year she hit the charts with “Filho da Bahia”, then recorded for the soundtrack of the TV Globo soap opera “Gabriela”; she also released her first single that year. In 1976 Fafá de Belém recorded her first LP; “Tamba Tajá”, which was praised by critics. In 1984 she became the muse of the movement in favour of free elections in Brazil, singing “Menestrel das Alagoas”, written by Milton Nascimento and Fernando Brant, before a million people in Rio de Janeiro. In the same period her highly popular interpretation of the Brazilian National Anthem at mass gatherings got her into trouble with the ruling military regime that was soon replaced by a popularly elected President.