Cesária Évora, born August 27, 1941 in the port town of Mindelo on the Cape Verde island of São Vicente is a notable folk singer. She is known as the "barefoot diva" because of her propensity to appear on stage in her bare feet in support of the homeless and poor women and children of her country.
Long known as the queen of the morna, a soulful genre (descendant of the Portuguese fado) sung in Creole-Portuguese, she mixes her sentimental folk tunes filled with longing and sadness with the acoustic sounds of guitar, cavaquinho, violin, accordion, and clarinet. Évora's Cape Verdean blues often speak of the country's long and bitter history of isolation and slave trade, as well as emigration - almost two-thirds of the million Cape Verdeans alive live abroad.
Évora's voice, a finely-tuned, melancholy instrument with a touch of hoarseness, highlights her emotional phrasing by accenting a word or phrase. Even audiences who do not understand her language are held spell-bound by the emotions evident in her performances.
In 2004 she won the Grammy Award for Best Contemporary World Music Album.