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'Barefoot Diva' Cesaria Evora dead at 70

Dec. 17, 2011 at 6:27 PM

MINDELO, Cape Verde, Dec. 17 (UPI) -- Cesaria Evora, the Grammy-winning singer from Cape Verde known as the "Barefoot Diva," died Saturday, her label said. She was 70.

Evora, who got her nickname because she performed without shoes, died in a Mindelo hospital on her native island of Sao Vicente in the West African nation of Cape Verde, the Lusafrica label said.

She had been suffering health problems in recent years and had undergone several operations, including open-heart surgery in May 2010, the Portuguese weekly Expresso reported.

Evora was nominated for a Grammy for her 1995 album "Cesaria" and won a Grammy in 2003 in the world music category for her album "Voz D'Amor."

She had stopped performing three months ago because of poor health, Expresso said.

Evora was born on Sao Vicente and sent to an orphanage as a young girl. She learned to sing in the orphanage choir.

She recorded her first internationally recognized album, "The Barefoot Diva," in 1988 in Paris at age 47.

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