Portuguese singer/songwriter and Eurovision star Sara Tavares dies at age 45
LISBON - Portuguese singer/songwriter Sara Tavares, diagnosed with a brain tumor, died on Sunday evening at the age of 45 in Lisbon, a family source told Lusa.
The news of the death of the artist, of Cabo Verde's descent, was announced by the SIC television station, adding that she was hospitalized at the Hospital da Luz in Lisbon.
Over the last year, Sara Tavares released some new songs after five years of silence. The most recent song, entitled "Kurtidu", was released last September by Sony Music.
Sara Tavares, who was born in Lisbon in 1978, made her name as a teenager in the 1990s on SIC's "Chuva de Estrelas" talent show, performing a song by Whitney Houston.
Shortly afterwards, she won the 1994 RTP Song Festival with "Chamar a Música", a song by Rosa Lobato de Faria and João Oliveira, with which she came eighth in the Eurovision Song Contest for Portugal.
Two years later, in 1996, Sara Tavares made her debut with the album "Sara Tavares & Shout!".
Over the next two decades, Sara Tavares released several albums that brought her closer to her Cabo Verde roots, most notably "Balancê" (2005), which earned her a platinum disc and a nomination as Breakthrough Artist at the BBC Radio 3 World Music Awards.
In 2011, she won Best Female Voice at the Cabo Verde Music Awards, and the following year she continued her international tour with "Xinti", the title of the album she released in 2009, which won her the Career Award at the Africa Festival in Germany.
In 2018, she was nominated for a Latin Grammy with her fifth album, "Fitxadu" (2017), in which she deepened her relationship with Cabo Verde's music, with Manecas Costa, Nancy Vieira, Toty Sa'Med and Kalaf Epalanga among the guests.
As well as her own career, Sara Tavares has collaborated with various names in Portuguese and Lusophone music, including Ala dos Namorados, Dany Silva, Paulo Flores, Buraka Som Sistema and Carlão.
As news began to circulate of her death, tributes started pouring in.
Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa recalled the singer's “vocation, dedication and determination” and stressed her “great closeness to African music and musicians.”
President of Cape Verde José Maria Neves said Sara Tavares’ figure will continue to be present, “as a light that lights the way.”
“You’ll still be with us, Sara, saying beautiful things! Your light will illuminate the path that still lies ahead of us, in this land that temporarily welcomes us,” wrote Cape Verde’s president on his personal Facebook page, saying goodbye with a “Until forever, dear friend.”