mural of fado icon Amalia Rodrigues, in Lisbon

Meet Amalia

As I travel around the world and meet new people I often hear the name “Cristiano Ronaldo” as, perhaps, the only personality from my country that people know now-a-days. Before it was Figo, now it’s Ronaldo and, who knows, in a few years, another football player.

As Portugal isn’t all just about sports, today I’d like you meet someone different: Amalia Rodrigues or, as we know her, simply Amalia. Portrayed in this mural in a neighborhood of Lisbon, she is one of the most famous singers of Portuguese traditional music style fado. Although no longer amongst us, Amalia is still often referred to as “the voice of Portugal” and, as you can imagine, she is one of the greatest icons of Portuguese culture.

Fado is a unique music genre that, literally translating into “fate”, carries a message of longing and nostalgia into its lyrics and sounds.

If you haven’t heard of Fado before, have a listen… even if you do not understand the words, the feeling transmitted by the music will make up for it:


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