The Barefoot Diva Is Dead

Cesária Évora, the queen of lusophone African music, and one of the queens of "world music" (whatever that category might mean) has died. She was seventy years old and had been ailing for a while. She was known as the "Barefoot Diva", since she always sang with her feet bare. Her stage presence always seems so meek and humble, yet she was magnetic because of the dignity of her carriage and the melancholy sweetness of her voice.

Perhaps her most famous song was "Sodade", a consummate example of the morna, Cape Verde's national music. Mornas sound exactly like a fado met with African sensibility. Sad and melancholy but full of life nonetheless. Sodade or saudade means something like "sad longing". It's the word Portuguese speakers use to say "I'll miss you", but it means much more than "to miss".

Vamos sentir saudade de ti, senhora Évora.