Amália Rodrigues (born July 23rd 1920 in Lisbon) was a Portuguese singer and actress. Known as the Rainha do Fado ("Queen of Fado"), Rodrigues helped popularize fado worldwide and traveled internationally between the 1950's and 1970's. She also became one of the most important figures in the genre's development, becoming the eminent female fadista during a 50-year recording and stage career. Amália, who was born into an almost destitute family and who grew to become not only Portugal's major star but also an internationally acclaimed artist and singer, whose career spanned 55 years, recording songs in several languages, versions of her own songs, most famously "Coimbra" (April In Portugal) and performing all over the world.
Her personality and charisma, her beauty and her extraordinary timbre of voice gave depth and intense life to her singing: the impression she made on the public, her immediacy and the natural way she empathized with her public were tremendous and attracted more and more admirers throughout the world. By the time of her death in 1999, Amália had received more than 40 decorations and honors from all over the world. Most importantly Amália put fado as a musical genre on the map of world music, in dictionaries, libraries and musical essays. She paved the way for the generations that would follow, and that continue her legacy.