Born in rural Minas Gerais in the Cedro da Cachoeira district, which at the time was a part of the Paraopeba local district, later to become Caetanópolis. Her date of birth is unknown, but is thought to be in 1942 or 1943.
Nunes had a big hit with "Conto de areia"(Romildo/ Toninho) from her 1974 LP Alvorecer, which sold over 300 thousand copies (never before achieved by a woman in Brazil). This destroyed the myth that female singers could not sell records and encouraged record companies to invest more in female talents. Her following record releases transformed her into a symbol of Brazilian samba, with her 1975 LP Claridade superseding her previous year's release.
In her following albums, one can see the large variation of rhythms in her repertoire, including baiões, ballads and even waltzes, confirming her versatility of her music.
Brasil Mestiço (1983) was her biggest selling album. Nunes has over fifteen gold discs in her collection and is remembered with great admiration by Brazilians. She died prematurely in 1983, victim of an unsuccessful varicose vein operation.
She was married to Paulo César Pinheiro, with whom she recorded several compositions.
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