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Roberto Leal


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Roberto Leal was born António Joaquim Fernandes on November 27, 1951 in Vale da Porca, Portugal. At age thirteen emigrated to Brazil along with his parents and ten siblings, in four trips.

In São Paulo, after working as a shoemaker and candy seller, he began his career as a fado and romantic singer. Thanks to the success achieved in the 70s, he presents himself as the ambassador of the Portuguese culture in Brazil.

His line “oh girl, if you want to be beautiful, turn it up, turn it up, turn it up” (“ai cachopa, se tu queres ser bonita, arrebita, arrebita, arrebita”, in European Portuguese) became very famous. Leal sold thousands of records at the time, being very successful on audience TV shows.

Roberto Leal is frequently mentioned by the press and on polls and the most known Portuguese in Brazil, surpassing names as Mário Soares, José Saramago, Fernando Pessoa and even Pedro Álvares Cabral (discoverer of Brazil). Yet today he’s acclaimed as being ‘cult’ by Brazilians of all ages, although in Portugal he isn’t considered a representative of the Portuguese culture – neither the erudite nor the popular (specially between Portuguese aged 40 or less).

He has sold more than 17 million records and has recorded more than three hundred songs. Leal even participated in a movie about his own life, “O Milagre” (“The Miracle”), beating many box-office records.


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