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Virgínia Rodrigues


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Virgínia Rodrigues learnt her songcraft through singing in church in her native Bahia. She was discovered by the director of the Olodum Theatrical Group, Márcio Meireles, who introduced her to the legendary Brazilian composer Caetano Veloso. Veloso oversaw Virginia’s debut album, “Sol Negro”, which was released to critical acclaim in 1997. In the sleeve notes to that album Veloso writes that he knew as soon as he heard her sing that he wanted to be involved in the recording: “With her voice, which transcends the distinction between erudite and popular , with the dense culture seated at the base of her calm and firm singing, she would be, without doubt, a phonographic event of great importance.”

Right from this first album the music of Virginia Rodrigues is characterised by serenity and spirituality. Indeed, Veloso emphasises that whilst Virginia did not reject the popular music of Brazil, eg the samba, she was drawn towards sacred styles. One track on “Sol Negro”, “Verônica”, sounds as though it has come straight from a Mass, whilst her second album comprised spiritual music from the African-religious tradition in Bahia.

Born in 1964 to a poor family in one of Salvador’s favelas, Virgínia Rodrigues dropped out of school by the age of twelve. Like so many Brazilian girls of humble origin, she had to help support her family by working as washerwoman, cleaning woman, manicurist, and cook. In her spare time she sang in Catholic and Pentecostal Evangelical church choirs, occasionally making a little extra money by performing at wedding parties and graduation balls.

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  • vini_guitar

    It's kind of funny that she is Bill Clinton's fav singer XD

    30 Apr 2009 Reply

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