Award-winning, chart-topping vocalist Ana Moura is the most successful and beloved fadista to appear in the 21st century. Her recordings have consistently sold well and her global concert tours are consistent sellouts. She was born in the historic city of Santarem, on the Tejo River north of Lisbon. As a girl, Moura was steeped in fado and its traditions, brought up in a family where the music was valued and loved, sung at home and at family gatherings. Though she experimented in adolescence with pop and rock music, singing in local bands, Moura's commitment to fado never waned. Even in pop shows, she would include some fado in the repertoire. Moura's shift in emphasis toward her national music began at age 20 when she wandered into one of the many fado houses in her region with a group of friends at age 20. Encouraged by friends to sing for the guitarists and aficionados who were gathered there, Moura was received warmly. She became a regular in the local fado culture. At a casual Christmas party that same year, Moura was discovered by the famous Maria de Fe, who invited Moura to come and sing with her at her house. Her love for the music grew with her reputation, and she began appearing on local television and throughout the regional press.
Her debut album, Guarda-me a Vida Na Mão from Universal Music, appeared in 2003 and garnered critical acclaim. Her sophomore release, Aconteceu, was even bigger in scale, placing on the international charts and laying the ground for her breakthrough, Para Além da Saudade, in 2007. Its singles "Os Buzios" and "Fado da Procura" landed high on the charts in Portugal and netted her television appearances on programs such as Family Contact and Superstar as well as Golden Globe nominations. The album stayed on the Portuguese charts for 120 weeks. Also in 2007, she appeared on-stage singing with Mick Jagger when the Rolling Stones played her country. In 2009, Prince, a fan of fado and of Moura, traveled to Paris to catch one of her concerts. That summer, she appeared with him at the Super Bock Super Rock Festival in Meco. Moura released her next album, Leva-me Aos Fados, late in the year. It went platinum during its first week on the shelves, and netted four chart-topping hit singles: the title track, "Caso Arrumado," "Rumo ao Sul," and "Fado Vestido de Fado."
In September 2010, Moura accepted an invitation from the Frankfurt Radio Bigband to perform two concerts in the German city. She reciprocated and asked the jazz orchestra to accompany her at homecoming concerts at the Lisbon and Porto Coliseums in April 2011. Her next album, Desfado, issued in 2013, spent 150 weeks on the Portuguese charts and was certified quintuple platinum. Moura supported its release by touring the globe, giving performances on a variety of important world stages including N.Y.C.'s Carnegie Hall. A hit live album with an accompanying concert film followed Desfado in 2014. Her next studio offering, Moura, hit the top spot on various international charts upon its release in November 2015, with a world tour in support. The album was released in the United States in the early spring of 2016. ~ Evan C. Gutierrez