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French honour for 'barefoot diva'

Singer Cesaria Evora performs in Rome in April 2008
Evora learned to sing as a child at an orphanage

Cape Verde's "barefoot diva" Cesaria Evora is being awarded France's highest civilian honour, the Legion d'Honneur.

The 67-year-old, whose nickname comes from her habit of performing without shoes, is picking up the gong in Paris.

French Culture Minister Christine Albanel will present the award to the contralto vocalist at the ministry.

Evora learned to sing as a child at an orphanage in her island home off West Africa and won worldwide fame with her fourth album Miss Perfumado in 1992.

Music critics hail her as the best performer of morna, a genre often compared to blues and widely considered the national music of Cape Verde.

The hard-working singer was laid low for several weeks after suffering a stroke while performing in Sydney, Australia, in March 2008 but recovered to take to the road again weeks later.



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SEE ALSO
Country profile: Cape Verde
04 Jun 08 |  Country profiles
Timeline: Cape Verde
04 Jun 08 |  Country profiles

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