‘Barefoot Diva’ Evora to be buried Tuesday

Legendary Cape Verdean singer Cesaria Evora, who died on Saturday aged 70, will be buried on Tuesday on her home island of Sao Vicente, officials said Sunday.

The body of the singing star nicknamed “the barefoot diva” will remain at her family home in Mindelo on Tuesday until it is transferred to the local town hall and then to the cemetery for the burial at 4 pm (1700 GMT).

Flags were flying at half mast on Sunday on all public buildings throughout the archipelago’s nine islands, in the Atlantic, 500 kilometres (300 miles) from the Senegalese capital Dakar and will remain so until Tuesday.

The Cape Verde government on Saturday declared a 48-hour official period of mourning for the singer, who President Jorge Carlos Fonseca acclaimed as “a major cultural reference” for Cape Verde.

The singer, who won international acclaim for her sultry voice and melancholy ballads, retired three months ago due to ill health, having undergone open heart surgery in May last year.

“I infinitely regret having to stop because of illness, I would have wanted to give more pleasure to those who have followed me for so long,” she said in an interview with Le Monde when she retired.

Evora has sung the blues-influenced “saudade” of her native Cape Verde since a young age, but came to world fame late in life in 1992 after three decades performing in the bars of Mindelo.

Her third album Miss Perfumado, which came out that year, was a worldwide hit selling more than 300,000 copies to date.

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