Amália Rodrigues (23 July 1920 – 6 October 1999), better known as Amália Rodrigues (Portuguese pronunciation: [ɐˈmaliɐ ʁuˈðɾiɣɨʃ]) or popularly as Amália, was a Portuguese fadista (fado singer) and actress. Known as the ‘Rainha do Fado’ (“Queen of Fado”), Rodrigues was instrumental in popularising fado worldwide and travelled internationally throughout her career. She became one of the most important figures during the genre’s revival in the twentieth century and was a leading female fadista during her 50-year recording and stage career. Rodrigues remains an iconic figure and inspiration to other fado and popular music artists such as Madredeus, Dulce Pontes, and Mariza. As of 1999, she had sold over 30 million records worldwide. Amália remains the best-selling Portuguese artist of all times.[
Official documents give her date of birth as 23 July, although Amália herself maintained that her birthday was actually 1 July 1920. She was born in the Pena parish of Lisbon, Portugal. Her maternal family had roots in Souto da Casa, a parish in Fundão, Central Portugal, where Rodrigues’s grandfather worked as a blacksmith.
In the Parish Church of Fundão is the baptism certificate of Rodrigues, a document also published in the Journal of Fundão after the singer’s death, following an investigation by or Salvado J. Travassos who also discovered her birth certificate. According to the testimony of José Filipe Duarte Gonçalves, her only sister, Odette, was born in Lisbon (in addition to another child who died). Rodrigues grew up in poverty. Her childhood was almost destitute and she grew up doing odd jobs like selling fruit in Lisbon’s quays.Rodrigues started singing as an amateur around 1935. Her first professional engagement in a fado venue took place in 1939, and she quickly became a regular guest star in stage revues. Around that time she met Frederico Valério, a classically trained composer who immediately recognised Amália’s ..