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Cesaria Evora, known as the 'Barefoot Diva' died on Dec. 17, 2011 at age 70, after battling health problems.
Evora started singing as a teenager in the bayside bars of Cape Verde Islands off West Africa, a former Portuguese colony. She mostly sang in the local version of Creole and gained fame later in life with her 1988 album, 'La Diva Aux Pieds Nus' ('Barefoot Diva'). Her 2005 album, 'Cesaria' earned the singer her first Grammy nomination and a national tour. Evora won a Grammy Award in 2003 in the World Music category for her album, 'Voz D'Amor.'
After decades of smoking, Evora was diagnosed with heart problems in 2005 and suffered strokes in 2008 and 2011, when she announced her retirement. Evora had a son and a daughter, with different fathers, but never married.
(Pictured: Singer Cesaria Evora from Cape Verde Islands performs on the Ella Fitzgerald stage during Geneva Festival, in Geneva, Switzerland, Thursday, August 10, 2006.)
(AP Photo / KEYSTONE / Laurent Gillieron)