African-Portuguese singer, composer, guitarist and percussionist, Sara Alexandra Lima Tavares, was born on 1st February 1978 in Lisbon, Portugal, where she still lives. She is a Second-generation Portuguese of Cape Verdean descent and composes African, Portuguese and North American influenced world music. She is popularly known for singing the European-Portuguese version of “God Help the Outcasts” for the Disney movie “The Hunchback of Notre Dame,” which won a Disney award for the best version of the original song.
Sara was raised by an older Portuguese woman after she was left alone by her parents who separated and moved away. Her father left for the States in search of a better life, and her mother took her younger children and traveled south in pursuit of greener pastures.
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Sara had always showed great musical promise from a young age and this great potential bore fruit while she was still in her teens. She won the Endemol song contest Chuva de Estrelas in 1993/94, followed by a victory at the Portuguese Television Song Contest in 1994. This earned Sara a slot in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1994. Her winning song, “Chamar a Música,” was featured on her debut single release, Sara Tavares & Shout (1996), where she mixed gospel and funk with her native Portuguese influences. Her more recent work is much more influenced by jazz, soul and African music, and she has a strong following amongst jazz enthusiasts. She equally won a Portuguese Golden Globe for Best Portuguese Singer in 2000.
Even though Portuguese is the main language of her songs, one can still find in her repertoire multilingual songs mixing Portuguese with Portuguese creole and even English in the same song (e.g.”One Love”).