Artist picture of Elba Ramalho

Elba Ramalho

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Born on August 17th, 1951 in Conceição, Paraíba, deep in the forró heartland of northeastern Brazil, singer-songwriter Elba Ramalho has conquered multiple genres and numerous instruments over the course of an illustrious career. First making a name for herself amidst her university studies as the drummer and co-founder of girl group As Brasas, she later joined Rio-based ensemble Quinteto Violado in 1974, and can be heard as the lead vocalist on the live album A Feira, recorded the same year. Ultimately dropping out of her degree course as she found herself increasingly aware that a career as a singing and acting superstar beckoned, Ramalho went on to sign to CBS, releasing her debut solo album, Ave de Prata, in 1979. Influenced by regional musical subcultures including baião and xote, the LP received mixed reviews, although it marked the start of a number of fruitful allegiances with esteemed instrumentalists and record producers. After releasing two more albums to relatively lukewarm reception, parting ways with CBS, and bagging a new deal with Ariola, Ramalho struck gold in 1982 with her fourth LP, Alegria, which shifted over 300,000 units. Sustaining a constant output in the following decades, she went on to cement a reputation as a nationally renowned, multi-platinum-selling, two-time Latin GRAMMY-winning artist, with more than thirty studio albums and a plethora of live albums to her name. Her 2020 effort, Eu e Vocês, spawned a minor hit in the feel-good anthem “Felicidade”.