Cape Verde is mourning the death of one of its legendary singers. Cesaria Evora, who won a Grammy in the World Music category for "Voz D'Amor", passed away at Baptista de Sousa Hospital in Mindelo on her native island of Sao Vicente this past Saturday, December 17, and officials said her funeral is scheduled for Tuesday, December 20.
The body of Cesaria, who was known as the "Barefoot Diva" because she always performed without shoes, will be rested at her family home in Mindelo until Tuesday when it is taken to the local town hall before being transferred to the cemetery for the burial that is planned to start at 17:00 GMT.
On Saturday, the Cape Verde government declared a 48-hour official period of mourning in honor of the late singer, who was dubbed "a major cultural reference" for the island country by President Jorge Carlos Fonseca. Flags will be hung half-staff on all public buildings throughout the archipelago's nine islands in the Atlantic until Tuesday.
Cesaria sang traditional music of the Cape Verde archipelago, a former Portuguese colony, mainly in a language known as Crioulo. She first found international fame in 1998 with "La Diva Aux Pieds Nus" album before landing Grammy nomination with 1995 album "Cesaria" and winning one in 2003.
The Queen of Morna was diagnosed with heart problems in 2005, and had open-heart surgery in 2010. She first suffered strokes in 2008. After suffering a second stroke in September 2011, she announced her retirement. She had a son and a daughter by different men but never married.