Brazilian Singer. She had a natural talent and rose from very average lower-class beginnings to quickly become one of the most well-known, well-loved and well-paid entertainers in her country's history. She was nicknamed Furacao (hurricane) because of her seemingly boundless energy. Her first name became a household word and several of her records are simply titled "Elis." She made a difference in all the lives that she touched, if only with her voice. She once said: "I have dedicated my life to singing, and there isn't a man, father, mother or child that can drag me away from that." A local radio station featured a children's show called Clube do Guri, where children often sang on the air. Elis' first experience at the microphone was at the age of 7, where she froze and could not utter a sound. At the age of 9, she took piano lessons for two years. She learned very fast, and eventually faced a dilemma: either buy a piano or stop her studies. She began to sing because they could not afford a piano. When she was 12, she returned to Clube do Guri, and this time she didn't freeze. She won the prize, the first of many, and for two years, she sang on the show almost every Sunday becoming a local celebrity. Her only fear came when she had to go on stage. Until the end of her life, Elis became intolerable before going on stage: she always had the same insecurity, the same fear of making mistakes, of not being perfect. She signed her first professional contract at the age of 13 even with some restraint from her mother. She was earning more money than her father. At the age of 15, she went to Rio de Janeiro and recorded her first LP. She was to record three records there, returning to Porto Alegre between each. Eventually, Porto Alegre had nothing to offer her, and she went with her father to live in Rio. It didn't take long for her to land a contract with a TV station, where she sang on various shows, and became quickly known. She was not well dressed, and looked somewhat awkward on stage, but her voice commanded attention and made people notice her. She was a rough pearl, full of talent. In 1965, she sang at the first big popular music festival, and won first prize for her rendition of Arrastao, a controversial song that had come close to being censored by the ruling military government. Her career took off from then. She was on the cover of magazines, and was sought after by record companies, music producers, and television. At 21 years old in 1966, she the highest paid singer in the country. She remained the reigning queen of Brazilian popular music until her death.
Bio by: Glendora