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Herminia Silva, Popular ‘Fadista,’ Dead at 80

June 14, 1993

LISBON, Portugal (AP) _ Popular fado singer and actress Herminia Silva died Sunday at her Lisbon home after a seven-decade career. She was 80 years old.

Although not as famous abroad as her rival Amalia Rodrigues - the Queen of Fado, Miss Silva was loved at home for her haunting versions of Portugal’s mournful songs of sea, love and longing for distant shores.

Famous for poignant repartee with audiences in smoky Lisbon bars, Miss Silva also became a movie box office hit in the 1940s with a series of roles in films telling tales of everyday Portuguese life such as ″Ribatejo″ and ″Costa do Castelo″ - a Lisbon area where she grew up.

She began singing at age 10 when working as a seamstress. One of her first remarks after taking to the stage in the 1920s was: ″Yes, I’m young, but so what?″

Miss Silva’s body was to be placed in Lisbon’s Estrela basilica to allow her many fans to pay their last respects, the national news agency Lusa reported Sunday. Funeral arrangements were incomplete.

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