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Latin Music Legends on Forever Stamps

5 Latin American artists honored by the U.S. government have their faces stamped in postal history

CARMEN MIRANDA
1909-1955

Carmen Miranda was called “the Brazilian bombshell," one of the many nicknames that distorted her contribution to Latin culture.

Many remember her as a harebrained dancer who sang tropical melodies with fruit on her head. But she was much more than a picturesque ethnic caricature. Prior to being one of the top-paid celebrities in the United States, performing and singing in movies such as Down Argentine Way, That Night in Rio and Doll Face, Miranda was a star samba dancer during the 1930s. "T'ai" was one of her first hits, followed by "Goodbye Boy,” "Eu Também" and "Na Batucada Da Vida," among others. She recorded songs by important samba composers of the time, such as Ary Barroso and Dorival Caymmi, and her concerts were backed up by the Bando da Lua orchestra, directed by the exceptional Aloysio de Oliveira. Miranda was born in 1909 in Portugal and migrated to Río de Janeiro with her parents as a child. She died in 1955 of a heart attack, the same day she appeared on Jimmy Durante’s TV show. She was only 46 years old.

Suggested Recordings

Carmen Miranda 1930-1945 (collection, 1997)

South American Way (collection, 2004)

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