Simone De Oliveira

Simone de Macedo e Oliveira, better known by Simone de Oliveira, is a Portuguese singer and actress.

Simone was born in Lisbon to a mother with roots in São Tomé and Príncipe and a Belgian father. She started singing in high school; however, she was married at the age of 19. During that time, she suffered bouts of domestic violence, which led into a depression. To break out of it, her doctor advised her to break out of it, which led her to attend the Artist Preparation Center with the National Broadcaster.

In January 1958, Simone debuted at the Portuguese song festival in Lisbon; the following year she would release her debut EP with a number of other Portuguese artists. Through the following few years, she continued to compete in festivals and won awards for her work.

Simone won the second Festival da Canção with the song Sol de inverno, which allowed her to represent Portugal at the Eurovision Song Contest 1965. It ended up getting 13th place with 1 point–the first for the country, as they scored Nul Points the year before.

Afterwards, Simone continued to release EPs, including one with a Portuguese version of Puppet on a String. In addition, she started featuring in movies and in musicals.

She won the Festival da Canção again four years after the first time, this time with the song Desfolhada portuguesa. The lyrics were written by José Carlos Ary dos Santos, a politically minded poet. Despite it’s low result at the Eurovision Song Contest 1969, coming in pre-last with 4 votes, it became a hit at home, with 250,000 people gathering around Simone when she arrived home from Madrid.

For a few years in the 1970s, she had lost her voice, so she took up additional jobs to survive. When she recovered, she was able to sing again, though her voice was notably deeper.

In 1980, she was internally selected by RTP to represent the country at the OTI Festival with the song “A tua espera”. It came in 14th place with 9 points, but also receive the interpretation prize.

Simone continues to act in musicals and theater, along with her singing career. She received the Grand Cross of the Order of Prince Henry in 2015; two years later a musical of her life premiered in Portugal.

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