Sara Alexandra Lima Tavares (born 1 February 1978) is a Portuguese singer, composer, guitarist and percussionist. She was born and brought up in Lisbon, Portugal, where she still lives. Second-generation Portuguese of Cape Verdean descent, she composes African, Portuguese and North American influenced world music. She composes in Portuguese and Portuguese-based creole languages. Although Portuguese is the main language of her songs, it's not rare to find in her repertoire multilingual songs mixing Portuguese with Portuguese creole and even English in the same song (e.g."One Love").
Tavares won the 1993/1994 final of the Endemol song contest Chuva de Estrelas (performing Whitney Houston's "One Moment in Time"), which helped her win the Portuguese Television Song Contest final in 1994, consequently earning a place in the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest, with the song "Chamar a Música" reaching 8th place.
She's also known for singing the European-Portuguese version of "God Help the Outcasts" for the Disney movie "The Hunchback of Notre Dame," which won a Disney award for the best version of the original song. She also won a Portuguese Golden Globe for Best Portuguese Singer in 2000.
Sara was raised by an older Portuguese woman after being left alone by her father and mother. Her parents separated and moved away. Her father left for the States in search of a better life, and her mother took her younger children and traveled south in pursuit of the same ends. Sara showed great musical promise from a young age, a potential that was cultivated and bore fruit while Tavares was still in her teens. Winning the Endemol song contest Chuva de Estrelas, followed by a victory at the Portuguese Television Song Contest in 1994, earned Tavares a slot in the Eurovision Song Contest, all at the age of 16. Her winning song, "Chamar a Música," was featured on her debut single release, Sara Tavares & Shout (1996), where Tavares mixed gospel and funk with her native Portuguese influences.
Her more recent work is much more influenced by jazz, soul and African music, and she has a strong following amongst jazz enthusiasts
- 1994 Chamar a Música
- 1996 Sara Tavares & Shout
- 1999 Mi Ma Bô
- 2006 Balancê
- 2008 Alive! in Lisboa
- 2009 Xinti