“Unless you are Brazilian, Ivete Sangalo is likely the biggest star you’ve never heard anything about — but that’s about to change. The 38-year-old pop diva, who is often called the Beyoncé of Brazil and has sold millions of albums and played for crowds 80,000 strong, will make a very bold New York concert debut at Madison Square Garden on Saturday.
The show, which will be recorded for a live CD/DVD, will feature A-list guests like Nelly Furtado, Juanes and Wisin & Yandel, in an ambitious effort to introduce Sangalo to new audiences and position her as a global star. The charismatic Sangalo, known for her candor and energetic performances, will be the first Brazilian artist to headline the Garden, and the event has become a national obsession.
“Brazilian people are completely euphoric. They are very excited with me. It’s like a World Cup sensation here,” Sangalo said in English over the phone from Manaus, in the Amazon, where she was performing a few days before flying to the U.S. for a warmup concert in Miami last Saturday.
“It’s a celebration of the Brazilian community, with audiences from the U.S., my new fans, my family, my friends,” she added excitedly. Her camp estimates that more than 5,000 fans from Brazil are flying to the city for the occasion. Brazilian Twitter users — Sangalo has more than 1 million followers — and the media are chronicling every move in her journey toward Nova Yorque.
“She is a machine of rhythm and energy,” said the Colombian superstar Juanes, who will perform a classic song from Bahia with Sangalo on Saturday.
“She should be cloned,” boasted Spanish powerhouse Alejandro Sanz, who kick-started his own Brazilian crossover when they sang a duet of his hit “Corazón Partío” at a Sangalo concert in the massive Maracaná stadium in Rio four years ago. “I loved getting onstage with her. I felt the roar of the Maracaná that runs through her veins.”
She also works with English-language stars who, like her, are hungry for a new market. Sangalo was recently at Furtado’s studio in Toronto, where they wrote four songs in English, and she just recorded a version of the track “You and Me” with the Dave Matthews Band.
In February, her production company brought Beyoncé on tour to Brazil — with Sangalo as the opening act, of course.
“I understand people want to make a comparison, but we have a different kind of voice: I’m always a man, she’s a girl,” Sangalo said laughing, referring to her trademark husky voice. “Our styles are very different.”
Born the youngest of six children to a jewelry-designer father and a teacher mother in Juazeiro, a small town in Bahia, Sangalo started singing with a carnival group called Banda Eva when she was 22. Banda Eva exploded as one of the main exponents of axé, the melody and rhythm-heavy style that became hugely popular in the ’90s. Already a household name in Brazil by the time she went solo in 1999, Sangalo is as ubiquitous as she is beloved. She hosts her own TV show, serves as the face of countless ad campaigns (Garnier, Avon and Panasonic) and recently released her own toy doll.
The plan for Sangalo’s pop domination is to release the CD/DVD by December and then tour extensively in the U.S., Latin America and Brazil next year.
“It’s time,” she said. “Latin America and Brazil, we are prepared to share feelings, our songs, our artistry.” – Source
NYT on her Madison Square concert