Ildo Lobo (November 25, 1953 - October 20, 2004) was a famous Cape Verdean singer. His versatile and melodic voice, commanding stage presence and trademark beret hats made him one of the all time great performers of Cape Verde. Always well known throughout the Cape Verde Islands, Lobo rose to international fame with his first solo work, "Nôs Morna", following it with another album "Intelectual".
Lobo was born on the island of Sal in the town of Pedra de Lume, where he worked alongside his family in the local salt mines during his youth. When the Cape Verdian salt industry died down, Lobo was forced to find other means of work. Luckily for Lobo, music was his first love. His voice would put him in constant demand at local bars and music festivals.
Lobo's musical talent would eventually place the island of Sal permanently on the Cape Verdian musical map to rival the islands of Santiago, São Vicente, and São Nicolau as bonafide origins of Cape Verdian talent.
Lobo consummately mastered most styles of Cape Verdian music, but he was best known on stage for his effortless, soul-stirring mornas. He could also arouse the crowd with his hard-hitting coladeras. Lobo, as an adult, moved to Praia, Santiago Island (Cape Verde's capital) where he began his career as vocalist of the band Os Tubarões ("The Sharks"). After his stellar multi-album career with Os Tubarões, Lobo launched his solo career with his acclaimed album Nôs Morna.
Like many Cape Verdian musicians of his day, Lobo maintained a full-time job as an airport customs officer despite having a busy traveling concert and studio recording schedule. His last work, Incondicional, was released in October 2004, a few days after his death in Praia at age 51. Most sources state that he died of a heart attack, but some Cape Verdian sources claim that he died of diabetes related complications. Lobo's popularity was such that all public employees in the city of Praia were given the afternoon off to mourn. In his island birthplace, Sal, all government offices were closed and flags were flown at half-staff for three days.
According to worldmusiccentral.com, "Lobo was one of those men whose political message was inseparably linked to the musical expression and poetry of mornas" and the site named Lobo "Cape Verde's Greatest Male Singer." Lobo's death in 2004 sparked mourning throughout the world music scene and throughout the vastly diasporized Cape Verdian population of over 1 million, who, despite living in far away communities in Paris; Amsterdam; Lisbon; Boston and the American states of New Jersey, Connecticut, and Florida, still maintain close language, cultural and familial bonds to their beloved islands.
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