10 Famous Portuguese Artists and their Music


You came to Portugal and you don’t have the slightest idea of the Portuguese musical taste. What are the best bands and singers in Portugal? You might have already heard of Fado which is one of Portugal’s symbols. Fado is meaningful for the Portuguese because usually brings the feeling of “Saudade”. “Saudade” is the feeling of missing someone or some event and there is no direct translation for it.

Today I’m telling you some great Portuguese bands in other music genres.

People playing the portuguese guitar

Concert by Grupo de Fados de Medicina do Porto – by Feliciano Guimarães – Wikimedia Commons

Xutos e Pontapés

Xutos e Pontapés on a concert

Xutos e Pontapés at Campo Pequeno – by José Goulão – Wikimedia Commons

Since 1978, Xutos e Pontapés is one of the greatest rock bands that Portugal had ever had. Xutos were iconic for their amusing songs and we could relate to some of them with our culture. Once, at my grandfather’s region, I went to their concert during summer at a typical fair called “festas de São Pedro”. We celebrate this fair every year and everyone is invited to come for free.

People here in Portugal have these fairs to celebrate the three main saints – Santo António, São João and são Pedro. In each county, people celebrate one different saint.

At the fairs everyone sings along with Xutos e Pontapés because people love their songs. So, we are always with positive thoughts listening to them.

Watch this video on YouTube.

I must say that the Portuguese always love to listen and dance to good music. Portugal is filled with humble people and that’s why we take advantage of the simple things in life. Good company, good music and our excellent food are the main things the Portuguese love.

António Variações

Carlos do Carmo at Eurovision Song contest

Carlos do Carmo – by Rob Mieremet / Anefo – Wikimedia Commons

One iconic singer of the old century is António Variações. He only lived for 39 years but his lyrics were revolutionary.

One other who made revolutionary songs which lyrics had to be modified was Zeca Afonso. The time he wrote and sang his songs, Portugal lived under a dictatorship.

That’s why the majority of the things people wanted to say and express, they couldn’t do it. “Grândola, Vila Morena” is the song chosen by the military movement as one of the signs to the April 25th revolution. This song was written by Zeca Afonso.

Watch this video on YouTube.

Carlos do Carmo

Fado, as I said earlier, it’s a typical musical Portuguese’ style. Carlos do Carmo is a great singer of the last decades. He brought a lot of new “fadistas” (people who sing Fado) to the music field. In 1976, he participated in the Eurovision song contest. In Portugal, he was the only interpreter by that time.

Watch this video on YouTube.

Amália Rodrigues

Then we have Amália Rodrigues, the “queen of Fado”. She was not only a singer but also an actress who was shown in various TV programs all over the world. She was also considered an ambassador of Fado style. Amália started to sang various Portuguese poems from the greatest Portuguese authors. She was also affected by the dictatorship and she couldn’t sing some of her songs.

Watch this video on YouTube.

For the rock, pop and folk styles, we got a lot of artists like Os Azeitonas, Miguel Araújo, António Zambujo, Tiago Bettencourt, Rui Veloso and dozens of others.

Miguel Araújo

Miguel Araújo’ lyrics express our habits and in our culture. He writes songs about life’s course, about some traditions and has always a positive side. He plays a lot of instruments and has a special taste for it. I went to some of his concerts and for each album he had a different kind of concert. The different scenarios and musicians made each concert unique. He has special and positive energy on stage which captivates everyone in the showroom.

Watch this video on YouTube.

I’ve been in two of the most well-known showrooms in the Lisbon district: Centro Cultural Olga Cadaval in Sintra and Coliseu dos Recreios in Avenida da Liberdade. Both had a different charisma because of the albums which were presented at the concerts.

Coliseu dos Recreios

COliseu dos Recreios – by Diogomedina – Wikimedia Commons

Usually, at these two showrooms, there are made great shows and concerts from the most popular artists. From comedians to singers, they get on stage to entertain people. Both are located near to public transports and near to good restaurants for all tastes (with typical Portuguese food too!).

Os Azeitonas

Os Azeitonas is a band which had Miguel Araújo as a singer since 2002. He left the band and started solo entirely in the year 2016. They have the same kind of music with the pop-rock style. From their songs stands out “Quem és tu miúda?”, “Anda comigo ver os aviões” and “Tonto por ti”.

Watch this video on YouTube.

Rui Veloso

Another great example is Rui Veloso who is one of the Portuguese’ favourite singers. He started to write in the early 80’s many well-known songs by us. Some of these songs are “Não há estrelas no céu”, “A paixão”, “Porto Côvo” e “Chico fininho”.

Watch this video on YouTube.

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Jorge Palma

Jorge Palma

Jorge Palma – by José Goulão – Wikimedia Commons

Jorge Palma, just like Rui Veloso, is a prestigious singer and his songs are from the pop-rock style. “Encosta-te a mim” and “Deixa-me rir” are two examples of the most popular songs sang by him.

Watch this video on YouTube.


Portugal also has another music style very specific from Alentejo traditional folklore. This traditional folklore is part of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity. It’s a choral song which alternates a point alone and a choir.

One of the most widely known singers that Portugal has is Vitorino who was born in 1942. He sang one of the most important Portuguese songs which is “Menina estás à janela”. Everyone knows all the lyrics from the bottom to the top and in most fairs, this song is typically played.

Watch this video on YouTube.


Last but not least, there’s this band called “Doce” which started its activity in the early 80s. Throughout that decade, they had a huge success for their work. This success was not only in Portugal but in the rest of the world (Spain, France and the United States too). Thus, the motivation grew up and they started to sing some of their songs in English.

Doce was the typical 80’s band, constituted by 4 women who sold about 250,000 albums within that decade. Like Carlos do Carmo, Doce also represented Portugal in the Eurovision song contest. In 1982, they sang “Bem bom”.

Watch this video on YouTube.

For any show or concert, you can go to Ticketline and buy your tickets.