Cesaria Evora, who started singing as a teenager in the bayside bars of Cape Verde in the 1950s and won a Grammy in 2003 after she took her African islands music to stages across the world, died Saturday. She was 70.

Evora, known as the "Barefoot Diva" because she always performed without shoes, died in the Baptista de Sousa Hospital in Mindelo, on her native island of Sao Vicente in Cape Verde, her label Lusafrica said in a statement on its website. It gave no further details.

Evora retired in September because of health problems. In recent years she had had several operations, including open-heart surgery last year.

She sang the traditional music of the Cape Verde islands off West Africa, a former Portuguese colony. She mostly sang in the version of Creole spoken there, but even audiences who couldn't understand the lyrics were moved by her stirring renditions, her unpretentious manner and the music's infectious beat.

Her singing style brought comparisons to American jazz singer Billie Holiday.

"She belongs to the aristocracy of bar singers," French newspaper Le Monde said in 1991, adding that Evora had "a voice to melt the soul."

 

Rapper shot to death in Atlanta music studio

Rapper Slim Dunkin was gunned down Friday evening in an Atlanta music studio as he was preparing to record a video, police said.

Police Maj. Keith Meadows said the rapper, whose real name is Mario Hamilton, was fatally shot in the chest after getting into an argument with another individual.

He was transported to Grady Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Meadows said late Friday that police have not been able to identify the shooter. He said investigators have been interviewing those who were inside the studio.

He said as many as 20 people were inside the small office-type building at the time of the shooting, which took place around 5:30 p.m., but they were scattered throughout the building.

 

Longtime stage, TV, film actor dies in New Jersey

An actor who appeared on stage at London's Globe Theatre and on television in "Sanford & Son" has died in New Jersey.

Graham Brown was 87.

Actress Barbara Montgomery often appeared with Brown on the stage, and had power of attorney on his behalf. She said he died Tuesday of pulmonary failure at the Lillian Booth Actors' Fund Nursing Home in Englewood.

He played a school principal on the 1970s sitcom "Sanford & Son" and a judge on "Law & Order." He also had roles in movies including "Malcolm X," "Clockers" and "The Muppets Take Manhattan."