Xuxa in 2006
|Born||Maria da Graça Xuxa Meneghel
March 27, 1963
Santa Rosa, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
|Occupation||TV host, actress, singer, businesswoman|
|Net worth||US$ 500 million (2014)|
Ayrton Senna (1988–90)
Luciano Szafir (1998–2009)
Junno Andrade (2012–present)
|Children||Sasha Meneghel Szafir (born 1998)|
Maria da Graça Xuxa Meneghel (Portuguese: [mɐˈɾiɐ ða ˈgɾasɐ ˈʃuʃɐ mẽneˈgɛw]; born March 27, 1963), commonly known as Xuxa (English pronunciation: // SHOO-shə; Portuguese: [ˈʃuʃɐ]), is a Brazilian television presenter, film actress, singer and businesswoman. Her various shows have been broadcast in Portuguese, English, and Spanish worldwide. She is a two-time winner of the Latin Grammy for Best Children's Album, and is also known for her epithet, Queen of the Shorties.
In 1991, she presented a version of the program Xou da Xuxa in Spanish that was broadcast in 17 countries in Latin America by Argentine television station Telefé. In the United States the program was aired on Univision. 2 million Spanish-speaking children in Los Angeles watched the show produced in Buenos Aires that was carried in Los Angeles. The show was pulled off the air when Xuxa changed it from a daily program to a weekly program. In the same year, she was the first Latin American to appear in Forbes's list of the 40 Highest-Paid Entertainers. (She was #37 on the list, ahead of Mel Gibson and Vanilla Ice).
In 1993, she signed a contract signed with MTM Enterprises, and went to the USA. The American version of her program, Xuxa, was in English and was launched in September of that year. The program was broadcast daily from about 100 stations.
Xuxa owns the largest average attendance since the resumption of national cinema. Her most popular film was Lua de Cristal, which had an average of 5 million viewers. All together, her films have reached an audience of 37 million people. She was the artist with the best-selling albums by record label Som Livre.
Over her 30 year career, Xuxa Meneghel has sold over 30 million copies of records worldwide, which makes her the second-highest selling Brazilian musician after Rita Lee.
- 1 Biography
- 2 Career
- 3 Film career
- 4 Career in Television
- 5 Personal life
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Birth and family
Maria da Graça Meneghel was born in Santa Rosa, Rio Grande do Sul. On being told that both mother and child were at risk during the birth, her father, Luiz Floriano Meneghel, opted to save his wife, Alda Meneghel (née Alda Flores da Rocha), and prayed to St. Mary of Graces, promised to name her after a saint if all went well.  But the name by which the youngest member of the Meneghel family came to be known by was given by brother Bladimir. When their mother arrived home, she said to him: "look at the baby that I bought to play with you", to which he replied: "I know, it's my Xuxa". It was not until 1988 that the presenter was officially called Maria da Graça Xuxa Meneghel.
When Xuxa was seven, her father, who was in the army, was transferred to Rio de Janeiro, where the family settled in the suburb of Bento Ribeiro.
Stardom in Brazil
Xuxa was discovered by the publishing company Bloch Editores and she appeared on the cover of one of their magazines, Carinho, at the age of 15, which started her career in modeling. Subsequently, she became involved in music and entertainment. At 17, she began to date the Brazilian football legend Pelé, who was seen as being influential in launching her career. They had a personal relationship from 1981 to 1986. She dated world champion Formula One driver Ayrton Senna from 1988 until 1990. Modeled both in Brazil and abroad where she was hired by Ford Models in the US, one of the largest agencies in the world.
From 1983 to 1986, Xuxa hosted the Children's Club on TV Manchete, working with director Maurice Sherman. In 1986 Xuxa moved to TV Globo and hosted a daily show until 1992, called Xou da Xuxa (the Xuxa Show). In the six-year period, there were more than 2,000 programs, along with nearly 130 gold albums, 52 platinum albums, and 10 diamond albums. In total, Xuxa sold 18 million copies. That show left its mark on a whole generation. Xuxa would arrive in a pink spaceship and every kid would want to fly off with her. Children all over Brazil would rush to have breakfast to the sound of the song "Quem Quer Pão?" (Who Wants a Bread Roll?). Another symbol of the times was the "Xuxa kiss", where the presenter would leave her mark in lipstick. The Xuxa Show was a happy break. Apart from enjoying herself, the presenter always put across positive messages to the public with phrases like: "Wanting is believing and getting!", "Chase after your dream!", "Drugs are bad!" and many more.
Her success with the public brought Xuxa a second show at TV Globo in 1989. Bobeou Dançou was broadcast only on Sundays and, with that, she ran two programs at the same time: a Monday-through-Saturday show and the other on Sundays.
Another show that ran simultaneously with Xou da Xuxa was called Paradão dos Baixinhos (The Little Ones Charts), which started off as a set piece and gained its own life in 1991, and broadcast on Saturday mornings. The "Xou da Xuxa" was wound up in 1992, making room for the Sunday show "Xuxa" in 1993, which had musical attractions, games and all the charm of Xuxa and her backup: the "Paquitas".
The following year saw the arrival of Xuxa Park. The program ran from 1994 till 2001. The scene Xuxa Hits that was run in the last series received greater air time and ended up lasting half the length of each show.
Planeta Xuxa (Planet Xuxa), inspired by Xuxa Hits, was launched in April 1997, and became an immediate hit with those who had grown up following Xuxa's career. Initially Planeta Xuxa was broadcast on Saturday afternoons and Xuxa Park held all the morning air time. Planeta Xuxa was only switched to Sundays in 1998, and it stayed on the air until 2002.
Little children were always the apple of Xuxa's eye and she developed "XSPB" (Xuxa Just for Little Ones) – a video for little kids. With the success of these videos, Xuxa went back to making a daily morning program in October 2002 with the show "Xuxa no Mundo da Imaginação" (Xuxa in the World of Make Believe). It was targeted at kids from zero to ten-year-olds and aimed to excite the imagination, help kids have fun and learn.
The children's show changed name and age group in 2005. TV Xuxa, which was still a daily morning show, included new scenes and games to amuse kids of all ages. In 2008, TV Xuxa was reformulated to change public and debuting new format, hourly and attractions. When it became game show came to be viewed weekly on Saturdays with the intention of rejuvenating the public. The program stopped showing cartoons, invested in play, and Xuxa began to receive his guests on a stage designed to interviews and musical numbers. At this stage, Xuxa talked with singers Justin Bieber (outside the studio, when he came to show in Brazil), and Taylor Swift.
Stardom in the world
As early as in the 1980s, Xuxa already had international recognition for her work on TV. In 1987, the French newspaper Libération included Xuxa on the list of the most remarkable women in the world. Between 1991 and 1993, Xuxa became very popular in the whole Latin America, widening her appeal among Spanish-speaking audiences, when she recorded a program in Argentina, El Show de Xuxa, which was also popular when broadcast in Chile, Mexico and 16 other Latin American countries, as well as Univision in the United States. The first two seasons of the show, the most popular, were produced by Argentine TV channel Telefé while the third one, in 1993, was produced independently and then sold for broadcast to Canal 13. Her last Spanish speaking show aired in Latin America on December 31, 1993.
After reaching success with her record sales in Brazil, Xuxa released her first Spanish-language album, Xuxa, which performed well in the Latin American market. In 1991, Xuxa made her TV debut with the Argentina El Show de Xuxa, displayed by Telefé, the country's largest network. The program performed well in 17 Latin American countries and in the Spanish-speaking market in the United States. The New York Times highlighted her resounding success in Brazil and Latin America, in a matter taken by correspondent in Rio de Janeiro James Brooke. The publication highlights the record sales of albums of the singer, which in 1990 reached the 12 million copies and its success in the Hispanic market, when it reached 300,000 copies with their first album in Spanish. At the time, she was considered by New York Magazine the Madonna Latin American. Xuxa was recognized by Forbes in 1991 as one of the world's 40 highest-paid entertainers. Her $19 million income accumulated between 1990 and 1991 put her ahead of actor Mel Gibson, cartoonist Matt Groening and rapper Vanilla Ice.
From America over to Europe: In 1992, taping programs in Brazil and Argentina, Xuxa was invited to hosted the program Xuxa Park, Spain. Released by Telecinco channel, the program was shown on Sundays, with high ratings, the show lasted two years. The theme song of the show, Sabor de la Vida ("Flavor of Life"), had a huge success in Spain, being among the 100 most played in the European Hot 100 Singles. Her Xuxa Park album also sold well for 8 weeks, and was certified gold. The Billboard magazine published in September 1992 that the album Xuxa 2 was the first-charting Spanish and appeared in position 77 of the 100 most sold in the world. The biggest hits on this disc were: Loquita Por Ti (#29 on the billboard chart), Luna de Cristal (#35 on the billboard chart) and Chindolele (#10 on the billboard chart) all of big hits. Reaching the fifth position in the U.S. Billboard Top Latin Albums of 1991.
In 1993 Xuxa hosted an English language series in the United States, Xuxa (TV series), but it did not achieve the popularity she had enjoyed throughout Brazil, Latin America and Spain. It was initially broadcast by 124 stations across the country. The shows were produced on Sound Stage 36 at CBS Television City in Los Angeles. 65 episodes were taped for the first season of the show. Taping of the episodes was done in a 5-week period in the summer of 1993. The shows were broadcast Monday through Friday, generally in the early morning or mid-afternoon. All 65 episodes were broadcast during the initial 13 weeks before there was a repeat. Helping Xuxa on the show were the Pixies (three U.S. "Paquitas" plus one Brazilian Paquita), the Mellizas (uncredited), Jelly, Jam, and ten "child wranglers" for the 150 kids on set. Starting September 1994, Xuxa began airing on The Family Channel cable network, at 8:00am ET/PT on all stations affiliated to The Family Network. They reprised original episodes on a new children's block until February 19, 1996 when Xuxa stopped airing on The Family Channel. The show was sold to a great number of countries throughout the world, among them Japan, Israel, Russia, Australia, Romania and some Arab countries. Her international ambitions apparently ended after the grueling taping schedule for her American show. She was hospitalized for several days due to exhaustion, and decided to give up her international career.
In April 2011, Xuxa launched a show called "Mundo da Xuxa" (Xuxa's World), on Globo TV International. Broadcast to Brazilian subscribers from every continent, the show is made of the greatest moment of Xuxa's career at Globo, music videos from the XSPB series and the participation of children from all over the world.
Reinvented as a children's entertainer, Xuxa began the "Xuxa Só para Baixinhos" (Xuxa Just for Kids) series, releasing CDs and a videotape with song clips. She also began her first tour since the end of her Xou da Xuxa show, and won two Latin Grammy and has five award nominations.
Currently Xuxa hosts the program TV Xuxa aimed at young people and their families. The show is broadcast on Saturday afternoons on TV Globo. She presents the program Mundo da Xuxa (World of Xuxa) – dedicated to children living outside Brazil. Mundo da Xuxa is broadcast in more than 115 countries by Globo TV International. Xuxa is also quite popular in Africa, many countries like Angola program your is audience leader on your timetable, where is displayed by same channel.
In July 2012, she was elected one of the 100 Greatest Brazilian of all Time in a contest conducted by SBT with support from the British television network BBC.  Still in 2012, she was elected by magazine Época one of the 100 Personality most influential of Brazil.
In 2013, won the title of celebrity most commented by the Brazilian press.
In 1987, Xuxa got involved in a children's campaign against polio. More than 90% of Brazil's infant population was vaccinated. Two years into the campaign, the disease was eliminated and Xuxa received a medal of honor from the then president of Brazil, José Sarney.
Xuxa has also participated in campaigns against smoking; was a spokesperson for the campaign against breast cancer; and also was the organizer of a public parade of protest in Rio, asking for peace in the city.
Apart from entertaining, Xuxa has always been concerned with the care of children, she met with President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in June 2007 to launch in Brasilia of nationwide campaign called "Não Bata, Eduque!" (Don’t smack, Educate!).
Xuxa was chosen to represent Brazil on the Live Earth show and become the cause's spokeswoman in Brazil. The show took place in 7 countries simultaneously on July 7, 2007, and it was a wakeup call for the effects of climate change here on Earth.
In March 2008, Xuxa then, launched the campaign "Uso Responsável da Internet" (Responsible Internet Use) at the Providencia ghetto in Rio de Janeiro. The initiative was a partnership with Xuxa Meneghel Foundation. In the same year, she received a medal of honor at ECO 2008, held in Brasilia, for the social and environmental work carried out by the Xuxa Meneghel Foundation. She also took on the cause to fight against child prostitution. That November, Xuxa received a prize from Prince Albert of Monaco for her work at the Xuxa Meneghel Foundation. This prize, is the highest honor awarded to personalities for their work on social issues.
In September 2011, Colombian singer Shakira and Xuxa have joined forces through their respective charitable foundations to aid children younger than 6 years old who live in Brazil’s poorest communities. The two artists, together with Brazilian government officials, signed an accord in Rio de Janeiro, for a program of cooperation that in its first four years plans to provide access to better education to kids from 100 schools in Brazil. 
Xuxa is the godmother and the poster girl of campaign 'Tri-national to Combat Sexual Exploitation of Children and Adolescents', the initiative aims to encourage people to report cases of exploitation and abuse of minors living on the border between Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina. The campaign integrates the actions taken to combat violence against children and adolescents since May 2013. The initiative brings together Itaipu Dam, the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Municipal Tourism Council, Childhood and Youth, Ministry of Labor and Employment and entities of Paraguay and Argentina who work in the same area.
In May 2014, President Dilma Rousseff signed a law that makes the heinous crime of sexual exploitation of children and adolescents, along with Xuxa and Ideli Salvatti, Minister of Special Secretariat for Human Rights.
Her first starring role was in Amor Estranho Amor (English title: Love Strange Love), a controversial 1982 Brazilian erotic film produced by Anibal Massaini Neto for Cinearte. Produced by Anibal Massaini Neto by Cinearte, the plot involves an adult man's recollection of a short period in his life in 1937. As a teenager, he visited his mother, the favorite woman of an important politician, in a bordello owned by her, right before key political changes in Brazil. In those hours, he discovers his own sexuality. Although rather tame by today's modern standards, the movie was considered somewhat controversial by some because it contains two brief scenes of sensuality between the libertine character played by Xuxa and that of the teenager.
Xuxa also starred in a new movie every year. Her first biggest box office was in 1988 with Super Xuxa Contra Baixo Astral, which included her hit song Arco-Íris (Rainbow), a hit across Latin America. Her second biggest boxoffice was Lua de Cristal (1991), which had over 5 million viewers and spawned a number 1 single, "Lua de Cristal", the sixth biggest box office success of all time in Brazil and biggest boxoffice of the 1990s.
At the summer of 1993, presenter Sergio Malandro, "Lua de Cristal" male lead, and the "Paquitas" and "Paquitos" (Xou da Xuxa dancers) made another movie, this time produced by Xuxa. Sonho de Verão (Summer Dream), a youth-oriented movie, was a moderate hit compared to her other films.
In 1999, she starred in the movie Xuxa Requebra. The movie was a critical success and a big commercial hit, becoming the more successful Brazilian movie of the year, she used the same formula for her next movie, Xuxa Postar, which was also very successful, but a critical failure.
In 2001, she did Xuxa e os Duendes. Since then, she has released a new movie every year. Xuxa e os Duendes 2 in 2002, Xuxa Abracadabra in 2003, and Xuxa e o Mistério da Cidade Perdida in 2004. Her first animated movie Xuxinha e Guto: Contra os Monstros do Espaço released in 2005, was not well received by critics. In her 2006 movie, Xuxa Gêmeas, she played twins, one evil and one good. The movie featured the singer Ivete Sangalo and was a "come back" of Xuxa in the cinema. The movie had more than 1 million viewers.
In 2009, Xuxa launched her film Xuxa em O Mistério de Feiurinha, which tells the story of what happens in fairy tales after the "and they all lived happily ever after" ending. The film is an adaptation of Pedro Bandeira's book "O Fantástico Mistério de Feiurinha" that has sold over 2 million copies. The movie's cast included such names as: Sasha, Luciano Szafir and Luciano Huck, Angélica[disambiguation needed] and Hebe Camargo. It was seen by over 1.3 million cinema goers and was also shown in the USA and Angola, where came to lead the box office, surpassing even James Cameron's Avatar.
Career in Television
Television programs in Brazil
|1983–1985||Clube da Criança||Monday to Friday||Rede Manchete|
|1986–1992||Xou da Xuxa||Monday to Saturday||Rede Globo|
|1989||Bobeou Dançou||Sunday||Rede Globo|
|1990||Xuxa Star||Sunday||Rede Globo|
|1992||Paradão da Xuxa||Saturday||Rede Globo|
|1993||Programa Xuxa||Sunday||Rede Globo|
|1993–present||Criança Esperança||Special||Rede Globo|
|1994–2001||Xuxa Park||Saturday||Rede Globo|
|1995–1996||Xuxa Hits||Saturday||Rede Globo|
|1997–2002||Planeta Xuxa||Sunday||Rede Globo|
|2002–2004||Xuxa no Mundo da Imaginação||Monday to Friday||Rede Globo|
|2005–2014||TV Xuxa||Saturday||Rede Globo|
Television programs International
|1991–1993||El Show de Xuxa||Telefe||Argentina and Latin America|
|1992–1993||Xuxa Park||Tele 5||Spain|
|1993||Xuxa (TV series)||CBS | MTM Enterprises||United States|
|2011-currently||Mundo da Xuxa||Globo International||Europe, Africa, USA and Japan|
|1987||Natal da Xuxa||Rede Globo|
|1988||Natal da Xuxa||Rede Globo|
|1989||Natal da Xuxa||Rede Globo|
|1989||Natal da Xuxa||Rede Globo|
|1990||Xuxa Especial||Rede Globo|
|1991||Xuxa Especial – Fábrica de Ilusões||Rede Globo|
|1992||Xuxa Especial – Lar dos Idosos||Rede Globo|
|1993||Xuxa Especial – Presentes Mágicos||Rede Globo|
|1993-currently||Criança Esperança||Rede Globo|
|1994||Xuxa Especial – Crer Pra Ver||Rede Globo|
|1995||Xuxa Especial – Deu a Louca Na Fantasia||Rede Globo|
|1996||Xuxa 10 anos||Rede Globo|
|1996||Direito de Ser Feliz||Rede Globo|
|1996||Xuxa Especial – Natal Sem Noel||Rede Globo|
|1997||A Festa dos Brinquedos||Rede Globo|
|1997||Luz da Paz||Rede Globo|
|1998||Xuxa 12 Anos com Você||Rede Globo|
|1998||Uma Carta Para Deus||Rede Globo|
|2000||TV Ano 50||Rede Globo|
|2001–2002||Planeta Verão||Rede Globo|
|2003||Xuxa Especial de Natal – Siga Aquela Estrela||Rede Globo|
|2004||Xuxa Especial de Natal – Papai Noel Sumiu||Rede Globo|
|2005||Xuxa Especial de Natal – Folias de Natal||Rede Globo|
|2006||Xuxa 20 anos||Rede Globo|
|2006||Xuxa Especial de Natal – Natal Todo Dia||Rede Globo|
|2007||Xuxa Especial de Natal – Giramundo||Rede Globo|
|2007||Conexão Xuxa||Rede Globo|
|2008||Xuxa e as Noviças||Rede Globo|
|2009||Natal de Luz da Xuxa||Rede Globo|
|2010||Xuxa Especial de Natal||Rede Globo|
In 1983 Xuxa began a new career as a children's show presenter, in the same year she was invited to her first starring role in a movie with Os Trapalhões. Xou da Xuxa, however, is probably the most famous children's show in Brazil and Latin America. According to Veja magazine, she sold more than 30 millions albums worldwide. It started in 1986. In the show, aired every weekday morning, Xuxa presented cartoons and games, did interviews and performed some of her songs. The show created a kid show frenzy in Brazil, and until about 2001, more than seven years after the ending of Xou da Xuxa, most TV networks had at least one kids' show in the same style. Not only in Brazil, but also in most of Latin America, Xou da Xuxa-type shows (with a beautiful host, usually blonde, who presented cartoons such as Walt Disney's DuckTales) became popular.
The audience of the show was of kids who jumped up and down during the whole show. Kids shook pompoms throughout the show, marking the trademarks of the show. But the biggest trademark was the pink spaceship. Every show began with Xuxa getting out of the spaceship and at the end, she would go back to the spaceship (it remains so even today).
Every year she released a new album for children. 1988's Xou da Xuxa 3 with her biggest hit 'Ilariê' (#1 in the radio in almost every Latin America country) is her best-selling album, selling 4 million copies in Brazil alone. Xou da Xuxa 3 is the best-selling album in Brazilian history and the best-selling album for children in world, to date with almost 6 million copies sold. Xou da Xuxa ended in 1993 due to Xuxa's desire to invest more time in her international career, which included Spanish and English versions of Xou da Xuxa as well as various shows in the U.S. and Europe. During that year, she developed health problems attributed to stress; a typical week consisted of seven hours of taping for a month's worth of shows coupled with flying to Argentina where the Spanish version was taped. By the 1990s English-dubbed versions of the show were also broadcast in the southern Anglophone Caribbean.
Xuxa has one daughter, Sasha, born in 1998; the father is actor Luciano Szafir. The news program Jornal Nacional devoted a 10-minute segment to the event. Xuxa dated Brazilian soccer legend Pelé in the 1980s; she later dated racecar driver Ayrton Senna. She reported in 2012 that reclusive singer Michael Jackson had once courted her, inviting her to dinner at his Neverland estate and then having a subordinate ask whether she would consider living with Jackson. Recently assumed a relationship with actor and singer Junno Andrade.
The mother of Xuxa, Dona Alda Meneghel suffers from Parkinson's Disease, and is in an advanced stage of the disease. Xuxa's mother underwent several surgeries in order to slow down or even reverse the progress of Parkinson's disease.
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