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Salvador Sobral

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Salvador Sobral
Sobral on the Eurovision Song Contest red carpet in Kyiv in 2017
Sobral on the Eurovision Song Contest
red carpet in Kyiv in 2017
Background information
Birth nameSalvador Vilar Braamcamp Sobral
Born (1989-12-28) 28 December 1989 (age 34)
Lisbon, Portugal
  • Vocals
  • piano
Years active2009–present
LabelsValentim de Carvalho

Salvador Vilar Braamcamp Sobral ComM (Portuguese pronunciation: [salvɐˈðoɾ viˈlaɾ βɾɐ̃ˈkɐ̃p suˈβɾal]; born 28 December 1989) is a Portuguese singer, who won the Eurovision Song Contest 2017 for Portugal with the song "Amar pelos dois", written and composed by his sister, Luísa Sobral.[1] In doing so, he gave Portugal its first ever win in the contest since its debut in 1964, ending the longest winless run by a country in Eurovision history (53 years). Sobral and his entry hold the Eurovision record for the highest-scoring winner, having earned a total of 758 points under the current voting system, after winning both the jury vote and televote.[1][2]

Early life


Sobral was born in Lisbon and has lived there most of his life. He was born into a formerly noble family,[3][4] the son of Salvador Luís Cabral Braamcamp Sobral and Luísa Maria Cabral Posser Vilar. His paternal grandparents are Salvador José de Almeida Braamcamp Sobral and Maria Elisa Perestrelo de Matos de Figueiredo Cabral. His maternal grandparents are João Luís Posser de Andrade Vilar and Luísa Maria de Melo Breyner Freire Cabral. The politician Hermano José Braamcamp de Almeida Castelo Branco is his great-great-great-great-grandfather.

At the age of ten, he participated in the TV programme Bravo Bravíssimo, and at 20 he was one of the ten finalists of Ídolos, the Portuguese version of the Idols franchise. As a finalist, he sang music by Stevie Wonder, Leonard Cohen and Rui Veloso.[5]

He studied psychology at the ISPA - Instituto Universitário de Ciências Psicológicas, Sociais e da Vida [pt], in Lisbon, which he abandoned to pursue a degree in music. He spent time in Mallorca at the University of the Balearic Islands as an Erasmus student, where he sang in bars.[6]



2009–2010: Ídolos


In 2009, he competed on season three of Ídolos, Portugal's version of the Idols franchise.[7] He finished seventh in the competition. His sister, Luísa Sobral, is also a singer who previously placed third on season one of Ídolos.[8]

2011–2014: Barcelona and first concerts

Salvador Sobral, accompanied by pianist Júlio Resende, in the FOLIO festival in Óbidos, singing poems by Alexander Search (one of Fernando Pessoa's heteronyms).

After he left the Psychology program, he applied to the Taller de Músics, a music school in Barcelona, where he finished his studies in 2014.[6] In 2015, he participated in the Vodafone Mexefest and EDP Cool Jazz festivals.[9][10] During this time, Sobral traveled through several cities in Spain and among them, Tenerife, where he performed at a private party of a wealthy couple.[11]

2016–2018: Excuse Me, Eurovision Song Contest and health issues


On 2 August 2016, Sobral released his debut single "Excuse Me" as the lead single from his debut studio album. On the same day he released his debut studio album Excuse Me.[6] The album peaked at number 10 on the Portuguese Album Chart. "Nem Eu" was released as the second single from the album on 27 October 2016. In 2017, Sobral was confirmed to be taking part in Festival da Canção 2017, with the song "Amar pelos dois".[12] He went on to win the competition on 5 March 2017, and represented Portugal in the Eurovision Song Contest 2017.[13]

Sobral could not perform in the first rehearsals because of a heart condition and an operation that forced him to rest ahead of the performance in the semi.[14][15] His sister took over the role of singer during the first rehearsals.[14] He won the final with 758 points, which under the current voting system represents the highest scoring winner in the history of the contest.[1][2]

In July 2017, he participated in the Super Bock Super Rock festival in Lisbon, fronting rock group Alexander Search, a project he shares with pianist Júlio Resende and other musicians – the band plays music inspired by the work by Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa.[16]

In 23 April 2018 he received – along with his sister, Luísa Sobral – the Portuguese Order of Merit, both receiving the medals of Commanders (ComM). This honorific award was given by the Portuguese president himself, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa.[17]

In May 2018, Sobral performed "Mano a mano" and his Eurovision winning song "Amar pelos dois" in the final of the Eurovision Song Contest 2018, held in Lisbon, alongside Brazilian musician Caetano Veloso.[18]

2019–present: Paris, Lisboa and BPM


On 29 March 2019, his second studio album Paris, Lisboa (Paris, Lisbon) was released in 13 countries; he sings in 4 languages on it.

In 2020, Sobral made a brief appearance in the Netflix film Eurovision Song Contest: The Story of Fire Saga, performing "Amar pelos dois" as a busker in Edinburgh. The song plays during a montage of the movie's main characters arriving in Edinburgh.

On 28 May 2021, Sobral released his third solo album BPM.[19] The album was later nominated for Best Engineered Album at the 22nd Latin Grammy Awards.[20]

Personal life


Salvador Sobral is a fan of Chet Baker and Música popular brasileira singers including Caetano Veloso and Chico Buarque.[6] He speaks six languages: Portuguese, Spanish, English, Catalan, French and some Italian.[21] In 2019, he started to learn Swedish, as he is a fan of Swedish film-maker Ingmar Bergman.[22]

Sobral married Belgian actress Jenna Thiam in a small ceremony in Lisbon on 29 December 2018.[23][24][25]

In March 2024, Sobral revealed he is intersex.[26]



On 5 September 2017, Sobral announced that he would go on a temporary hiatus due to health concerns, following a last concert on 8 September, in the gardens of Casino Estoril, in Cascais. "It is not a secret that I have a fragile health; I have a problem. It is, unfortunately, time to hand over my body to science and to abandon my life of concerts and music; time to leave for a while from this civilian world and go to another where, certainly, my problem will be fixed. Unfortunately, I do not know how long this will take."[27] On 8 December 2017, Sobral underwent a successful heart transplant.[28] He left hospital in January 2018, with doctors telling him to "take life quietly" and "keep away from crowds."[29]

In October 2020, Sobral was diagnosed with COVID-19 after attending one of his sister's concerts but, by his own account, made an easy recovery having self-isolated for 20 days.[30]


Sobral wearing the "S.O.S. Refugees" shirt.

Sobral drew attention to the European migrant crisis by attending the first semi-final winners' press conference in an 'S.O.S. Refugees' shirt.[31] "If I'm here and I have European exposure, the least thing I can do is a humanitarian message," he said. "People come to Europe in plastic boats and are being asked to show their birth certificates in order to enter a country. These people are not immigrants, they're refugees running from death. Make no mistake. There is so much bureaucratic stuff happening in the refugee camps in Greece, Turkey and Italy and we should help create legal and safe pathways from these countries to their destiny countries," he added, earning a round of applause.[32]

The EBU banned him from wearing the shirt for the remainder of the contest.[33] The EBU argued that Sobral's shirt was being used as a "political message," violating the rules of the contest.[33] Sobral argued at his winners' press conference, however, that it held a humanitarian message, not a political one.[34]

During a concert in Ourém, Sobral announced on 19 June 2017 that he would donate all the profits from the sales of his CDs sold to the people of Pedrógão Grande and the relief efforts in the town after it was severely damaged by wildfires the previous day.[35]


Studio albums
Live albums








  1. ^ a b c Smith-Spark, Laura; Almasy, Steve. "Portugal's Salvador Sobral wins Eurovision Song Contest". CNN. Archived from the original on 13 May 2017. Retrieved 14 May 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Full coverage: Eurovision 2017". BBC. 13 May 2017. Archived from the original on 14 May 2017. Retrieved 13 May 2017.
  3. ^ "António Braamcamp Sobral, 6º conde de Sobral".
  4. ^ "Wie is Salvador Sobral, de winnaar van het Songfestival? Hartendief met hartproblemen". Het Laatste Nieuws (in Dutch). 14 May 2017.
  5. ^ "BLITZ – Salvador Sobral no 'Ídolos': recorde o vencedor do Festival da Canção a cantar Maroon 5, Stevie Wonder ou Rui Veloso". Retrieved 13 May 2017.
  6. ^ a b c d "Salvador Sobral – O vencedor que nunca tinha visto um festival da canção". Global Media Group. 9 May 2017. Archived from the original on 9 May 2017. Retrieved 13 May 2017.
  7. ^ "A hora da decisão final no Festival da Canção". Jornal de Notícias. 5 March 2017. Archived from the original on 5 March 2017.
  8. ^ "O Tivoli foi a casa de Luísa Sobral, Comunidade Cultura e Arte" (in Portuguese). Archived from the original on 21 February 2017. Retrieved 6 March 2017.
  9. ^ "Salvador Sobral – Vodafone Mexefest 2015 – 28 Novembro 2015 – musicfest.pt". Equipa musicfest.pt. Retrieved 13 May 2017.
  10. ^ "Salvador Sobral e HMB vão actuar no EDP Cool Jazz". Archived from the original on 12 March 2017. Retrieved 13 May 2017.
  11. ^ Mucha, Martín (1 June 2018). "Salvador Sobral: 'Yo quería tener un corazón andaluz'". El Mundo (in Spanish). Lisboa: Unidad Editorial. Retrieved 22 June 2018.
  12. ^ "Conheça os intérpretes da 1.ª Semi-final do Festival da Canção 2017". RTP.pt (in Portuguese). 18 January 2017. Archived from the original on 31 January 2017. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
  13. ^ Foster, Luis (6 March 2017). "PORTUGAL: SALVADOR SOBRAL WINS FESTIVAL DA CANÇÃO 2017 WITH 'Amar pelos dois'". wiwibloggs.com. Archived from the original on 6 March 2017.
  14. ^ a b Royston, Benny (5 May 2017). "Portugal predicted to win the first Eurovision semi-final". Metro. Archived from the original on 5 May 2017. Retrieved 14 May 2017.
  15. ^ "Eurovision 2017: Portugal's ballad wins contest". BBC News. 14 May 2017. Retrieved 2 June 2017.
  16. ^ "BLITZ – Salvador Sobral no Super Bock Super Rock". Jornal blitz (in European Portuguese). Retrieved 16 May 2017.
  17. ^ a b "Eurovisão. Irmãos Sobral nomeados comendadores por 'êxito singular'". Público (in Portuguese). Retrieved 23 April 2018.
  18. ^ "Salvador Sobral performs with Caetano Veloso at the Grand Final of the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest".
  19. ^ "Novo álbum do músico Salvador Sobral sai a 28 de maio". Portuguese Charts.
  20. ^ "Sara Correia, Salvador Sobral e Carolina Deslandes entre nomeados dos Grammy Latinos". PÚBLICO (in Portuguese). Retrieved 29 September 2021.
  21. ^ "Salvador Sobral (Portugal) interview @ Eurovision 2017 – wiwibloggs". YouTube. Archived from the original on 12 May 2017. Retrieved 14 May 2017.
  22. ^ "ESC-vinnaren Salvador Sobral: 'Jag älskar att plugga svenska'". SVT Nyheter. 8 March 2019. Retrieved 8 March 2019.
  23. ^ Adams, William Lee (2 January 2019). "Salvador Sobral marries French actress Jenna Thiam at private wedding in Lisbon". Wiwibloggs.
  24. ^ "Salvador Sobral se casa por sorpresa con la actriz francesa Jenna Thiam" (in Spanish). ABC. 2 January 2019.
  25. ^ Albernaz, Ana (2 January 2019). "Salvador Sobral casou-se em segredo com Jenna Thiam" (in Portuguese). SELFIE.
  26. ^ "Salvador Sobral: "Sou intersexual. O meu corpo não produz testosterona"". Expresso (in Portuguese). 6 March 2024. Retrieved 16 April 2024.
  27. ^ "Salvador Sobral anuncia pausa na carreira por motivos de saúde" [Salvador Sobral announces break in his career due to his health]. Público (in European Portuguese). Retrieved 6 September 2017.
  28. ^ "Salvador Sobral está a recuperar bem" (in European Portuguese). RTP. Retrieved 9 December 2017.
  29. ^ "Salvador Sobral leaves hospital following heart transplant surgery - but 'there can be no hugs'". Portugal Resident. 12 January 2018. Archived from the original on 29 November 2018. Retrieved 5 March 2018.
  30. ^ Albernaz, Ana (18 December 2020). "Salvador Sobral revela que foi infetado com Covid-19 durante um concerto da irmã" [Salvador Sobral reveals he was infected with Covid-19 during one of his sister's concerts]. Selfie (in Portuguese). Retrieved 19 December 2020.
  31. ^ "Eurovision Song Contest 2017 – Winners' press conference – First Semi-final". YouTube. Archived from the original on 9 May 2017. Retrieved 13 May 2017.
  32. ^ "Eurovision contestants share emotions after qualifying for final". Kyiv Post. 10 May 2017. Archived from the original on 12 May 2017. Retrieved 13 May 2017.
  33. ^ a b Herbet, Emily (13 May 2017). "Portugal: EBU Ban Salvador Sobral from Wearing 'S.O.S Refugees' Jumper". Eurovoix. Archived from the original on 16 May 2017. Retrieved 13 May 2017.
  34. ^ Granger, Anthony (13 May 2017). "ESC'17: The Winners Press Conference – Portugal Salvador Sobral". Eurovoix. Archived from the original on 16 May 2017. Retrieved 13 May 2017.
  35. ^ Pereira, Bernardo (19 June 2017). "Portugal Wildfires: Salvador Sobral Raises Money For Pedrógão Grande Relief Efforts". wiwibloggs.com. WiwiBloggs. Retrieved 20 June 2017.
Awards and achievements
Preceded by Portugal in the Eurovision Song Contest
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Ukraine Jamala
with "1944"
Winner of the Eurovision Song Contest
Succeeded by
Israel Netta
with "Toy"