Xuxa in 2006
|Born||Maria da Graça Meneghel
27 March 1963
Santa Rosa, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
|Home town||Santa Rosa, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil|
|Net worth||U.S. $1 billion (2016)|
Maria da Graça Meneghel (Portuguese: [ma'?ia da 'g?asa '?u?a m?ne'g?w]; born 27 March 1963), commonly known as Xuxa ( SHOO-sh?; Portuguese: ['?u]), is a Brazilian television host, film actress, singer, model and businesswoman. Her various shows have been broadcast in Portuguese, English, and Spanish worldwide. She is a two-time winner of the Latin Grammy award for Best Children's Album, and is also known for her epithet, "Queen of Children".
Xuxa began her television career with the Clube das Crianças on Rede Manchete in the early 1980s. She became a national superstar when she moved to Rede Globo in 1986 for the Xou da Xuxa. She was the first Brazilian to appear on Forbes Magazine's list of richest artists in 1991, taking 37th place with an annual gross income of US$19 million.
Over her 30-year career, Xuxa Meneghel has sold over 50 million copies of her records worldwide, which makes her the second-highest selling Brazilian female singer after Rita Lee. Her net worth was estimated at US$100 million in the early 1990s. As of 2015, she continues to be among Brazil's most prominent celebrities. Also successful as a businesswoman, she has the highest net worth of any Brazilian female entertainer, estimated at US$1 billion.
Maria da Graça Meneghel was born in Santa Rosa, Rio Grande do Sul. During her birth, Meneghel's father, Luiz Floriano Meneghel, was told that both mother and child were at risk. He opted to save his wife, Alda Meneghel (née Alda Flores da Rocha), and prayed to St. Mary of Graces, promising to name his daughter after the Virgin if all went well.
Although she was originally named after Saint Mary of Graces, Xuxa, the youngest member of the Meneghel family, received the nickname by which she came to be known from her brother, Bladimir. When their mother arrived home, she said to him: "Look at the baby that I bought to play with you." To this, he replied: "I know, it's my Xuxa." The nickname stuck, though it was not until 1988 that she officially became Maria da Graça Xuxa Meneghel.
Xuxa is of Italian descent from the town of Imer, in the Autonomous Province of Trento. Her great-grandfather emigrated to Brazil at the end of the 19th century. In 2013, Xuxa obtained Italian citizenship by descent.
At 15 years, she was discovered by a modeling agency and began her professional career as a model at 16. During this time period Xuxa continued to model in Brazil and the United States for both fashion and men's magazines, such as Playboy, and began a famous love affair with Brazilian football star Pelé. In 1984, she was hired as a model by Ford Models.
Established as national beauty and sex symbol, Xuxa got the chance to move toward a career in television through an offer to host a small regional children's program, Clube da Criança for Rede Manchete. In this period, she worked as a model during the week in New York City and was taping her show during the weekend in Brazil. In 1986 this opportunity was expanded when she received an offer to host a national children's program through the multimedia conglomerate Globo.
The program has spanned generations. Xuxa arrived on a pink ship, which awakened in the children the dream of flying beside her. Children from all over Brazil ran to have breakfast with the song "Quem Qué Pão?". The actress would end the show with the famous "Xuxa kiss", For the kiss, Xuxa would put on bright lipstick and kiss the children participating in the show and children in the audience on the cheek, leaving the imprimit of her lipstick. In addition to entertainment, the presenter has always passed positive messages to the public, such as "Want, Power and Reach!", "Believe in Dreams", "Drugs do Bad" and many others. The program came to an end on 31 December 1992, after 2000 editions.
At Christmas 1986, the hostess received her eighth platinum record, a prize awarded to every 250,000 copies sold. The album Xou da Xuxa, from the record company Som Livre, had sold more than two million copies so far, achieving by then the South American record for a single album. Xuxa sold more than Brazilian singer Roberto Carlos that year. In the following years, the presenter still released six more albums of the series, such as Xou da Xuxa 2 and 3, which established themselves as the best selling albums in Brazil so far, with 2.7 and 3.3 million copies sold respectively. With the recorded songs, it left in tours by Brazil that were seen by millions of people.
In 1987, the French newspaper Libération includes Xuxa in the list of 10 women of greater prominence of the planet, next to the English prime minister Margaret Thatcher. In the same period, Xuxa began a loving relationship with the Brazilian driver Formula 1, Ayrton Senna, who died in 1994.
In parallel to the Xou da Xuxa, the presenter commanded Bobeou Dançou, between July 9 and December 31, 1989, on Sunday afternoons of TV Globo. Initially created as Xou of Xuxa frame, it was so successful that the station decided to launch it as an independent program aimed at the adolescent public. The Bobeou Dançou was a program of rumba based on riddles with two teams formed by adolescents between 13 and 17 years disputed the first place of the competition.
In 1990, a new record: the film Lua de Cristal, its biggest box office hit, sold 4,178 million tickets and ranks 21st in the ranking of most watched national films from 1970 to 2011 according to Ancine (Agência Nacional do Cinema). Xuxa accumulates the highest grossing of Brazilian cinema, more than 37 million people watched all his films. Also this year by the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences of the United States to deliver the International Emmy Awards in the category of best children's program and to present one of their songs in the awards party.
The Paradão da Xuxa emerged as an independent program after the success of the picture of the same name presented in the Xou of Xuxa. The program was aired between April 25 and December 26, 1992 on Saturday mornings of TV Globo, replacing Xou of Xuxa on that day. The attraction was three hours long, and different singers and musical groups performed on the show. The musical selection went from the samba to the rock, going through the sertanejo music. On the last Saturday of each month, Super Paradão (Vacation Specials) was shown, highlighting the most successful songs of the period.
Xuxa widened her appeal among Spanish-speaking audiences when she recorded a program in Argentina, called El Show de Xuxa. The Los Angeles Times reported in 1992 that "more than 20 million Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking children watched El Show de Xuxa in 16 countries of Latin America every day, 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 season, in 1993, was produced independently and then sold for broadcast to El Trece. Her last Spanish speaking show aired in Latin America on 31 December 1993.
The New York Times highlighted her success in Brazil and Latin America in an article by correspondent, James Brooke. The publication highlighted the record sales of albums of the singer, which in 1990 reached 12 million copies, and its success in the Hispanic market, where it reached 300,000 copies with their first album in Spanish. At the time, she was called by New York Magazine as "Latin American Madonna". In 1992, the Los Angeles Times said that Xuxa was "probably better known to most Latin American pre-adolescents than Michael Jackson."
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, and put her ahead of actor Mel Gibson, cartoonist Matt Groening, and rapper Vanilla Ice.
Not only was she successful in America, but in Europe as well. In 1992, taping programs in Brazil and Argentina, Xuxa was invited to hosted the program Xuxa Park, in Spain. Released by Telecinco channel, the game show was shown on Sundays, with high ratings. The show lasted two years. The theme song of the show, Sabor de la Vida, had huge success in Spain, being among the 100 most played in the European Hot 100 Singles.[when?] Her Xuxa Park album also sold well for 8 weeks and was certified gold.Billboard magazine published in September 1992, that the album Xuxa 2 was at the top of the Spanish charts, and appeared in position 77 of the 100 most sold albums 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). The album reached the fifth position in the U.S. Billboard Top Latin Albums of 1991. In 1992, People Magazine chose Xuxa as one of the 50 most beautiful people in the world.
In 1993, Xuxa hosted an English language series in the United States titled Xuxa. However, it did not achieve the popularity she had enjoyed throughout Brazil, Latin America and Spain, and was cancelled after one season due to low ratings. 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 150 kids on the set. Starting September 1994, Xuxa began airing on The Family Channel cable network, at 8:00am ET/PT. 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, including 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.
The presenter returned to her children's audience with Xuxa Park, the Brazilian version of a project of the same name that commanded in Spain. Xuxa's triumphant entrances continued, in one of the stages, she stepped out of a pyramid, in the last phase of the program, Xuxa arrived in her iconic spaceship. The program directed by Marlene Mattos gathered pictures, jokes and musical attractions was exhibited between June 4, 1994 and January 6, 2001 on Saturday mornings of TV Globo. The attraction was canceled abruptly due to the tragic fire that occurred in January 11, 2001 in the recording of its carnival special.
In parallel to Xuxa Park, Xuxa commanded Xuxa Hits between January 8 and April 16, 1995 on Sunday afternoons on TV Globo. The program came as a picture of Xuxa Park, but has become an independent program due to its great success. In attraction, Xuxa received several musical attractions like bands, DJs and singers. After its end, the program returned to be only a painting of the Xuxa Park.
Inspired by Xuxa Hits, the Planeta Xuxa was created, which premiered on April 5, 1997 and immediately became a fever among those who grew up following Xuxa's career. Initially, Planeta Xuxa was shown on TV Globo's Saturday afternoons, so Xuxa presented two shows simultaneously on the same day, as Xuxa Park occupied the broadcasters' mornings. As of April 19, 1998, the program began to be presented on Sunday afternoons due to the 1998 World Cup, remaining on Sundays until its closure in 2002. Planeta Xuxa was focused on the performances of musicians and bands. The program had the format of a discotech, had the participation of the public and received famous guests. The attraction came to an end on July 28, 2002, due to the desire of Xuxa to return to the children's public and the end of the partnership with the director Marlene Mattos.
As a mother, Xuxa noticed a shortage of videos for small children. In 2001, she designed the Só Para Baixinhos audiovisual and the CD and DVD set. The album Só Para Baixinhos 2 received worldwide recognition and won the 2002 Latin Grammy Award for Best Latin Children's Album category. With the success of the Xuxa project for Baixinhos, which was aimed at children from 0 to 10 years old, the presenter had the desire to create a program in this educational mold, and on October 28, 2002 she debuted Xuxa no Mundo da Imaginação. The show was broadcast on Monday mornings of TV Globo, marking the return of the presenter the broad daily of the station after the end of Xou Xuxa. The attraction, about 40 minutes long, was divided into four blocks and had 32 frames displayed alternately throughout the week. Through computer graphics capabilities, Xuxa appeared seated on a globe with a blue background filled with white clouds, and featured 14 pictures that blended entertainment and didactic elements. After many reformulations to reverse the low audience, the program came to an end on December 31, 2004.
In 2003, Xuxa was nominated again to Grammy for Xuxa Só Para Baixinhos 3 and took the second trophy in the same category. On June 30, 2003, she inaugurated an amusement park with her name. Mundo de Xuxa, located in São Paulo, in an area of 12,000 square meters, was the largest indoor amusement park in Latin America and has more than 18 attractions. The Mundo do Xuxa is part of the group of 3 amusement parks that most invoice in Brazil, together the 3 parks made about R$ 220 million per year.
In 2004, for the third consecutive time, she competed with the video Xuxa Só Para Baixinhos 4 in the same category. The 5th edition, Xuxa Circus, became a huge selling success and was transformed into a show that dragged crowds into theaters. In 2005, the Xuxa Festa, promoted a remix of old hits. The project pleased both the children and the parents who grew up following his career.
In 2012, Xuxa is again present in the Latin Grammy as the only Brazilian in the Best Children's Album category, with XSPB 11. This is already the fifth indication of the Xuxa Só Para Baixinhos series.
After successive audience defeats with Xuxa no Mundo da Imaginação, TV Globo reformulated again the attraction commanded by Xuxa that changed its name and age group and on April 04, 2005, it premiered TV Xuxa. The program had two distinct phases and the first was broadcast on Monday morning to the children's audience in a mix of play, dramaturgy, competition, cartoons and musical numbers presentation. The name of the program was an allusion to the fictional TV Xuxa, a television station with several attractions. After many changes for not being able to keep the station in the isolated leadership, the program no longer aired on December 31, 2007.
In parallel to TV Xuxa, the presenter commanded Conexão Xuxa between December 2, 2007 and January 11, 2008. The program had four teams formed by three people (one athlete, one personality and one teenager). Together, they faced various kinds of physical evidence and general knowledge in beautiful settings in the country. The program lasted three stages. The teams were divided by colors: yellow, green, blue and orange. The four teams disputed an X of gold, that was worth three points; an X of silver, worth two; or a bronze X, which was worth one point. In all, there were three stages, displayed in seven editions. The two winners of the first stage and the two winners of the second disputed the final of the program. Vencia the group that obtains more points throughout the competition.TV Xuxa returned to TV Globo grid on May 10, 2008, totally refurbished, aimed at the whole family. With new format and schedule, and different attractions, it became a weekly auditorium program, screened on Saturdays at 10am. The show ceased to show cartoons, invested in jokes, and Xuxa went on to receive his guests on a stage designed for interviews and musical numbers.
In 2009 Xuxa released the film Xuxa em O Mistério de Feiurinha, telling what happens to the princesses after the "Happily Ever After". The film starred Sasha Meneghel in theaters and featured the participation of Hebe Camargo, Luciano Szafir, Luciano Huck, Angelica and others. The film took more than 1,300,000 people to the movies and was released in Brazil, the United States and Angola.
In the musical career, Xuxa left to Som Livre, signing with Sony Music. It is estimated that the contract value was R $ 10 million. Xuxa released the 9th title of the Xuxa Só Para Baixinhos series, titled Natal Mágico and in 2010 the 10th edition of XSPB, entitled Baixinhos, Bichinhos e Mais, the album sold in 1 month the amount necessary to to become the best-selling DVD of 2010 in Brazil. In October of 2010 Xuxa gave an interview explaining its break with "Free Sound" the presenter claimed that his then record company, was providing a tight budget for the size of its projects. Also in 2010, was chosen by the readers of the Newspaper Clarín the favorite Brazilian singer of the Argentines.
In April 2011, he launched the Mundo da Xuxa program on TV Globo Internacional. The attraction was shown to Brazilian subscribers on every continent from Monday to Friday and shows the best moments of her career on Globo, as well as clips from XSPB. With success in the mornings, the program TV Xuxa was transferred to the afternoons of Saturday in 2011, replacing the Session of Saturday, that suffered to leave the transmitter in the isolated leadership.
TV Xuxa finally came to an end on January 25, 2014, due to the health problems of the presenter. In May of 2014, after five years in Sony Music, Xuxa returns to Som Livre. In a press release, the label reports that it corrects one of the main mistakes in the company's history: "not to keep one of the country's greatest artists."
On March 5, 2015, after 29 years of TV Globo and out of the air for more than a year with the end of TV Xuxa, the presenter signs with Rede Record. Xuxa and TV Globo had amicably broken their contract in December 2014. The arrival of Xuxa in the headquarters of the station was transmitted live by the Program of the Tarde, the station organized one of the biggest events of its history with several links with the fans in the door of its headquarters, in São Paulo, the movement of the employees and the signing of a contract with the presence of the high dome of the broadcaster and journalists of various media, at a press conference specially set up for the blonde at the Teatro Record. This was considered one of the biggest signings in the history of the transmitter, according to sites specialized in TV.
After much speculation as to what it would be and at what time it would be screened, the presenter premiered Xuxa Meneghel, a show of the same name, on 17 August 2015 on RecordTV's Monday night. The program, screened directly from RecNov, was inspired by The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and blended entertainment, fun, excitement, humor, musical attractions, interviews, games and special features. The attraction also opened space for the viewer to interact through social networks. Its last episode aired on December 19, 2016.
After having its release postponed several times, Som Livre launched in December 2016, the thirteenth volume of Xuxa Só Para Baixinhos. Recorded in 2014, and expected to be released in September 2016, XPSB 13 earned Xuxa a Latin Grammy nomination, but because it was released after the deadline, it was disqualified by the Latin Recording Academy.
Recently, Xuxa announced the national launch of their new tour of shows, titled XuChá, and based on the traditional tea Chá da Alice.
In 1986, the album Xou da Xuxa, sold over two million copies, breaking the South American record for sales, earning eight platinum awards (granted every 250,000 copies sold). In the following years, Xuxa launched six discs, including Xou da Xuxa 2 and Xou da Xuxa 3, and recorded two LPs with the songs translated into Spanish, which sold 2.4 million copies.
From 1989-96, Xuxa had sold 18 million albums, a record in Latin American music sales. Xuxa recorded about 915 songs, recorded 28 albums that together have sold over 45 million copies, and were awarded 400 gold records in Brazil. The album, Xou da Xuxa 3, had more than 3,216,000 copies sold, making it the best-selling children's album, according to the Guinness Book.
In 2002, Veja magazine named Xuxa the richest artist in Brazil, with an estimated net worth of $250 million. According to the same magazine, Xuxa's earnings were comparable to Hollywood stars like Julia Roberts and Keanu Reeves. She was first in the list of artists with highest sales over the past ten years (1998-2008).
In 2012, the Associação Brasileira dos Produtores de Discos (ABPF) released the list of the best-selling DVDs in the country. According to ABPD, Xuxa had two DVDs among the top ten in 2011, XSPB Volume 1-8 (sixth place) and XSPB 11 (ninth).
In 1987, Xuxa became involved in a children's campaign against polio. Subsequently, 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 president of Brazil, José Sarney.
Xuxa has also participated in campaigns against smoking, was a spokesperson for the campaign against breast cancer, and was also the organizer of a public parade of protest in Rio, asking for peace in the city. The growing need to care for young children led her to set up the Xuxa Meneghel Foundation on October 12, 1989.
Xuxa was chosen to represent Brazil on the Live Earth show and became the cause's spokeswoman in Brazil. The show took place in seven countries simultaneously on July 7, 2007, and emphasized the negative effects of climate change.
In March 2008, Xuxa launched the campaign, Uso Responsável da Internet (Responsible Internet Use), at the Providencia ghetto in Rio de Janeiro. The initiative was a partnership with the 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 joined forces through their respective charitable foundations to aid children younger than six 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. In its first four years, it plans to provide better access to education to children from 100 schools in Brazil.
Xuxa is the godmother and poster girl of the campaign "Tri-national to Combat Sexual Exploitation of Children and Adolescents" which aims to encourage people to report cases of exploitation and abuse of minors living on the border between Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina. Since May 2013, the campaign has integrated the actions of several groups: the 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 applied stronger penalties to the crime of sexual exploitation of children and adolescents. On June 4, 2014, Xuxa was present when the Senate of Brazil passed the Lei da Palmada (PLC 58/2014), which had been adopted by the Commission on Human Rights of the Chamber of Deputies. When asked about criticism from some parents about how they will educate their children after the passage of this law, Xuxa said that they can educate, but without violence: "We have to show that people can and should educate without violence". Xuxa said that the project should be treated as Lei Menino Bernardo, not Lei da Palmada.[clarification needed]
Xuxa has one daughter, Sasha, who was born in 1998. Sasha's father is actor Luciano Szafir. Xuxa dated Brazilian soccer legend, Pelé, in the 1980s, and later, Formula 1 legend, 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 had a subordinate ask whether she would consider living with Jackson. She recently began a relationship with actor and singer, Junno Andrade.
Xuxa's mother, Dona Alda Meneghel, suffers from Parkinson's Disease and is in an advanced stage of the illness. She underwent several surgeries in an attempt to slow down or reverse its progress.