Half crooner, half rocker Ricardo Azevedo became a fixture in the Portuguese pop landscape in 2002. The former lead vocalist for the popular Portuguese rock act Ez Special, Azevedo enjoyed years in the pop music lime light before striking out on his own as a solo act to pursue his individual artistic vision. Born in January of 1977, Azevedo began playing guitar and singing as a youth, pursuing his passion for music throughout his adolescence. He played with various groups between '91 and '99 in his hometown of Santa Maria da Feira. He became a founding member of EZ Special in 2000 with other Santa Maria locals. The band's debut disc Partizan Pop (2002) earned them widespread popularity. The records that followed (In n'Out and Leimotiv) took Azevedo to the very heights of Portuguese rock music. The band performed hundreds of concerts before sold out audiences in venues ranging from small clubs to the National Coliseum. As Azevedo's career with EZ Special flourished, so did his desire to develop his own artistic direction. That dream was realized in 2007 with the release of his debut solo disc Prefácio. The Polydor backed project generated a number of breakout singles that dominate Portuguese airwaves for weeks after the record's release. The album peaked at number 22 on national charts. During that time Azevedo had to balance his solo career with commitments to EZ Special, who were working to support their own '07 release Alguém como Tu, leaving little time for solo touring. ~ Evan C. Gutierrez
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