Mariza is the stage name of a popular fado singer. She was born Marisa dos Reis Nunes on 16 December 1973 in Lourenšo Marques, Mozambique. At the time, Mozambique was known as the Portuguese Overseas Province of Mozambique.
Mariza is the child of a Portuguese father and a mother of partial black African heritage (Mozambique). At age 3, her family moved to Portugal, and she was raised in traditional quarters of Lisbon, Mouraria and Alfama. While very young she began singing in a wide variety of musical styles, including gospel, soul and jazz. Her father strongly encouraged her to adopt fado; he felt that participating in the traditional music would grant her greater acceptance in the Portuguese community.
The family lived for a while in Brazil, where her singing style was strongly influenced by the musical rhythms of that country's popular music. When the family returned to Portugal she again immersed herself in the fado genre, infusing it with a Brazilian-beat undertone.
She has sold over 1.000.000 (one million) records worldwide.