Did You Know…?

Nine centuries of history and a lifetime of travel and conquests ensure there are Portuguese roots in all four corners of the world. Portuguese Soul gives you three stories of unusual
Portuguese souls.

Photos: Unsplash

Amber Valetta

She is one of the most iconic models of her generation, like Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista or Kate Moss, having starred in campaigns for international brands such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Versace and Prada.

She started her professional career when she was just 15 years old. She has been on more than 10 covers of the acclaimed American Vogue, under the guiding hand of Anna Wintour. More recently, she has become well-known in the cinema.

When not on cinema screens, she supports environmental causes, particularly those related to ocean pollution.

Amber Valetta’s mother is of Cherokee origin, but her father… her father has a very Portuguese soul.

Shawn Mendes

He was born at the end of the last century in Toronto, but his roots are very Portuguese — his father is originally from the Algarve — as he so often likes to bring up.

Shawn Mendes has gained international recognition as a singer, composer and even as a model. He came to public attention at a young age, in 2013, publishing cover versions of songs known to international audiences. Since then, he has recorded four original albums, performed three world tours and won several awards, in particular MTV Awards and Grammys.

Putting his fame to good use, Shawn Mendes has publicly joined the fight against anxiety disorder with the song entitled “In My Blood”. At the time the song was released, he revealed that he had resorted to therapy to help him cope with a mental health condition.

On a personal level, he has been dating the Cuban-American singer Camila Cabello since 2019. They have already recorded two original songs together and are one of the trendiest couples in international show business.

Tom Hanks

He is one of the leading actors in the history of cinema. He won two Oscars for Forrest Gump and Philadelphia, but he starred in countless other films, such as Apollo 13, Big, Shipwrecked, Saving Private Ryan and The Green Mile — to name but a few — his unique talent has won over international critics.

Although born in California, he can trace his origins back to the Azores, where his mother was born.

Hanks is ranked as the fourth-biggest box office star of all time in North America, earning more USD 4.5 billion at the North American box office, an average of more than USD 100 million per film. Worldwide, his films have grossed more than USD 9 billion.

He dreamed of being an astronaut one day. Perhaps that is why, even today, he is still an advocate of NASA’s manned space programme. In response, the US Space Agency named an asteroid after him, 12818 Tomhanks.

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