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Google Doodle celebrates the 79th birthday of António Variações



Antonio Variações 79th Birthday Google Doodle

Today’s Google Doodle celebrates the 79th birthday of António Variações, a Portuguese singer, hairdresser, and songwriter who is recognized as one of the most important pop stars of the 1980s and a symbol of pride for the LGBTQ+ community in Portugal. Born in Fiscal, Amares, on December 3, 1944, António Joaquim Rodrigues Ribeiro became a well-known pop star and a national role model for the LGBTQ+ community.

Growing up on his parent’s farm with multiple siblings, António Variações discovered his passion for music through listening to his father play the accordion and cavaquinho. During his formative years, Variações would have rarely heard someone speak positively about LGBTQ+ people or seen anyone dress in a way that deviated from traditional gender norms because the Portuguese media was severely censored.

António Variações didn’t feel comfortable trying out more varied looks until he went to London and studied hairdressing in Amsterdam. Then, Variações made a comeback to Lisbon with a distinct sense of style, frequently sporting large metal accessories, vivid colors and prints, and facial hair that was toned down.

Before founding É Pró Menino e Prá Menina, a unisex hair salon in Portugal, António Variações worked at the country’s first one. Before rising to fame with his self-penned debut album, Anjo da Guarda, he also performed as a singer on a TV show and in nightclubs all around Lisbon. His song Estou Além was a huge hit and received great praise from critics for fusing synth, pop, rock, and fado. With the release of the more solemn album Dar e Receber in 1984, Variações went on to once more influence pop-rock.

But António Variações died tragically from complications related to HIV/AIDS before he could see Canção Do Engate become a radio hit. Being among the first well-known Portuguese victims of HIV/AIDS, he increased his understanding and compassion for the illness.

Even now, musicians continue to cover his songs; in 2004, a group of musicians recorded an album of António Variações’s previously unheard songs. In his honor, the Fiscal primary school he attended is currently being converted into an interpretive center.

Despite never coming out as LGBTQ+ officially, Variações is still regarded as an icon by many in the community. People honor the renowned musician on Pride Day for his groundbreaking self-expression and enduring influence on LGBTQ+ culture.

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