Clara Nunes' first album came out in 1966. It was a placid pop affair that rustled no feathers with its dated boleros and studied avoidance of the craze in Brazil at the time, bossa nova. There was absolutely no hint of the samba diva she was to become. Two years later she released Voce Passa E Eu Acho Graca and the samba-heavy title track pointed the way to her seminal 1970s work, in which she embraced samba totally and enraptured the country with her silken voice and commanding style. Nunes actually started singing in 1959, after winning a music contest that she entered while working in a factory. She quickly got a job at a radio station and began singing in nightclubs. Her growing fame -- and huge record sales in the 1970s -- helped pave the way for subsequent female singers; her life was tragically cut short when a routine varicose veins operation went awry.