He’s the Portuguese jazz star who has battled health issues while touring the country and facing the glare of international media.
And on Friday Portugal’s Salvador Sobral officially stepped away from the limelight, giving an emotional farewell concert ahead of a temporary career hiatus.
Performing at the Jardins do Casino Estoril, as part of the International Festival of Culture, the Eurovision 2017 winner sang his most beloved songs, including “Excuse Me”, “Change” and “Nada Que Esperar”.
But the emotional climax came when he was joined by his sister Luisa to sing “Amar pelos dois” — the song she wrote and which he performed brilliantly at Eurovision.
While mouthing the words of the song, Salvador welled up before burying his face in his hands.
His sister immediately rushed to his side to embrace the singer, who faced his head away from the cameras.
As ever, the audience channeled nothing but warmth and love for the singer, who they sent off in style by singing “Amar pelos dois” en masse at the close of the show.
The concert came following the September 6 announcement that Salvador would go on professional hiatus and cancel all of his scheduled performances so that he can focus fully on his recovery as he waits for a heart transplant.
His announcement came in a YouTube video entitled “Hello, Até já” (Hello, See you soon).
“It is no longer a secret to anyone that my health is fragile,” he said in the video, while seated at a piano.
“I have a problem. Unfortunately, the time has come to give my body to science and consequently to remove myself from the life of concerts and music in general. Get out a bit of this world of civilians and go to another, where surely this problem will be solved. Unfortunately, I do not know how long it will take.”
“I’ll be back soon — how soon I do not not know.”
We hope that Salvador can bottle up the love and support he felt on Friday and draw on it as he faces his toughest fight. Our fingers are crossed for his speedy recovery.
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