Doce was a pop band that existed in Portugal in the 1980s. It was one of the first girl groups in Europe.
The group was formed in September 1979 and consisted of a female quartet: Fá (Fátima Padinha), Teresa Miguel, Lena Coelho and Laura Diogo. The singer Fernanda de Sousa (currently with the artistic name of Ágata) was also a member, who replaced both Lena Coelho, during her pregnancy (between May and October 1985), and, later, Fá, who left the group in October 1985.
The idea of creating a group of four women comes from the composer and singer Tozé Brito, at the farewell party of the Gemini, being also responsible for its creation the Brazilian Cláudio Condé, who was the President of Polygram.
With the exception of Laura Diogo, model and Miss Fotogenia in the Miss Portugal contest in 1978, the group was made up of experienced singers: Fá and Teresa Miguel, were former members of the recently extinct group Gemini; Lena Coelho, had been part of the Cocktails and in the final phase also of the Gemini.
Doce were synonymous with success, not only in Portugal but also abroad, namely in Spain, France, the United States, the Philippines, not only with the Portuguese-speaking communities but also with many foreign fans. This success motivated an attempt at internationalization and several themes were released in English.
They competed four times in the Song Contest: 1980, 1981, 1982 (where they were crowned winners and allowed to represent Portugal in the 1982 Eurovision Song Contest) and, for the last time, in 1984.
One of the biggest contributors to the group’s popularity was their image. The look was totally bold with extremely sensual clothes, being the responsibility of the stylist José Carlos. Another characteristic was the bet on the affirmation and sensuality of the female body, with a daring and provocative posture, combined with the fascinating and meticulous choreography on stage, which caused a great impact but an important and great change of mentality in the artistic environment. It was usual, at that time, a certain formalism on the part of the singers, both in clothing and in performances, especially on television.
In March 1981, at the Festival RTP da Canção, Doce suffered the consequences of this daring, where dressed as odalisques and with a sensual choreography, they performed “Ali-Bábá – Um Homem das Arabias. The group was devalued by the competition’s jury and was the subject of immense criticism in the newspapers, although it came in 4th place and the single edition was a sales success and one of the best-selling albums of that year.
Meanwhile, the image of the Doce was consolidated, in its innovative role, among us, capable of some aggression and provoking the challenge. In strictly musical terms, it can be said that their songs intersect and combine aspects of “pop”, “disco” and “rock”.
Many of the songs by Doce became great hits and are still a reference in the 1980s in the music scene. So much so that it is customary, in television programs, namely in song contests, such as Idolos, A tua cara não é aliena, Uma Canção para ti,…, for the contestants to interpret the group’s songs, namely the song Amanhã de Manhã and Bem Well. Also, in the cinematographic environment, they were included in the SIC telefilm, in 2000, “O Lampião da Estrela”, starring Herman Joséand performed by Diamantino Costa.
In the youth series, Morangos Com Açucar, an adaptation was made to the song Amanhã de Manhã. The song Bem Bom, with altered lyrics, was used in an advertisement for the Jumbo food chain – “O Top das Promoções – 40 years Jumbo” campaign, in May 2010, performed by singer Carolina Torres. Internationally, among the Eurovision fan community, the song Bem Bom is always remembered.
They reached almost 250,000 albums sold and were top sellers several times.
At the same time, they were on the cover of several magazines and newspapers, both national and international (with a strong focus on the 1982 Eurovision Festival), where they were the most photographed.
The first single, “Amanhã de Manhã”, released in 1980, gained enormous popularity and continues to be one of the most successful songs in our country. Still that year, they competed for the RTP Festival of the song with “Doce”. They obtained second place, but gained, at the national level, a prominent place in the world of television and entertainment.
The first album, released later that year, was called “OK.KO.” and was the starting point for several international incursions. This album contains an impressive series of hits: “Café com Sal”, “O Que Lá Vai Lá Vai”, “Depois de Ti” and the theme “OK.KO.”, a single that was released before the album.
But another of the group’s biggest hits took place in 1981, thanks to a song they performed at the RTP Festival: “Ali-Babá”. They didn’t win the festival, but they saw their song elevated to a great commercial success in terms of the history of this Portuguese music event.
The second album, “É Demais”, marks a radical change in the “look” and the position of a controversial group is consolidated. This album includes solo songs such as: “Uau”, in the voice of Lena, “Eu Sou”, in the voice of Laura, “Dói Dói”, in the voice of Fá and “Desatino”, in the voice of Teresa.
The first place in the Festival RTP da Canção, they obtained it in 1982, with “Bem Bom”. The fact of representing Portugal in Eurovision was an impulse for the experience of an international journey, having edited albums in Spanish and English, the singles “Bingo”, “Bim Bom”, “For the Love of Conchita” and “Starlight”.
With the international edition of these albums, Doce travel “around the world” visiting numerous countries on various continents. From the Philippines to the United States, they made a fuss and made headlines in the international press.
In 1982, a single was released with the themes For The Love Of Conchita and Choose Again. The disc was also released on the Dutch market. The following year, the single Starlight/Stepping Stone was released.
Returning to the Festival in 1984, with “O Barquinho da Esperança”, they also signed a new hit called “Quente, Quente, Quente” that year.
In 1985, Lena Coelho becomes pregnant and is replaced by Fernanda de Sousa and, in the following year, Fá decides to leave the band. It was the beginning of the end of the group that, in the final phase, only included three elements: Teresa Miguel, Laura Diogo and Lena Coelho. It was on a program by Júlio Isidro that the group’s extinction was made official.
In 1987, they say goodbye with a double album “Doce 1979-1987”, where “Rainy Day” appears, recorded in the English phase sessions.