Ana Lúcia Pereira Moniz (born 9 September 1976) is a Portuguese singer and actress. Moniz represented Portugal in the Eurovision Song Contest 1996 and has released five music albums to date. She has also acted in several television shows, in theatre, and in films, most prominently in the 2003 British ensemble film Love Actually.
Ana Lúcia Pereira Moniz was born in Lisbon, Portugal. She is the daughter of two musicians: Carlos Alberto Moniz (a Portuguese conductor from the Azores) and Maria do Amparo. Moniz’s musical career began at an early age at the Saint Cecilia Academy of Music in Lisbon.
After completing six years of music school, Moniz traveled as an AFS Intercultural Programs exchange student to Minnesota in the United States, where she attended Eden Prairie High School. She joined the school’s concert choir and performed in the school production of Kiss Me Kate.
Moniz was still fairly unknown in Portugal when, at the age of nineteen, she performed in the nationally regarded Festival da Canção with the song “O meu coração não tem cor” (“My Heart Has No Colour”). She unexpectedly reached the finals, which were held on 7 March 1996. Moniz went on to win first place, just four points ahead of the second-place winner. As the winner, she went on to represent Portugal in the Eurovision Song Contest 1996, where she finished in sixth place among 23 contestants—at the time the best result Portugal had achieved. This continued to be the case until their eventual win in 2017.
In 1997, Moniz began acting on TV, as the twins Susana/Bárbara in the soap opera A Grande Aposta. Due to her success, she was cast in another soap, Terra Mãe, which was also successful. She didn’t have time to finish her degree in design.
In 2003, Moniz’s international break came when she played the role of Aurélia in the film Love Actually among a cast that included Colin Firth, Hugh Grant, Alan Rickman, Emma Thompson, Liam Neeson, and Rodrigo Santoro. Her character only speaks Portuguese, while Firth’s only speaks English. They are in love and engaged by the finale.
In 2004, Moniz’s daughter, Julia, was born in the Azores.
In 1999, Moniz released her first studio album, titled Magnolia, after the name of the location in the United States where it was recorded. The album includes rhythmic pop songs unlike her Eurovision entry, both in Portuguese and in English. It was certified Gold.
Magnolia was a successful platform for her follow-up release, 67. It was made with her longtime producer, Nuno Bettencourt, and co-produced with multi-instrumentalist Anthony J. Resta. The record was released by EMI in 2002. The album was named after the number of days it took to complete.
Moniz returned to the music scene in 2005, three years after the release of 67, with the album Leva-me p’ra casa (“Take Me Home”).
After a six-year gap, Moniz released her fourth album, Fio de Luz (2011). This was followed by Calendário in 2015.
Moniz reprised her role from Love Actually for Red Nose Day Actually, a short-film sequel that was broadcast on British television in March 2017.