Do you remember the Lambada dance craze of the late 1980s? For those of you too young to recall it, the Lambada is a Brazilian dance for couples, which is generally danced with arched legs, with the steps being from side to side or turning, with a pronounced movement of the hips. At the time when the dance became popular, short skirts for women were in fashion and the dance became associated with the skirts swirling up when the female spins around.
The song that launched the Lambada dance craze was this 1989 worldwide hit recorded by the French pop group Kaoma with lead vocals by Paris-based Brazilian Loalwa Braz. It sold over 5 million copies in 1989, reached #1 on eleven different charts and was the best selling single in Europe that year. In France, where it topped the chart for 12 weeks and sold almost 2 million copies, the single was the #1 on the year-end list. Due to its huge success outside Brazil, "Lambada" was also recorded by Kaoma in English and Spanish.
The song's full title was "Chorando Se Foi (Lambada)." Unfortunately, its lyrics and music were an unauthorized translation of the song "Llorando se fue," a tune written and recorded by the Bolivian Andean pop group Los Kjarkas in 1981. The unauthorized copy by Kaoma led to a successful 1990 lawsuit by Los Kjarkas against Kaoma producer Jean-Claude Bonaventure.
The music video was filmed on Cocos Beach in the city of Trancoso, Bahia, Brazil and featured the Brazilian child song and dance duo Chico and Roberta. Both acts were connected as Kaoma and Chico and Roberta shared the same producer, Jean-Claude Bonaventure, and Kaoma's lead singer Loalwa Braz composed the duo's songs.
As part of the Lambada craze, there were two movies released in 1990 that were based on the dance. One was called The Forbidden Dance and the other was simply called Lambada. The Forbidden Dance featured the Kaoma version of the song.