This week Katy Perry dropped the lyric video for her latest hit, Swish Swish. The clip stars a rather eccentric woman who dances along to the track, whilst making a lot of interesting facial expressions. This woman might have gone largely unknown outside of Brazil for decades, but she is actually an instantly recognisable household name here.
So, just who is she? If you have read my latest ebook Brazil: Life After The Honeymoon Period, you will know this one! (There is an entire chapter dedicated to eccentric Brazilian celebrities in there!). If not, allow me to explain.
Her name is Gretchen and her rise to fame actually began in the late 70’s, when she was better known as Rainha do Bumbum (The Butt Queen). That’s right, long before Kim Kardashian and Nicki Minaj came along; Gretchen was already known all over Brazil for her sizable derriere. A successful career as a pop star followed and so too did her cult following. Not surprising really, given that Gretchen is responsible for one of Brazil’s campest, disco classics: Conga, Conga, Conga.
At the age of 47, with her pop star status on the wane Gretchen diversified – trying her hand in porno acting. After getting a taste of the erotic film industry (excuse the pun!) she decided to release a few more blue movies of her own.
More recently, Gretchen (and her GIF-friendly face) have become famous all over again on the back of memes.
“My parent’s generation know Gretchen for her butt” my friend said a few weeks ago, “now the younger Brazilian generation know and love her, not for her sexuality, but for her eccentric personality. I think this is so cool!”
And it doesn’t stop there! Gretchen has certainly lived a very interesting personal life too. It would be fair to say that she is partial to a good wedding, having already enjoyed seventeen of her own! Yes, SEVENTEEN! I don’t think I have even been to seventeen weddings in my lifetime yet!
“My life is crazy” she sings on her song called “My Name is Gretchen.” And now, after more than 38 years in the business, the international spotlight is finally fixed on her. This lyric video had more than 10 million hits in first 48 hours – leading many to wonder how much crazier things are about to get for her!
My favourite YouTube comments:
“Jurassic Park 2017” “This video is like a bad LSD trip”
The comments section on YouTube is basically just FULL of Brazilians discussing the clip in Portuguese. Someone has even joked “I’ve spent two days looking for a comment on here written by a non-Brazilian!”
Another comment read, “Yes native English speakers, it’s time for YOU to have to translate these comments if you want to know what people are talking about!”
Check out the video for Katy Perry’s new clip below: