Logo XUXA.com


Childhood | Discovery | Xuxa on TV | From Brazil to the World | Social Action | Movies | Sasha | LPs, CDs and DVDs | Licensing




Black and white picture of 3 year-old Xuxa holding a doll and a duster

Maria da Graça Meneghel was born in Santa Rosa, Rio Grande do Sul State, on March 27 1963. On being told that both mother and child were at risk during the birth, her father, Luiz Floriano Meneghel opted to save the mother and prayed to St. Mary of Graces, promised to name her after a saint if all went well. But the name by which the youngest member of the Meneghel family came to be known by was given by brother Bladimir. When their mother arrived home, she said to him: "look at the baby that I bought to play with you", to which he replied: "I know, it's my Xuxa". It was not until 1988 that the presenter was officially called Maria da Graça Xuxa Meneghel.

Xuxa's childhood was typical for a kid brought up in the interior of Brazil. It was a life of swimming in the river, climbing up trees to pick fruit, a life of birthday parties, and Easter and Christmas. It was a life lived with the special touch of her mother Alda, an art teacher.


When Xuxa was seven, her father, who was in the army, was transferred to Rio de Janeiro. They at first lived in Santa Cruz, a neighborhood in the western zone of the city, for a month but then moved to Bento Ribeiro.


In the seventies, her father rented a two-bedroom house at Coroa Grande beach. The family used to travel by train, since they didn't own a car. It was a big adventure, because besides the parents and the five children, the gang had also a dog and a parakeet. Xuxa has spent most of her teens going to the beach and the waterfalls close to this house, and she keeps the best memories of that time.







When she was fifteen, Xuxa was discovered by a person working at the Bloch Publishing company when on a train trip with her sister Mara. After being invited to try out for modeling, she posed for the cover of the magazine Carinho at the age of sixteen. She was such a success that she was put on the cover of more than 50 Brazilian magazines in the following year. Xuxa modeled both in Brazil and abroad where she was hired by Ford Models in the US, one of the largest agencies in the world.


Black and white picture of Xuxa's closeup, with her hair up

Ford Models




Xuxa on TV

At the age of 20, Xuxa was invited by the director Maurício Shermann to host a show called “Clube da Criança” (the Children’s Club) on the now extinct Manchete TV channel. In those days she modeled during the week in New York and recorded the TV show over the weekends. The agency then gave her an ultimatum, making her chose between her career in modeling and working on TV. She’s chosen the children’s show.


Xuxa’s charisma and beauty, as well as her easy-going way of presenting the kids’ show, drew attention and, in 1986, she was invited by the director Mario Lucio Vaz to have her first daily show with her own name: “Xou da Xuxa” (the Xuxa Show), broadcast by Globo TV.


Black and white picture of Xuxa and children on the set of Xou da Xuxa


That show left its mark on a whole generation. Xuxa would arrive in a pink spaceship and every kid would want to fly off with her. Children all over Brazil would rush to have breakfast to the sound of the song “Quem Quer Pão?” (Who Wants a Bread Roll?). Another symbol of the times was the “Xuxa kiss”, where the presenter would leave her mark in lipstick. The Xuxa Show was a happy break. Apart from enjoying herself, the presenter always put across positive messages to the public with phrases like: “Wanting is believing and getting!”, “Chase after your dream!”, “Drugs are bad!” and many more.


Her success with the public brought Xuxa a second show at Globo TV in 1989. “Bobeou Dançou” was broadcast only on Sundays and, with that, she ran two programs at the same time: a Monday-through-Saturday show and the other on Sundays.


Xuxa wearing an outfit with a giraffe print, on the set of Xou da Xuxa


Another show that ran simultaneously with “Xou da Xuxa” was called “Paradão dos Baixinhos” (The Little Ones Charts), which started off as a set piece and gained its own life in 1991, and broadcast on Saturday mornings.

The “Xou da Xuxa” was wound up in 1992, making room for the Sunday show “Xuxa” in 1993, which had musical attractions, games and all the charm of Xuxa and her backup:    the “Paquitas”.

The following year saw the arrival of “Xuxa Park”. The program ran from 1994 till 2001. The scene “Xuxa Hits” that was run in the last series received greater air time and ended up lasting half the length of each show.

“Planeta Xuxa” (Planet Xuxa), inspired by “Xuxa Hits”, was launched in April 1997, and became an immediate hit with those who had grown up following Xuxa’s career. Initially “Planeta Xuxa” was broadcast on Saturday afternoons and “Xuxa Park” held all the morning air time. “Planeta Xuxa” was only switched to Sundays in 1998, and it stayed on the air until 2002.


Xuxa holding a video camera on the set of Planeta Xuxa


Little children were always the apple of Xuxa’s eye and she developed “XSPB” (Xuxa Just for Little Ones) – a video for little kids. With the success of these videos, Xuxa went back to making a daily morning program in October 2002 with the show “Xuxa no Mundo da Imaginação” (Xuxa in the World of Make Believe). It was targeted at kids from zero to ten-year-olds and aimed to excite the imagination, help kids have fun and learn.


Xuxa dressed up as many characters from the show Xuxa no Mundo da Imaginação


The children’s show changed name and age group in 2005. “TV Xuxa”, which was still a daily morning show, included new scenes and games to amuse kids of all ages. In 2008, after running a summer program called “Conexão Xuxa” (the Xuxa Connection) that featured competitions between the famous guests and took place in several cities around Brazil, Xuxa took over Saturday mornings with a remodeled “TV Xuxa”. With this modern and interactive weekly show, Xuxa managed to unite grandparents, parents and children, talking to the three generations that had always followed her work. Now, broadcasted on Saturday afternoons, TV Xuxa presents live music performances, interviews, and much more.


Xuxa wearing a printed jacket entering the set of the show TV Xuxa, touching the hands of people from the audience





From Brazil to the World

As early as in the 1980’s, Xuxa already had international recognition for his work on TV. In 1987, the French newspaper Libération included Xuxa on the list of the most remarkable women in the world.


A total success in Brazil-wide sales, Xuxa released her first album in Spanish in 1990, “Xuxa”, and conquered the Latin-American market.

In 1991, Xuxa first appeared on Argentinean TV with the show “El Show de Xuxa”, broadcast by the country’s biggest channel, Telefe. The program was successfully franchised to 17 Latin-American countries as well as the Latino market in the USA.


Xuxa wrapped in the Argentinian flag, on a balcony, overlooking a big crowd of fans


From America over to Europe: 1992 saw Xuxa launch the sow “Xuxa Park” on Spain’s Tele 5 channel. She was then living 15 days in Brazil and 15 in Argentina and went to Spain once a month to record – she was handling 4 shows simultaneously.

Also in 1992, People Magazine chose Xuxa as one of the 50 most beautiful people in the world.

In May 1993, MTM productions broadcast the show “Xuxa” in English and it was shown on 121 channels in the USA. However, back problems forced her to take it easier for a few months.


Black and white picture of an ad for the USA show Xuxa


On the back of her success with “XSPB”, Xuxa launched a video in Argentina in 2005 called “Xuxa Solamente Para Bajitos”.


In April 2011, Xuxa launched a show called “Mundo da Xuxa” (Xuxa’s World), on Globo International. Broadcasted to Brazilian subscribers from every continent, the show is made of the greatest moment of Xuxa’s career at Globo, music videos from the XSPB series and the participation of children from all over the world.




Social Action

In 1987, Xuxa got involved in a children’s campaign against polio. More than 90% of Brazil’s infant population was vaccinated. Two years into the campaign, the disease was eliminated and Xuxa received a medal of honor from the then president of Brazil, José Sarney.


Xuxa has also participated in campaigns against smoking; was a spokesperson for the campaign against breast cancer; and also was the organizer of a public parade of protest in Rio, asking for peace in the city.


The growing need to care for young children led her to set up the Xuxa Meneghel Foundation on October 12 1989.


Xuxa, wearing a white shirt, black jacket and high ponytail, surrounded by the kids of her foundation


Apart from entertaining, Xuxa has always carried a torch for the care of young children and she met with president Luís Inácio Lula da Silva in June 2007 to launch in Brasilia a nationwide campaign called “Não Bata, Eduque!” (Don’t smack, Educate!), which campaigned against the physical punishment and humiliation of children.


Xuxa, wearing a white coat and black boots, between the former president Lula and ministry Maria do Rosario


Her concern for nature knows no bound and after the Al Gore study, Xuxa was chosen to represent Brazil on the Live Earth show and become the cause’s spokeswoman in Brazil. The show took place in 7 countries simultaneously on July 7 2007, and it was a wakeup call for the effects of climate change here on Earth.


Xuxa and former vice president Al Gore holding a press conference


In March 2008 Xuxa then launched the campaign “Uso Responsável da Internet” (Responsible Internet Use) at the Providencia ghetto in Rio de Janeiro. The initiative, in partnership with the Xuxa Meneghel Foundation, involved handing out pamphlets showing children and adults how to use the internet for good.

In the same year, she received a medal of honor at ECO 2008, held in Brasilia, for the social and environmental work carried out by the Xuxa Meneghel Foundation. She also took on the cause to fight against child prostitution.

That November, Xuxa received a prize from Prince Albert of Monaco for her work at the Xuxa Meneghel Foundation. This prize, which was awarded at the Monaco Benefit Associations Night, is the highest honor awarded to personalities for their work on social issues.


Xuxa wearing a white shirt and black skirt, holding an honor medal, with Prince Albert of Monaco by her side


In August 2010, Xuxa was invited by the president of SESI, Jair Meneguelli, to be godmother to a nationwide campaign combating child prostitution, called "Carinho de Verdade".


Jair Menegueli, Xuxa and Maria do Rosario







Xuxa has so far released 17 childrens movies, five of which she made together with the Brazilian comedy group “Os Trapalhões”: “O Trapalhão na Arca de Noé” (1983), “Os Trapalhões e o Mágico de Oroz” (1984), “Os Trapalhões no Reino da Fantasia” (1985), “A Princesa Xuxa e os Trapalhões” (1989) and “Xuxa e os Trapalhões em O Mistério de Robin Hood” (1990).


Xuxa starred in her first film without the “Trapalhões” in 1988, “Super Xuxa contra o Baixo Astral”, and brought more than 2.8 million people into the movie theaters across Brazil.


She set a new record in 1990 with the film “Lua de Cristal” which brought in an audience of nearly 5 million.


Xuxa launched one film every year between 1999 and 2007: “Xuxa Requebra” (1999), “Xuxa Popstar” (2000), “Xuxa e os Duendes” (2001), “Xuxa e os Duendes 2 – No Caminho das Fadas” (2002), “Xuxa em Abracadabra” (2003), “Xuxa e o Tesouro da Cidade Perdida” (2004), “Xuxinha e Guto contra os Monstros do Espaço” (2005), “Xuxa Gêmeas” (2006) and “Xuxa em Sonho de Menina” (2007). Her success was such that she took first place for the highest accumulated billing for a Brazilian artist during that period.


In 2009, Xuxa launched her film “Xuxa em O Mistério de Feiurinha”, which tells the story of what happens in fairy tales after the “and they all lived happily ever after” ending. The film is an adaptation of Pedro Bandeira’s book “O Fantástico Mistério de Feiurinha” that has sold over 2 million copies. The movie’s cast included such names as: Sasha, Luciano Szafir and Huck, Angélica, Hebe and many more. It was seen by over 1.3 million cinema goers and was also shown in Angola and the USA.


Poster for the movie Xuxa e o mistério de feiurinha, with Sasha standing out at the top and pictures of the cast at the bottom


Although she does not see herself as either an actress or a singer, Xuxa can count on having been seen by over 37 million people at the cinema, having sold 30 million records and having a career as a presenter spanning 28 years.







The professional success wasn’t everything: her dream of becoming a mother was yet to be realized. Sasha, her very own Little One, was born on July 28 1998.


The daughter of Xuxa and the businessman and actor Luciano Szafir immediately changed the mother’s life. Her life can be split into before and after the arrival of Sasha Meneghel Szafir. In fact, Xuxa keeps a more than motherly eye on each and every detail of bringing up her daughter.


Fafy Siqueira, Sasha Meneghel Szafir and Alexandra Richter on the set of Feiurinha

Fafy Siqueira, Sasha Meneghel Szafir and Alexandra Richter. Still from the motion picture Xuxa em O Mistério de Feiurinha.





LPs, CDs and DVDs


In all the show “Xou da Xuxa” ran for six years, and during this time Xuxa collected 139 gold, 52 platinum and 10 diamond records – which comes to more than 14 million copies sold.


Her third album, “Xou da Xuxa 3”, placed her in the Guinness book of Records after selling 3.2 million copies in 1988. It had unforgettable hits, such as: “Ilariê”, “Arco-Íris”, “Abecedário da Xuxa” and “Brincar de Índio”, among others.


A close-up picture of Xuxa, with a backdrop of her many album covers


The mother in Xuxa saw the need for well-made videos for little children; so, in 2000, she came out with “Xuxa Só Para Baixinhos” and the kit (CD + video) pleased everybody.


Renato Aragão embracing Xuxa, while she rests her head on his shoulder

“Xuxa Só Para Baixinhos 2” was recognized worldwide and won the Latino Grammy for best children’s album in 2002.

In 2003, she was again nominated for a Grammy for “Xuxa Só Para Baixinhos 3” and won for the second time in the same category.

Her “Xuxa Só Para Baixinhos 4” was nominated for the same category in 2004. And the fifth edition, “Xuxa Circo” had enormous sales and was then transformed into a live show playing to full houses and generating a spin-off DVD of the live show itself.

The year 2005 saw the release of “Xuxa Só Para Baixinhos 6 – Xuxa Festa”, which was a remix of old hits. It was as big a hit with the young children as it was with their parents when they grew up to the songs of Xuxa. This was also such a hit that it led to a live show and DVD.

In 2006, the record label Som Livre released a collection from the XSPB albums 1-4. In the same year Xuxa released her DVD “Xuxa no Mundo da Imaginação - Era Uma Vez e Clipes da Xuxa” (Xuxa In The World of Make Believe - Once Upon a Time and Xuxa Clips), and also brought out a DVD with recordings from her 20 years at Globo TV, “Especial de 20 anos na TV Globo”.

Xuxa released “XSPB 7” in 2007. This was produced by Conspiração Filmes and sought to recapture the joy of long-forgotten toys and games.

“XSPB 8” had school as its theme and came out in 2008. Against a magical and futuristic background, this DVD aimed to teach and entertain at the same time, and quickly climbed to the top of the charts.

For the timeless success of XSPB and demand from new generations of Little Ones coming along every day, Som Livre record label released in 2009 the box set of DVDs called “Xuxa Só Para Baixinhos do 1-8”.

That same year saw a new record label arrive on the scene as Sony Music released the 9th edition of XSPB in both CD and DVD. The theme was Magical Xmas and involved several styles and singers: Ivete Sangalo, Lulu Santos, Zezé di Camargo & Luciano, Padre Marcelo Rossi and Carlinhos Brown.

The 2010 XSPB release is the tenth edition, “XSPB 10 – Baixinhos, Bichinhos e +” (XSPB 10 – Little Ones, Little Animals and More) with songs about animals and about the importance of proper eating. There are special appearances from the singer Maria Gadú and the double act Victor & Leo, as well as from Matheus Chaves, Leo’s son. This edition shows images of 273 children who were chosen from over 10,000 home video entries.


Xuxa and the children from the cast of XSPB eleven


With more than 8 million copies sold, the XSPB series has reached its 11th edition in 2011, with an amazing journey around the Earth, in Full HD, 3D Stereo and animations in 2D and 3D. The tracklist combines traditional songs from 11 countries and songs that talk about sustainability, composed specially for "XSPB 11". In 2012, the XSPB 11 DVD was nominated for the Latin Grammy Awards, in the Children's category.








Covering hundreds of products the “Xuxa” and “Turma da Xuxinha” are known throughout Brazil as being synonymous with innovation, quality and respect for the consumer.
The launch of the first Grendene shoe by Xuxa in 1986 saw the start of the Xuxa brand. This partnership has lasted till today and involves two product launches every year. It also uses the “Turma da Xuxinha” as a brand for one of its lines of children’s shoes.


With a target market of 0-6 year-olds, the “Turma da Xuxinha” brand started to be licensed in 1997 with a line of hygiene and perfume products manufactured by Baruel. This brand now is licensed to dozens of products and has a presence in Xuxa’s projects for the TV, cinema, press and internet.


The “Xuxa” brand has an ever-growing presence in toys and electronics. Sticking to a calendar of constant product launches, the manufacturer Candide brought to the market a lap top called “Meu Primeiro Laptop da Xuxa”, which became one of the biggest selling toys in Brazil and was the precursor for a line of the brand’s electronic games. The Candide-Xuxa partnership covers a series of toys, recorders, sound equipment, walkie-talkies and cameras.


The “Xuxa” and “Turma da Xuxinha” brands now cover toys, beauty and hygiene, publishing, food, fashion and pet shop products. There is also the theme park “O Mundo da Xuxa”, which was elected the best theme park in Brazil 2007 by the Brazilian Theme Park Association. The 12,000 square meter park has more than 18 attractions and is located in Sao Paulo. It is the biggest indoor park in Latin America.


Pictures of licensed products, such as toys, shampoo and DVD



© Xuxa Produções / Personagens Xuxinha e Guto: © José Isaac Huña e Ana Paula M. Desmet
Desenvolvido por Arte Digital Internet