Her achievements include the second best-selling album in the history of Brazil and being the singer with the second highest total of number-one hits by a female in the Brazilian charts, surpassed only by Daniela Mercury. Xuxa has some of the biggest box office results in Brazilian history and has amassed a fortune of over $100 million.
Xuxa's father, Luiz Floriano, was in the military and stationed in Rio de Janeiro when she was 7. At age 15, Xuxa was followed home by a magazine publisher who spotted the blue-eyed blonde on the train and invited her to audition to be a model. A year later, she was on the cover of a Brazilian magazine.
In 1980, Xuxa posed for another magazine with other Brazilian models and the great soccer legend Pelé. They had a six-year romance, which propelled her career forward.
She was a centerfold for ELLE, Vogue, Cosmopolitan, NOVA and Playboy magazine's Brazilian edition in December 1982.
She was only 20 when she was given her own variety TV show, Clube de Criança (Children's Club). She was an instant hit; her candor on camera and her way with kids caught the attention of Latin America's media giant, Globo TV.
Os Trapalhões were the biggest comedy group in Brazil, and their show was a big hit with children and adults. Their movies were some of the biggest hits of Brazilian cinema. In 1983, Xuxa had a minor role in the comedy group's movie Os Trapalhões e o Mágico de Oróz, a spoof of The Wizard of Oz. She also played roles in two other Os Trapalhões movies: Os Trapalhões e a Arca de Noé (1984) and Os Trapalhões e o Reino da Fantasia (1985).
In 1985 she starred for the first time in a movie with the comedy group Os Trapalhões in Os Trapalhões no Reino da Fantasia, and then in 1989, A Princesa Xuxa e Os Trapalhões (Princess Xuxa and The Messed-Up Guys). Previously, she had appeared in leading roles such as that in Os Trapalhões e o Mágico de Oróz. The following year, she starred in two more movies: Xuxa e os Trapalhões em O Mistério de Robin Hood and Lua de Cristal. The latter was her biggest box office hit, spawning her hit single "Lua de Cristal". Lua de Cristal was also the last Brazilian movie to have more than five million viewers in theaters before Dois Filhos de Francisco, 16 years later.
In 1983 Xuxa began a new career as a children's show presenter at Manchete. This occurred the same year she was invited to her first starring role in a movie with Os Trapalhões.
Xou da Xuxa is probably the most famous children's show in Brazil and Latin America. According to Veja magazine, she sold more than 45,000,000 albums worldwide. It started in 1986. In the show, aired every weekday morning, Xuxa presented cartoons and games, did interviews and performed some of her songs. The show created a kid show frenzy in Brazil, and until about 2001, more than seven years after the ending of Xou da Xuxa, most TV networks had at least one kids' show in the same style. Not only in Brazil, but also in most of Latin America, Xou da Xuxa-type shows (with a beautiful host, usually blonde, who presented cartoons such as Walt Disney's DuckTales) became popular.
The audience of the show was of kids who jumped up and down during the whole show. Kids shook pompoms throughout the show, marking the trademarks of the show. But the biggest trademark was the pink spaceship. Every show began with Xuxa getting out of the spaceship and at the end, she would go back to the spaceship (it remains so even today).
Every year she released a new album for children. 1988's Xou da Xuxa 3 with her biggest hit 'Ilariê' (#1 in the radio in almost every Latin America country) is her best-selling album, selling 4 million copies in Brazil alone. Xou da Xuxa 3 is the best-selling album in Brazilian history and the best-selling album for children in world, to date with almost 6 million copies sold.
Xou da Xuxa ended in 1993 due to Xuxa's desire to invest more time in her international career, which included Spanish and English versions of Xou da Xuxa as well as various shows in the U.S. and Europe. During that year, she developed health problems attributed to stress; a typical week consisted of seven hours of taping for a month's worth of shows coupled with flying to Argentina where the Spanish version was taped. By the 1990s English-dubbed versions of the show were also broadcast in the southern Anglophone Caribbean.
Other children's shows
Xuxa Park (Brazil) - (The Brazilian Xuxa Park had no relation to the Spanish version) Aired from 1994 to 2001 on Saturday mornings and was a modern version of Xou da Xuxa. The show was a success, being a hit of '90s tied with Xou da Xuxa. The show featured plays and musical shows, and the show featured the new group of Paquitas that had a change at the end of 1995. The first formation of the group was ended when the Paquitas New Generation joined the show in 1996. It was canceled after several children were injured in an on-set fire. After the incident, Xuxa became depressed and didn't appear in the media for several months.
Xuxa Hits - Aimed at a teenage audience, Xuxa Hits aired just after Xuxa Park on Saturday mornings. It was later moved to Sunday and renamed Planeta Xuxa (Xuxa Planet).
Planeta Xuxa - The show was a big hit and was shown on Sunday afternoons with musical guests. It ran concurrently with Xuxa Park. The most popular segment was 'Intimacy' where Xuxa would interview different celebrities. The show went on hiatus after the fire on Xuxa Park; it came back and was later canceled due to Xuxa's desire to work with children once more.
Reinvented as a children's entertainer, Xuxa began the Xuxa Só para Baixinhos (Xuxa Just for Kids) series, releasing CDs and a videotape with song clips. She also began her first tour since the end of her Xou da Xuxa show, and won two Latin Grammy awards.
In 2003 Xuxa began a new children's show, Xuxa No Mundo da Imaginação (Xuxa at the World of Imagination), a show for preschool children on weekday mornings. The show was initially successful, but following a dispute between Xuxa and her manager, Marlene Matos, ratings for the show began to decline, resulting in the show being pulled from air in 2004. Xuxa, however, being one of the most popular Brazilian TV personalities at the time, was kept on and a new show, TV Xuxa was launched, containing more educational content and cartoons, and less of Xuxa than previous shows.
TV Xuxa - In this show, presented on weekday mornings, Xuxa did segments on nature, internet and art, but the main focus was the game 'Battle of the Titans'. The show also included a "day's topic" which was explored and explained by Xuxa. During the show, she also presented cartoons. After a few seasons, the show was remodeled and came back with new segments, games and cartoons, but remained much the same as the old show. The program did not hit the success of the previous shows, like Mundo da Imaginação, making Xuxa lose audience against other TV broadcasts. In 2008 Xuxa came back with a new TV Xuxa, but the show was not successful, because of a new concurrent show featuring a seven year old girl Maisa da Silva Andrade who is a prodigy child and Internet hit at SBT's Saturday morning cartoon show Sábado Animado.
Between 1991 and 1993, Xuxa became very popular in the whole of Latin America, widening her appeal among Spanish-speaking audiences, when she recorded a program in Argentina, Show de Xuxa, which was also popular when broadcast in Chile, Mexico and 16 other Latin American countries, as well as Univision in the United States. The first two seasons of the show, the most popular, were produced by Argentine TV channel Telefé while the third one, in 1993, was produced independently and then sold for broadcast to Canal 13. Her last Spanish speaking show aired in Latin America on December 31, 1993.
In 1993 Xuxa hosted an English language series in the United States, Xuxa, but it did not achieve the popularity she had enjoyed throughout Latin America and Spain. The show was sold to a great number of countries throughout the world, among them Japan, Israel, Russia, Australia, Romania and some Arab countries.
Xuxa Park, the 1992 Spanish game show in which she presented, drew good ratings. The theme song of the show, 'Sabor de la Vida' ('Flavor of Life'), was a big hit in Spain, topping the charts. Her Xuxa Park album also sold well for 8 weeks, and was certified gold.
Her international ambitions apparently ended after the gruelling taping schedule for her American show. She was hospitalized for several days due to exhaustion, and decided to give up her international career.
On July 7, 2007, Xuxa presented at the Brazilian leg of Live Earth in Rio de Janeiro.
Xuxa also starred in a new movie every year. Her first biggest box office was in 1988 with Super Xuxa Contra Baixo Astral, which included her hit song 'Arco-Íris (Rainbow)', a hit across Latin America. Her second biggest box office was Lua de Cristal (1991), which had over 5 million viewers and spawned a number 1 single, "Lua de Cristal", the sixth biggest box office success of all time in Brazil and biggest box office of the 90's. 1992 was also the last year she starred in a movie with Os Trapalhões (O Mistério de Hobin Hood).
At the summer of 1993, presenter Sergio Malandro, "Lua de Cristal" male lead, and the "Paquitas" and "Paquitos" (Xou da Xuxa dancers) made another movie, this time produced by Xuxa. Sonho de Verão (Summer Dream), a youth-oriented movie, was a hit but more moderate compared to her other films.
It took seven years before she made her next film, 1999's Xuxa Requebra. The movie was a critical success and a big commercial hit, becoming the most successful Brazilian movie of the year and the most successful Brazilian movie in years, and she used the same formula for her next movie, Xuxa Popstar, which was also very successful, but a critical failure.
In 2001, she did Xuxa e os Duendes. Since then, she has released a new movie every year. Xuxa e os Duendes 2 in 2002, Xuxa Abracadabra in 2003, and Xuxa e o Mistério da Cidade Perdida in 2004. Her first animated movie Xuxinha e Guto: Contra os Monstros do Espaço, released in 2005, was a commercial and critical flop. In her 2006 movie, Xuxa Gêmeas, she played twins, one evil and one good. The movie featured the singer Ivete Sangalo and was a "come back" of Xuxa in the cinema. The movie had more than 1 million viewers.