May 04, 1992 12:00 PM

She used to be known as Pelé’s girlfriend, but now he’s known as the guy who used to date Xuxa. A former teen model, Xuxa (pronounced SHOE-sha), 29, is Brazil’s biggest star, her blondness a national treasure. Born Maria da Graça Meneghel, she has a popular kids show broadcast in 16 countries (including the U.S., on Spanish-speaking Univision). Her fans also devour Xuxa’s movies, records, concerts, comic books and 50 licensed products. Yes, blondes do have more funds: Among the world’s most highly paid entertainers, Xuxa earned $19 million last year and is worth a reported $100 million. She recently launched a U.S. invasion with that secretly videotaped lunch date-photo op with John Kennedy Jr. that turned up on A Current Affair. Xuxa doesn’t dwell on her looks. “I don’t think I’m sexy,” she confides, “I think I’m sensual.” Will her magic work as well here? It’s in the cards.

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