Brazil’s “Queen Of Rock” Rita Lee dies, aged 75

Rita Lee, the singer known as Brazil’s “Queen Of Rock” and original member of the rock band Os Mutantes, has died at the age of 75.

Lee passed away on Tuesday (May 9), as confirmed by her family in a post on her official Instagram page.

“We communicate the passing of Rita Lee, at her residence in the capital of São Paulo, at the end of the night, surrounded by all the love of her family, as she always wanted,” a statement published on her official Instagram account read in Portuguese.

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The “Queen Of Rock” was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2021. She’s won seven Latin Grammys and was recognised with the Latin Grammy’s Lifetime Achievement Award last November.

Known for being one of Brazil’s most successful singer-songwriters, Lee got her start in the group Os Mutantes who were considered one of Brazil’s most influential rock bands. Her album ‘Fruto Proibido’ (Forbidden Fruit) with the band Tutti Frutti is considered a Brazilian music classic.

Lee’s musical career spanned more than 50 years. She gained worldwide fans including Nirvana‘s Kurt Cobain and King Charles. Upon the announcement of her passing, tribute’s to the “Queen Of Rock” came flooding in.

Manuel Abud, the CEO of the Latin Recording Academy paid tribute to Lee in a statement in which he he expressed his “most sincere condolences to her family, friends and all lovers of her music”. He added: “Rita Lee was a visionary artist and one of the best-selling singer/songwriters in the history of Brazil.”

Singer-songwriter Gilberto Gil took to Instagram to share a few photos of himself and Lee together throughout the years. “Rest in peace, my sister,” shared the 80-year-old musician and former culture minister of Brazil.

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Brazil’s President, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, celebrated the musician on his official Twitter.”Rita helped transform Brazilian music with her creativity and daring,” he wrote, adding that she had “confronted machismo both in life and in music and inspired generations of women in the world of rock and the arts.”

Lee is survived by her husband and collaborator Roberto do Carvalho and three children.

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