Rita Lee, Brazilian rock legend, has died. She was 75 years old and had an extraordinary career: singer, musician, actress, writer and television presenter, after being part of the Os Mutantes formation, she had embarked on a successful solo path: with over 60 million copies, she is the Brazilian woman to have sold the most records in the world.
The sad announcement on social media:
She passed away Monday evening "at her residence in São Paulo, surrounded by the love of her entire family, as she always wanted," the family said in astatement posted on Instagram. And, for some time, in his autobiography, he had imagined what would be his departure:
The singer had been suffering from lung cancer since 2021. She was born to an American father (Charles Fenley Jones) and a Brazilian mother (Romilda Padula) in 1947 in São Paulo, where she had studied at a prestigious French-speaking high school. Rita was fluent in several languages, including Italian.
In 1968, together with Sergio Dias and Arnaldo Baptista, he formed the trio Os Mutantes, where he sang. The style of the group was the so-called Tropicalismo (that musical expression influenced by bossa nova, rock and roll, folk, African music, experimental music and fado) but with a tendency to progressive rock and psychedelic atmospheres. Os Mutantes accompanied Gilberto Gil and numerous other renowned musicians.
Rita Lee's first solo album was in 1970, but she was reunited almost immediately with Sergio Dias and Arnaldo Baptista, whom she married the following year. The group recorded three more albums in the two-year period 1971-72, and then finally dissolved together with the marriage between Arnaldo and Rita, who then collected a series of solo successes, also thanks to the inclusion of his songs in the soundtracks of many telenovelas.
Rita Lee in Brazil was also a star of the small screen: talk-show moderator and VJ at MTV Brasil. He also obtained some supporting parts in several Brazilian telenovelas and films and tried his hand at writing, with three children's books.