HomeNewsLegendary Brazilian Rock Singer Rita Lee Dies of Lung Cancer at 75

Legendary Brazilian Rock Singer Rita Lee Dies of Lung Cancer at 75

Legendary Brazilian singer Rita Lee has passed away at the age of 75. The rock singer died at her home in São Paulo in the presence of her loved ones. Lee had been battling lung cancer for two years and succumbed to the illness on Tuesday.

In a career spanning more than five decades, the singer sold over 55 million records around the world and was fondly called the ‘Queen of Rock.’ Her candid style and charisma got her international recognition over the years. Read on to know more about her life and career.

Brazilian Rock Singer Rita Lee Dies at 75

The sad news was announced on the singer’s official Instagram account with a statement: “We announce the death of Rita Lee at her home in Sao Paulo late last night, surrounded by all the love of her family, as she always wanted.”

The statement added that the public can say their final goodbyes to the singer at “the Planetarium of the lbirapuera Park, on Wednesday, the 10th, from 10 am to 5 pm. In accordance with Rita’s will, her body will be cremated. The ceremony will be private. In this moment of deep sadness, the family thanks everyone’s affection and love.”

Lee was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2021 and had been undergoing treatment for the same ever since. She is survived by her husband Roberto do Carvalho and three children. 

Rita Lee had Over 50-Year-Long Career

Born in 1947 in Sao Paulo, Lee formed the band Os Mutantes with Arnaldo Baptista and Sérgio Dias in 1966. The band rose to international prominence with their collaborations with Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso. In the 1970s, she moved on with the band Tutti Frutti and eventually started her solo career.

Lee mostly touched upon the topics of feminism and sexuality which were still considered taboo at the time. “When I got into music, I realized that the “machos” reigned absolute, even more in rock music. ‘Wow’, I said, ‘this is where I’m going to let my fangs out and, literally, give them a hard time,’” she said reflecting on her career in 2008.

Over the years, the singer released more than 20 albums, including the highly successful Forbidden Fruit, Build Up and Hoje É o Primero Dia do Resto da Sua Vida. In 2021, she released the track Change with her husband.

Tributes Pour In for the Singer

Brailzina President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva paid tribute to Lee with a tweet. He wrote, “Rita Lee Jones was one of the biggest and most brilliant names in Brazilian music. Singer, songwriter, actress and multi-instrumentalist. An artist ahead of her time. She thought the title of queen of rock was inappropriate, but the nickname does justice to her trajectory.”

singer and composer Margareth Menezes also expressed grief and wrote, “Rita Lee was a revolution! An artist of the greatest magnitude in Brazilian music, she was energetic, combative and vibrant. Adored by a legion of fans from different generations, she leaves us a huge legacy that makes her eternal and fundamental! My condolences to family, friends and fans!”

Lee’s heartbroken son, João Lee, also remembered her on social media and wrote, “The world has lost one of the most unique and incredible people who ever existed. What an intense and spectacular life you had. Admired and loved by so many people. So ahead of your time.”

Our condolences to Rita Lee’s family and friends. May her soul rest in peace!

A passionate writer who loves to cover Pop Culture, Celebs, Films and TV shows. When not writing, you can find me trekking, singing, and binge-watching.


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