Brazilian singing diva Elza Soares dies aged 91

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Brazilian singer Elza Soares, known for her hoarse timbre which earned her a long musical career, died Thursday at the age of 91. Marked by many personal dramas, she had become a symbol of resistance and courage at the end of her life.

In 1999, the BBC crowned her “Brazilian singer of the millennium”. Elza Soares died Thursday at the age of 91 of “natural causes” at her residence in Rio de Janeiro.

“It is with great sadness and sorrow that we inform you of the death of singer and songwriter Elza Soares, at the age of 91 (…) in her home in Rio de Janeiro, from natural causes”, indicates a statement from its press service posted on the artist’s Instagram account.

With more than thirty records to her credit over more than 60 years of career, the black diva with her characteristic hoarse timbre was considered one of the greatest voices in Brazilian song.

“Icon of Brazilian music, considered one of the greatest artists in the world, the sacred singer “Voice of the Millennium”, had an extraordinary, intense life, which moved the world with her voice, her strength and her determination” , the statement added.

Symbol of resistance and courage

Marked by many personal dramas, Elza Gomes da Conceição Soares had become a symbol of resistance and courage at the end of her life.

Daughter of a worker and a laundress, she was born on June 23, 1930 in a favela in Rio de Janeiro. Her father had forced her to marry at 12, she became a mother the following year. She had seven children by her first husband, two of whom died prematurely. Widowed at 21, she confessed to stealing food to feed her children. She then lived for seventeen years with the Brazilian footballer Mané Garrincha, with whom she had a son who died prematurely at the age of nine.

“Beloved and eternal Elza has gone to rest, but she will forever remain in music history and in our hearts and in the hearts of millions of fans around the world. As Elza Soares wished, she sang until ‘at the end,’ the statement concluded.

With AFP


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