Elza Soares, Brazilian samba singer, dies at 91: NPR

Brazilian singer Elza Soares performs at the Rock in Rio music festival in Rio de Janeiro in 2019. Soares died on Thursday.

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Brazilian singer Elza Soares performs at the Rock in Rio music festival in Rio de Janeiro in 2019. Soares died on Thursday.

Leo Correa/AP

RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazilian samba singer Elza Soares died at her home in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday afternoon, family members announced on the artist’s official Instagram account. She was 91 years old.

The singer “moved the world with her voice, her strength and her determination,” they said, adding that she “will forever be in music history and in our hearts and the thousands of fans across the world. world”.

The family said Soares died of “natural causes” and did not provide further details.

Soares in 1970 in Rome.

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Soares in 1970 in Rome.

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Elza Gomes da Conceição was born in June 1930 into a modest family in Rio de Janeiro. She rose to fame singing samba in the early 1960s, before branching out into other genres, winning her the title “Singer of the Millennial” in a BBC competition in London in 1999.

Last month, she took part in a documentary series paying tribute to black female singers who paved the way for other artists.

“Just as Elza Soares wanted, she sang until the end,” the family members said in a statement Thursday.

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