Elza Soares, the Brazilian singer famous for mixing samba, jazz, electro, hip-hop and funk, has died. He was 91 years old. Soares died at her home in Rio de Janeiro of natural causes. The “queen of samba” was elected in 1999 by the British broadcaster BBC “Brazilian singer of the millennium”, while the magazine “Rolling Stone” instead included her among the 100 greatest voices in the history of Brazilian music. With around fifty albums to her credit, she had made a name for herself thanks to her distinctive hoarse voice. Born in a favela in Rio de Janeiro on June 23, 1930, she had a difficult childhood and adolescence: she was forced to marry at twelve and became a mother for the first time at 13, remaining a widow at 21. radio in 1953 and from the end of the 50s she established herself with her rough vocal style as one of the main interpreters of samba. In 1962 Soares was chosen to represent Brazil at the World Cup in Chile, an occasion during which she was able to sing alongside Louis Armstrong and meet her future husband Garrincha, star of the Brazilian national football team. In her private life, Soares made headlines precisely because of her troubled relationship with Garrincha, who left her family of seven for her after the World Cup.
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