The news was confirmed Tuesday morning via Lee’s official Instagram account, translated from Portuguese: “We announce that Rita Lee died late last night at her home in the capital, São Paulo, surrounded by all her love. family, as he always wanted.
The post also included a public invitation to Lee’s body to be cremated at his own request and to attend his funeral on May 10.
Lee was born on December 31, 1947, in Sao Paulo, the son of a US-born dentist father and a Brazilian pianist mother. Following in his mother’s footsteps, Lee learned to play the piano, among many other instruments such as drums, guitar, harmonica, and autoharp. He also spoke several languages, including Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, and English.
As a young singer-songwriter, Lee met brothers Arnaldo and Sérgio Dias Baptista, and the trio began performing together in 1966 under the stage name Os Mutantes. Their music – a new mix of electric guitars, orchestral sounds and American psychedelic rock. – stuck like a sore finger between pop music produced in Brazil at the time. Nevertheless, the group was supported by famous Brazilian musicians such as Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso. Os Mutantes released their self-titled debut album in 1968 and toured frequently in Europe.
In 1973 Lee left Os Mutantes and another group called Tutti Frutti, which produced the hits “Ovelha Negra”, “Agora só Falta Você”, “Esse tal de Roque Enrow”, “Miss Brasil 2000” and “Jardins da Babilônia” founded. He performed with other groups throughout the ’70s, but Lee was always the main singer of those groups. Finally, he achieved great success as a solo artist with his biggest hit “Mania de Você” and “Lança Perfume” which brought him international recognition.
Lee was outspoken on a variety of political issues, helping to introduce feminist ideas such as female sexuality and taste to Brazilian audiences in her music. She was also an avid animal rights activist.
Lee is survived by her husband, Roberto de Carvalho, with whom she performed during the second half of her career, and their three children.