Missing Rita Lee

For fans who have followed Rita Lee‘s health news over the last few years, it was a mix of always hoping for the best and trying to prepare for the worst. The Queen of National Rock turned 75 at the turn of the year, but it was her farewell. On the night of May 8, 2023, she left us.

“We announce the death of Rita Lee, at her residence, in São Paulo, capital, late last night, surrounded by all the love of her family, as she always wanted”, the family shared.

Iconic, original, sincere, beautiful, and talented, Rita Lee Jones was born in São Paulo, descended from Americans and Italians, since a young age she was connected to music. Daughter of a pianist, she had been playing drums since she was 15, and had been in musical groups since she was 16. The most famous and impactful, of course, was Os Mutantes, alongside brothers Arnaldo Baptista and Sérgio Dias. They made 5 albums together, to this day acclaimed worldwide. In the 1970s, she embarked on a solo career and began to shine as one of the most important composers in Brazilian music, be it pop, rock, or MPB.

I like to say my first album was hers, and it was. Obviously, looking back on how young I was, I may have even asked my dad to buy it for me (I wasn’t old enough to go into the store and buy it myself) and I’m not sure I chose the Fruto Proibido album because it was pink, or because I loved to sing Ovelha Negra (Black Sheep) (without quite understanding what she was trying to say about being a lost soul) or simply because that beautiful redhead, lying on the chair looking at the camera, was electrifying. Anyway, Forbidden Fruit played non-stop when I was in charge of the music at home and I grew up listening to her voice at every stage of my life. The 1980 album, Rita Lee and the ones that followed are also ones that I don’t give up and I still have some originals, scratched to prove how much they were in the pick-ups. I have always been and always will be in love with Rita Lee. My heart is aching painfully today.

It’s hard to choose ‘one’ favorite who wrote so much good stuff. We are all very sad today, but grateful for your passage in our lives. The party in heaven will be lively, but, Rita, now you’re missing here…


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