Marília Mendonça, a popular Brazilian pop singer who was known as “the queen of suffering” for her moving and anguished ballads, was killed on Friday in a small plane crash in the southeastern state of Minas Gerais in Brazil. She was 26 years old.
The singer’s press service confirmed Ms. Mendonça’s death and said that her producer, Henrique Ribeiro; his uncle who was also his assistant, Abicieli Silveira Dias Filho; and the pilot and co-pilot of the aircraft were also killed.
The plane had departed from the town of Goiania to Caratinga, where Ms Mendonca was due to perform in concert on Friday evening. There was no immediate word on the circumstances that led to the crash. The authorities said they investigated.
Ms. Mendonca was emblematic of a type of Brazilian country music called sertanejo, a genre popular in Brazil.
Her legions of fans found power in her song lyrics, which implored women to reject bad and abusive relationships and told the stories of flawed characters. She won the Latin Grammy 2019 for best sertanejo album for “Em Todos Os Cantos”.
Ms Mendonca was a social media sensation, with 7.8 million subscribers on Twitter, 22 million on YouTube and over 38 million on Instagram.
The President of Brazil, Jair Bolsonaro, said on twitter, “The whole country receives in shock the news of the death of the young country singer Marília Mendonça, one of the greatest artists of her generation, who, with her unique voice, her charisma and her music, has won the affection and admiration from all of us. “
Anitta, popular funk singer in Brazil, said on twitter: “I just found out. I can’t believe it.
Some in cosmopolitan circles in Brazil had despised Ms Mendonca’s country ballads as “‘brega’, or cheesy music,” NPR reported in 2019.
Sentimental or not, her songs offer a woman’s perspective that hasn’t been heard much in the macho culture of the sertanejo, and this has made Mendonça the lead voice of a new subgenre called ‘feminejo’ – of the music by and for women, ”NPR said.
Ms. Mendonça was born on July 22, 1995 in Cristianópolis, a small town in the Brazilian state of Goiás, in the heart of the sertanejo. She started composing music at the age of 12 and got her start in the sertanejo writing songs for other artists.
Ms. Mendonca, who is survived by a 2 year old son, became an icon of the musical genre in 2016, with hits like “Infiel” (Unfaithful) and “Eu sei de cor” (I know it by heart).
On Saturday, Ms Mendonça’s remains were airlifted to her home country, where around 100,000 grieving fans were expected to gather at her vigil, which was held in a sports arena in Goiânia, the state capital of Goiás.
Ana Ionova contributed reporting.