Rita Lee Jones, the Brazilian Queen of Rock, died on Monday, May 8, at the age of 75. She was married to guitarist Roberto de Carvalho at the time of her death. Rita rose to international prominence and popularity as a result of her vibrant and genuine singing style. She has given music fans songs such as Now Only Missing You, Mania de Você, and Ovelha Negra.
On Monday evening, the iconic singer died at her home in So Paulo. The announcement was made in a message posted on Rita’s official Instagram account on Tuesday, May 9. Her career lasted six decades, and she left a lasting impression with her inventiveness and compositions with significant themes that helped expose Brazilians to feminism. She also openly discussed her personal drug addiction difficulties via her songs.
Rita married Mutante Arnaldo Baptista for the first time in 1968 and divorced in 1972. She met her current spouse Roberto in 1976 via MPB singer Ney Matogrosso. Ritaa has three children with Roberto: Antônio Lee, Joo Lee, and Beto Lee.
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In 2021, Rita Lee was diagnosed with a lung tumor.
Since 2021, the Brazilian Queen of Rock has apparently been battling a lung malignancy. She was admitted to the hospital at the start of 2023 due to problems with her therapy. Her husband, Roberto, sent an update to Rita’s admirers on her condition. Rita Lee and Roberto seemed to have a tight, caring, and affectionate relationship. Rita and the musician both routinely shared images of their wives on their Instagram accounts. Beto Lee, the couple’s oldest son, is also a singer, songwriter, and guitarist. He presently plays in the band Tits. Beto is a Galaxy co-founder who has recorded two solo albums, one of which garnered him a Latin Grammy Award.
Joo Lee, Rita, and Roberto’s middle son, is also in the music business and works as a DJ and producer. Antônio Lee, their 42-year-old son, is a visual artist. Despite the fact that Rita Lee considered her own voice to be somewhat out of tune and weak, she rewarded her admirers with a string of top-selling records. Several of Rita’s songs have appeared in popular Latin American telenovelas. The Behemoth Television Network Globo utilized her interpretation of the song Poison Weed in three of its shows.
In an interview with Rolling Stone Brazil in 2008, the singer stated:
“I was not born to marry and clean underwear.” I wanted the same freedom as the lads who used to play with their toy cars in the street. When I first started listening to music, I recognized that “machos” ruled supreme, especially in rock music. ‘Wow,’ I thought, ‘here is where I’m going to let my fangs out and give them a hard time.'”
Rita Lee’s adaptability was lauded. She was a multi-instrumentalist who could play the piano, drums, guitar, autoharp, and harmonica. She was also one of the first artists in Brazil to use an electric guitar. Her success as a singer and composer eventually spread beyond Brazil. Rita Lee has appeared throughout Europe, including England, Spain, Germany, Portugal, and France. The British publication Daily Mirror claimed in 1988 that Prince Charles liked Rita’s song Lança Perfume and regarded her as one of his favorite singers.
Rita Lee also received a Latin Grammy in 2001 for Best Portuguese Language Album for her album 3001. Her husband, Roberto de Carvalho, and she had a 44-year musical relationship. In 2021, they also released a new song called Change, as well as a remix of some of Rita’s best songs.