Brazil's "Queen of Rock" Rita Lee Has Died at 75 — What Was Her Cause of Death?

Beloved Brazilian musician Rita Lee has died at 75. What was her cause of death? Here's what we know so far about her passing.

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May 10 2023, Published 10:29 a.m. ET

On May 8, 2023, musician Rita Lee, the "Queen of Brazilian Rock," died at age 75. The songstress was best known for hits such as "Ovelha Negra," "Mania de Você," and "Now Only Missing You." A statement from her official Instagram account confirmed the sad news in Portuguese.

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Fans of Rita's music are devastated at her loss. Here's what we know so far about the beloved musician's passing.

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What was Rita Lee's cause of death?

While Rita Lee's cause of death is currently not known to the public, it should be noted that in 2021 she was diagnosed with lung cancer and had been undergoing treatment since then, per Express UK.

The Latin Grammy–winning artist began her career in the 1960s as a member of the musical group Os Mutantes before forging a successful solo career in 1972. According to Billboard, her music style was best known for the "fusion of psicodelia with pop, MPB, bossa, and new wave." She was receive the Latin Grammy's Lifetime Achievement Award in November 2022 but could not attend the ceremony in Las Vegas.

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Following her solo career, according to Daily Mail, Rita occasionally played with her second husband and the father of her three children, Roberto de Carvalho.

Rita rose to prominence in music circles because her career beginnings emerged central to Brazil's "Tropicália" movement, which defied the military dictatorship in the country at the time. Many of her songs discussed topics of feminism and sex in a time when those subjects were considered taboo.

Rita is survived by her husband, Roberto, and her three children. A statement from the family provided to Billboard says a public wake will be held at the São Paulo planetarium on May 10, 2023. Rita's body will be cremated, as per her wishes.

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