"Rita Lee left us. She was ever-changing, revolutionary, democratic, defender of women's rights, defender of animals, defender of sexual freedom. She was bold, creative, shameless, and great. I send you an ecological hug by telepathy to the rings of Saturn, where you are challenging the celestial order," said Carlos Minc, a co-founder of the Green Party in Brazil.
"Rita Lee helped transform Brazilian music with her creativity and audacity. She spared nothing and no one with her humor and eloquence. She confronted machismo in life and in music and inspired generations of women in rock and art. She will never be forgotten," Brazilian President Lula da Silva tweeted.
Last February, Rita Lee had been admitted to the Albert Einstein Hospital in Sao Paulo. Her hospitalization was related to the sequelae of treatment for lung cancer detected in 2021.
Born in 1947 into a middle-class family in Sao Paulo, Rita Lee Jones made her debut singing covers of The Beatles and other foreign groups in the female band Teenage Singers.
In 1966, she formed the psychedelic rock trio Os Mutantes, with which she would achieve international fame at the height of "tropicalismo", a libertarian movement that revolutionized Brazilian music during the military dictatorship (1964-1985). Subsequently, Rita Lee followed a fruitful career as a soloist, conquering fans of all generations.
Throughout her 60-year musical career, she remained irreverent, creative, and up-to-date. Although the media used to mention her as "the Queen of Brazilian rock," she preferred to be called the "patron saint of freedom".
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