Rock legend Rita Lee has died at the age of 75, her loved ones have confirmed.
The Brazilian singer, who came to be known as the ‘Queen of Rock’, is said to have passed “surrounded by the love of her entire family” at her home in Sao Paolo, Brazil.
According to the Daily Mirror, Lee was diagnosed with lung cancer two years ago and underwent treatment for the disease.
Confirming her passing in an emotional statement, her family wrote: “In this moment of deep sadness, the family appreciates everyone’s affection and love.”
Rita’s son Joao said his mom had become “a star in the sky”.
“What an intense and spectacular life you had,” Joao said.
“Admired and loved by so many people. So ahead of its time. The admiration I have for you is infinite. Was always. What an honour and privilege to be your son.
“What an honour and privilege to have been educated by you. Receive your values. I’ve never met a person like you. Your strength, your courage, your sense of justice, your genius, your sensitivity, your good humour and so many wonderful things.
“If I bring just a little bit of the joy and fun that you bring to the world, I’m already happy and fulfilled.”
Fans were quick to follow suit in paying tribute, expressing their love for Rita and offering condolences to her family.
“RIP Rita Lee. There have been very, very few bands cooler than Os Mutantes,” one wrote.
“Our queen of rock, Rita Lee Jones, has died at 75. Rita was the greatest Brazilian rocker with dozens of hits that marked people of my generation,” commented a third.
A fourth noted: “Rita Lee, brazilian rock n’ roll queen died today. She was funny, defiant, brave, an amazing artist and unapologetically herself. Rest in peace, icon.”
During her stellar career, Rita came to be known to many as the Queen of Rock, though the artist herself played down the moniker, instead wishing for people to call her the “Patron Saint of Freedom”.
Lee had her breakthrough in the 1960s, but continued to release music up until her final album, Reza, in 2012.
Last year, the Brazilian icon was handed the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Latin Grammy Awards.
Rest in peace, Rita Lee, and thanks for the memories.
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