How did Elza Soares die? Tributes pour in as Brazilian samba legend passes at 91

Elza Soares recently died at the age of 91 (Image via Mauro Pimentel/Getty Images)
Elza Soares recently died at the age of 91 (Image via Mauro Pimentel/Getty Images)

Elza Soares, popularly known as the Brazilian Tina Turner, passed away at 91 on January 20 in Rio de Janeiro. Her press coordinator confirmed the news through an official statement on Instagram which reads,

“It is with great sadness and regret that we inform the death of the singer and songwriter Elza Soares, at 91 years old … at home, in Rio de Janeiro, from natural causes.”
We lost today one of the greatest women to have ever lived.Elza Soares wasn't just an artist.She gave voice to the millions who needed one.She lived 1000 lives within one.There's a reason why BBC named this Brazilian legend *the* voice of the millennium. A 🧵

The statement also mentions that she was an icon in Brazilian music and one of the best artists in the world. It also says that she had a wonderful and intense life, moving the world with her voice, strength, and determination.

Elza Soares’ cause of death explored

Elza’s family stated that the musical star died of natural causes. Further details on her cause of death are yet to be revealed.

It has been confirmed that the singer died at her home and was not hospitalized at the time of death. However, it is unknown if she has had any health issues in the past.

Twitter pays tribute

Everyone in the music industry knew the Brazilian samba singer because of her voice. Tributes started to pour in on social media following the news of her death.

Devastating news. Brazil has lost one of its very best: the incredible singer Elza Soares. This @CarldeSouza1 @AFP image of her is one of the most beautiful portraits I have ever seen. RIP @ElzaSoares
RIP the great, unique, brilliant, original Elza Soares. I saw an electrifying show a few years ago in Rio, and she was already elderly and sang from a sort of throne on stage and still left people spellbound. Here's a @guardian interview from 2020.…
Elza Soares was so much - much, much more - than the wife of Garrincha.They are joined together, passing on the same day, 39 years apartShe was a genius in her own right, a magnificent singer and a force of nature. RIP
RIP Elza Soares. A legend. An icon.
RIP Elza SoaresWhat an extraordinary life & career. Her first album came in 1960, when she was 30. Her last studio album came out in 2019, at age 89.…
Elza Soares was the greatest singer of the 20th century. RIP
Just found out elza soares died. RIP to an absolute legend ❤️
RIP Elza Soares. 🖤Considered the voice of the millennium by the BBC, Elza Soares, the greatest icon of black culture in Brazil, died today at the age of 91.
#RIP Elza Soares, one of the best artists Brazil ever had. "Me deixem cantar ate o fim"

Soares’ father was a factory worker, while her mother was a washerwoman. Despite living in poverty, she had a happy childhood.

The incredible journey of Elza Soares as an artist

Elza initially toured with Mercedes Batista in Argentina during the late 1950s. She became famous with her first single Se Acaso Voce Chegasse. She then moved to Sao Paulo, performing at theaters and nightclubs.

She finished her second album, A Bossa Negra, and went to Chile to represent Brazil in FIFA World Cup 1962 and met Louis Armstrong.

Elza Soares performs during her concert at the Rock in Rio festival at the Olympic Park, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Image via Mauro Pimentel/Getty Images)
Elza Soares performs during her concert at the Rock in Rio festival at the Olympic Park, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Image via Mauro Pimentel/Getty Images)

The Rio de Janeiro native then recorded three albums with Odeon from 1967 to 1969 – Elza and Miltinho e Samba Vol. 1 and 2. The songs in these albums were in potpourri style with duets.

Soares then toured the U.S. and Europe in the 70s and was named the Best Singer of the Millennium by the BBC in 2000. She also performed a concert with artists like Chico Buarque, Caetano Veloso, Gal Costa, and others.

Soares delivered several hits throughout her career, including Boato, Mulata Assanhada, Aquarela Brasileira, and more. One of her albums, Do Coccix Ate O Pescoco, earned a Grammy nomination in 2000.


Her next album Vivo Feliz was released in 2004 and was not as successful as her previous releases. The album also included collaborations with Nando Reis, Fred 04, and Ze Keti.

She joined Jair Rodrigues and Seu Jorge for Sambistas in 2009. Her album, A Mulher do Fim do Mundo, was released in 2015 and received positive feedback. It was also nominated at the 17th edition of the Latin Grammy Awards for Best Album of Brazilian Popular Music and Best Song in Portuguese.

Soares' album, Deus E Mulher, was named the second-best Brazilian album of 2018 by Rolling Stone magazine. Her next release, Planet Fome, grabbed its position among the 25 best Brazilian albums in the second half of 2019 by the Sao Paulo Association of Art Critics.

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Edited by Srijan Sen
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