Brazilian samba singer Elza Soares dies at 91

By The Associated Press

Brazilian singer Elza Soares performs at the Rock in Rio music festival in Rio de Janeiro in 2019. Soares died on Thursday.

Leo Correa/AP

Leo Correa/AP

RIO DE JANEIRO — Brazilian samba singer Elza Soares died in her Rio de Janeiro home on Thursday afternoon, family members said on the artist’s official Instagram account. She was 91.

The singer “moved the world with her voice, her strength and her determination,” they said, adding she “will forever be in the history of music and in our hearts and the thousands of fans around the world.”

The family said Soares died of ”natural causes” and did not provide further detail.

Soares in 1970 in Rome.

Gianni Foggia/AP

Gianni Foggia/AP

Elza Gomes da Conceição was born in June 1930, in a modest Rio de Janeiro household. She became famous singing samba in the early 1960s, before diversifying to other genres, winning her the title of “singer of the millennium” in a BBC London competition in 1999.

Last month, she featured in a documentary series paying tribute to Black women singers who paved the way for other artists.

“Just like Elza Soares wanted, she sang until the end,” family members said in a statement Thursday.

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