Brazilian singer, Latin Grammy winner, dies in plane crash

SAO PAULO – Marília Mendonça, one of Brazil’s most popular singers and Latin Grammy winner, died in a plane crash on Friday on her way to a concert. She was 26 years old.

Mendonca’s press office confirmed his death in a statement and said four other passengers on the flight were also killed. Their plane crashed between Mendonça’s hometown, Goiania, and Caratinga, a small town in the state of Minas Gerais located north of Rio de Janeiro.

Minas Gerais State Civil Police also confirmed Mendonça’s death, without providing details of the cause of the crash, which occurred shortly before arrival. Photographs and videos show the plane right under a waterfall. Mendonca had posted a video Friday afternoon showing her walking towards the plane, guitar case in hand.

The rising star played country music. In Brazil, it is called “sertanejo”. She was known to address feminist issues in her songs, such as speaking out against men who control their partners and calling for the empowerment of women.

On Friday night, the news sparked a wave of sadness on social media from all corners of Brazil, including fans, politicians, musicians and footballers. His Instagram account has nearly 40 million followers.

“I refuse to believe, I just refuse,” Brazilian soccer star Neymar, who is a friend of Mendonca, said on Twitter after the news broke.

The Brazilian government also offered its condolences.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro also used social media to mourn the passing of “one of the greatest artists of his generation”.

“The whole country is shocked to hear the news,” he said.

His album “Em Todos os Cantos” won him the Latin Grammy 2019 for best sertanejo album. She was nominated for the same award this year for “Patroas”.

Mendonca was also famous for his romantic songs, often expressing the loss of loved ones.

“You always make me cry, you are unique and everlasting,” fan Michelle Wisla said on Twitter.

Mendonça leaves behind a son, who will be 2 years old next month.

– By Mauricio Savarese