Elis Regina was born Elis Regina Carvalho Costa in Porto Alegre, Sao Paulo Brasil on March 17, 1945. She began her career as a singer at age 11 on a children’s radio show, O Clube Do Guri on Rádio Farroupilha. In 1959, Rádio Gaúcha contracted her and the next year she travelled to Rio de Janeiro where she recorded her first LP, Viva a Brotolândia (Long Live Teenage Land).
Following this debut she won her first festival song contest in 1965 singing Arrastão that launched her solo career. Recording her sophomore project Dois na Bossa, that became the first album to sell over a million copies, is considered the beginning of the new musical style MPB, Musica Popular Brasileira.
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, along with Gal Costa, Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil, she helped to popularize the work of the tropicalismo movement. Her 1974 collaboration with Antonio Carlos Jobim, Elis & Tom, has been cited as one of the greatest bossa nova albums of all time. Her earlier records were mostly apolitical but from the mid-’70s on her music became more engaged, and she began to choose compositions and structure her conceptually complex live shows in ways as to criticize the military government, capitalism, racial and sexual injustice and other forms of inequality.
Her death from a cocaine, alcohol and temazepan interaction on January 19, 1982 at the age of 36 shocked Brazil. Elis Regina, singer of MPB, samba, jazz, bossa nova, rock and pop, is widely regarded as the best Brazilian singer of all times by many critics, musicians, and commentators.
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