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Elis Regina

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Porto Alegre, Brazil (1945 – 1982)

Elis Regina Carvalho Costa (March 17, 1945 – January 19, 1982) was born in Porto Alegre, Brazil, where she began her career as singer at age 11 on a children’s radio show, Rádio Farroupilha. She won her first festival song contest in 1965 singing “Arrastão” (“The Trawling Net”) by Edu Lobo and Vinícius de Moraes.

She recorded songs by such musicians as Gilberto Gil. She also recorded songs by Antônio Carlos Jobim, Milton Nascimento, João Bosco, Aldir Blanc, Chico Buarque, Jorge Ben and Caetano Veloso. She had an exciting voice and superb intonation, and excelled at up-tempo numbers. Her nickname was “Furacão” (“The Hurricane”), and also “Pimentinha” (“Little Pepper”).

Elis Regina succumbed to a cocaine overdose in 1982, at the age of 36, having recorded dozens of top-selling records in her career.

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