Thousands of people flooded the hometown of Brazilian country music star Marilia Mendonca on Saturday to pay a moving tribute to the beloved singer, a day after her death in a plane crash at the age of 26 years.
Grammy-winning Brazilian “sertanejo” music superstar Mendonca died with four other people on Friday when a small plane carrying her to a concert crashed in southeastern Minas Gerais state. is.
His body was transported to the central town of Goiania, his home on Saturday, where crowds of distraught fans lined up to parade past his white-draped coffin in a massive public wake.
Known for her rising voice and sad songs, Mendonca has managed to break into a country music scene long dominated by men and machismo. She was a leading figure in a burgeoning sub-genre known as “feminejo”, or music sertanejo by women.
But his massive fan base included both men and women. Many mourners outside the stadium where the vigil was held could hardly find words to describe their sadness.
“It’s such a strong emotion that you don’t even know how to express it. It’s a huge pain, for all Brazilians,” Matheus Alves, 22, told AFP.
“It was a huge loss. It’s such a blow that I don’t even have the words to explain it,” said Gustavo Lacerda, a 16-year-old student, before launching into one of the songs. de Mendonca, “Eu Sei de Cor” (I know it by heart).
Fans began to line up at dawn in front of the 15,000-seat arena, where large flower arrangements poured in.
Around 100,000 people were expected, Goias State Governor Ronaldo Caiado said.
The star and an uncle who worked with her, also killed in the crash, were later to be buried in a small private ceremony at a local cemetery.
Mendonca’s producer and the plane’s two pilots were also killed in the crash, which left their twin-engine Beechcraft King Air C90A smashed against rocks near a scenic waterfall outside the town of Caratinga, where the artist was to perform.
Authorities said the plane struck an electric tower a few kilometers from Caratinga airport, but it was not clear if that caused the crash or if the plane was already descending.
Air Force officials were at the scene on Saturday to investigate.
Nicknamed the “Queen of Suffering”, Mendonca was known for her ballads of sorrow and despised lovers, but also for singing about women’s empowerment and the need to “overcome” – the title of one of her songs. most famous.
She had 22 million subscribers on YouTube, 39 million followers on Instagram and over 8 million monthly listeners on Spotify.
His death drew heartfelt tributes from figures ranging from Brazilian music legend Caetano Veloso to football superstar Neymar to President Jair Bolsonaro, who said the country was “in shock”.
“She was one of the greatest artists of her generation,” Bolsonaro wrote on Twitter.
Mendonca, however, was no fan of the far-right president, who has often been accused of sexist remarks and anti-women policies.
The wake of Mendonca and his uncle was broadcast live on national television and received extensive coverage in Brazilian media.