GOIA, BRAZIL (AP) – Heartbroken, tens of thousands of fans gathered on Saturday to pay tribute to Marilia Mendonce, one of Brazil’s most popular singers, who died in a plane crash the previous day. at the age of 26.
The Latin Grammy winner and four other passengers, including her producer and uncle, were killed Friday when their plane crashed on a flight from Mendonça’s hometown of Goiânia in Goias state to Caratingu, a small town in the state of Minas Gerais north of Rio. de Janeiro.
Some of the mourners arrived on Friday evening to say goodbye to the country music singer and spend the night outside the large gymnasium in Goiânia, where Mendonza’s funeral was being held. On Saturday, people stood in line for hours in the scorching heat, sometimes sheltering from the sun under large umbrellas, waiting to walk past her coffin.
“She’s dead, it doesn’t make sense. Everyone loves her, ”said Tanya Rodriguez, who was in the crowd with her 11-year-old daughter Rosangela.
Ilsa da Costa Oliveira, wearing the green and yellow Brazilian flag and holding three red roses in one hand and Mendonza’s CD in the other, spoke about the traits that made the singer so popular: “She is very compassionate to the audience. women, men, children, youth, old people … She is a good person, modest and charismatic. “
At the gym, fans were able to see the singer, who was known for her feminist activities, writing about empowering women and denouncing domestic violence. Some burst into tears as they passed her open coffin.
The Latin Recording Academy issued a statement welcoming the “up-and-coming young singer / songwriter”, calling her “the voice of a new generation of sertaneja,” Brazilian country music.
“We will miss Marilia Mendonza deeply, but her legacy will live on through her music,” the statement said.
Details of the cause of the accident remained unknown. Photos and videos on Friday showed the plane lying right under the waterfall. Earlier that day, Mendonsa posted a video of her walking towards the plane with a guitar case in hand. She was on her way to the concert.
Associated Press journalist Eraldo Perez reported this in Goiânia, and AP writer Diane Gante reported from Rio de Janeiro.