Marília Mendonça: Singer was at centre of Brazil’s ‘great loss’

Image copyright Instagram Image caption Marília Mendonça is likely to be remembered most for her powerful rendition of Barbara Brasil

Chart-topping and powerful Brazilian artist Marília Mendonça has died in a plane crash in Uruguay.

The New York-based musician was leaving South America to join her band in Peru for concerts on Thursday.

Euestra linea de monado Mate Jogo y marinhal #elhombre_llina #MusicaMusica pic.twitter.com/prR1ncxsDS — Marília Mendonça (@music_marionio) October 10, 2016

Brazilian President Michel Temer called it “a great loss to Brazil”.

The singing legend, 69, was travelling from Montevideo to Lima in a Cessna 206 when it went down in a mountainous area, reports said.

She is likely to be remembered most for her powerful rendition of Barbara Brasil, which became a staple on Brazilian radio and TV.

Image copyright Instagram Image caption Marília Mendonça was born in Rio de Janeiro

According to local reports, Ms Mendonça’s band had been returning from a performance in Uruguay when the crash happened, although her friends have denied that her plane crashed.

They said she was flying back on a scheduled flight from Uruguay, while the jets in which her band were travelling were private.

Image copyright Alex Reeve/Mike Dinos Lézola

Image copyright Alex Reeve/Mike Dinos Lézola Image caption Other artists including reggae singer Marcia Griffiths and jazz musician David Sanabria have paid tribute to Marília Mendonça

Crowds gathered outside the Instituto do Periana in Montevideo to pay tribute to Ms Mendonça.

“There are no words to express the sadness we feel for Marília Mendonça,” said Hermano Panafianini, an artist from Argentina who also used to work in Brazil.

“We will keep her memory alive with all the musical performances and all the work we do with our respective song festivals.”

Tourist were among the victims of the crash

The crash happened near the Valmarca ski resort in the Poconos.

At least 10 people were reported dead and 15 were unaccounted for.

Calls and messages of support have poured in on social media and from Brazil’s cultural elite.

Police believe that the jet carrying 30 people veered off the edge of the runway while trying to land at the airport.

Brazil’s Foreign Ministry confirmed that the plane was an Aerolineas Argentinas route.

Image copyright AFP Image caption Police at the crash site believe the jet veered off the edge of the runway

Image copyright AFP Image caption Police are still trying to recover the remains of the plane

There were also unconfirmed reports of the music legend having a teenage daughter.

Image copyright AFP Image caption The 35-year-old Tupolev 154 plane crashed near the Valmarca ski resort

The crash is the second involving a Tupolev airplane in eight days.

On 16 October a Tupolev crashed near Niobrara city in Siberia. Two people were killed and one child seriously injured.

Ms Mendonça was born in Rio de Janeiro to immigrant parents from Pernambuco, in north-east Brazil.

Her family lived in several towns in south-east Brazil, including Niteroi, Anapra and Guarulhos.

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