Maria Rita - Artist Page
Maria Rita
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Maria Rita is the daughter of singer Elis Regina and pianist/composer Cesar Camargo Mariano. Elis, who died when Maria Rita was only 4, is considered by many to be Brazil's greatest song interpreter ever. Her father is a well-known pianist and composer, famous for penning Coke's ubiquitous jingle for Brazil.

Maria Rita's story could end there, but of course it doesn't. Faced with the enormous shadow of her mother's legacy, Maria Rita shines as one of Brazil's most important new artists.

In a crowded field of Brazilian second generation stars (an astonishing number of talented young artists in Brazil have famous parents!) - Maria Rita is the only one with unequivocal commercial success at home and abroad. The multi-platinum selling debut Maria Rita was the greatest selling CD in Brazil of 2003, garnering as well a huge amount of critical acclaim. At the 2004 Latin Grammys, Maria Rita won Best New Artist and Best MBP (Brazilian Pop), and her version of Milton Nascimento's "A Festa" also won Best Brazilian song.

Maria Rita was born and raised in Sao Paulo. Her two older brothers Pedro and Jo?o Marcello are both musicians and the latter is also co-owner of Brazil's celebrated independent record label Trama Records. Maria Rita moved to the US with her father when she was 16, first to Los Angeles and later to New York where she attended NYU.

As college graduation approached, Maria Rita began wrestling with the question she had managed to avoid throughout her teen-aged years: could she sing? -- did she want to sing? One source of advice was no less than Milton Nascimento, a musical godfather of sorts whose songs Elis had been the first artist to cover. Not only was he convinced that Maria Rita should pursue a career as a singer, he told her that he could not record his album Pieta (released in 2003), unless she agree to participate. The resulting track, "Tristesse", won the Latin Grammy in 2003 for Best Brazilian Song of the Year.

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