Marília Mendonça, Brazilian samba star, killed in plane crash

Marília Mendonça, a samba songstress who teamed with the late Chico Buarque to become Brazil’s most successful duo since Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil, died on Wednesday in a plane crash off the coast of Maranhao, Brazil. She was 65.

Mendonça, Buarque and their band Fireair were travelling from Sonora, Mexico, to Maceio, the city where they have launched multiple tours, when the Learjet 35 crashed shortly after taking off, according to the newspaper O Globo.

“I am devastated. It is too much,” said Briana Mendonça, the singer’s daughter. “I have nothing more to say.”

Fireair’s hits include “We Never Wrote Enough,” “Firebird” and “Esperigo, Esperigo.” In 1995, she earned her first Latin Grammy nomination.

Mendonça and Buarque had been supporting the Stingray Solo Concert Tour in Mexico, according to the BBC.

Fire Air produced its own audio of the flight, which included a phone call they received shortly before the crash. The two spoke to Brazilian Radio Brasil in a commercial flight from the airport in Sonora, New Mexico, to Mexico City, according to Brazilian newspaper Folha de S. Paulo.

The caller said they “were flying at an altitude of 1,000 meters” before the plane experienced “some technical problem” and lost contact.

The Brazilian government has launched an investigation into the accident.

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