Samba Queen: The Story of Elsa Suarez

“Samba is the root of all virtues, right? Samba is where I started. But I think that if you can sing, then you should sing everything. You can't afford to force yourself into a single rhythm! Since I was black, people thought that I should sing samba. But no, I could sing everything!”

All about the legendary performer, who was nicknamed the "voice of the millennium"

Elsa Suarez is a cult Brazilian singer who, over the years of her dazzling career, has become the queen of samba. On the Sunset 90s this woman was dubbed the singer of the millennium, and some sources call her "voice of the millennium". Despite worldwide success, Suarez's early years were rather dark, poor and difficult: she lost several children, her house was shelled, Elsa herself was recognized as a danger to Brazil.

At some point, the singer became outcast at home. Nevertheless, she always remained strong and determined until the last moments of her life. worked on music.

Early years

Elsa Suarez in her youth
Elsa Suarez in her youth

The future star was born in 1930 year in the slums Rio de Janeiro in the family of a laundress and a factory worker. She had an ordinary and even happy childhood: Elsa played with other children, and also helped her parents - she carried buckets of water on her head to the house. During these travels, the girl met praying mantises, or rather, the sounds they made. This inspired her to start singing.

“I took them in my arms and listened carefully to the sounds they made. I liked their buzz - I even tried to repeat it! So, one day I realized that I can sing! And so my days passed: I carried water and sang ... "

As a result, praying mantis imitation has grown into one of the most revered voices in Brazil. Close Elsa also played a big role in the girl's desire to become a singer:

“My mother and I listened to songs on the radio together, and my father played the guitar and sang. I grew up in a very poor, modest family. But it was a really loving, healthy and happy place!”

However, Elsa's childhood was short-lived: 12 years old her father forced her to marry a local boy. TO 13 years, she had already given birth to her first child, and in 21 She was the mother of seven children, two of whom predeceased her.


The beginning of the creative path

Elsa Suarez in her youth
Elsa Suarez in her youth

Elsa Suarez possessed an incredible style and charisma, thanks to which she managed to make her way to fame. Today they talk about her as most influential female performer throughout the history of Brazil.

In 1953 year Elsa went to a radio talent show - she needed money to buy medicine for her son. At first, the contestant dressed in torn clothes was ridiculed, but by the time she finished singing, she was already considered the winner.

At the beginning of 60s Suarez signed the first contract, and began her professional career as a singer. One of the early hits is considered to be a cover of the song "Se Acaso Você Chegasse" by Lupicinio Rodriguez. After the release of the self-titled debut album, Elsa instantly became a star.

Very soon, Suarez began to be called the queen of samba. The singer herself commented on it like this:

“Samba is the root of all virtues, right? Samba is where I started. But I think that if you can sing, then you should sing everything. You can't afford to force yourself into a single rhythm! Since I was black, people thought that I should sing samba. But no, I could sing everything!”

second plate, "A Bossa Negra" (1961), became a treasure of Brazilian music, and all subsequent releases only strengthened the loud status of the singer. Suarez sang of the harsh aspects of peasant life, poverty, cruelty. At the same time, she did it with genuine passion, which struck the world public on the spot.

From the middle 60s and to the middle 80s years in Brazil flourished military dictatorship, which forced many famous artists of that time to leave their native lands. Elsa became one of them. Suarez was considered especially dangerous for the country, and therefore they tried in every possible way to get rid of her: they fired at the woman’s house, blew up the hotel where she lived with her children. Luckily, Elsa survived and managed to escape to Italy.

Highlights of a dazzling career

Elsa Suarez with her husband Garrincha
Elsa Suarez with her husband Garrincha

At the beginning of 60s Elsa moved to Sao Paulo, where she regularly performed in the show and recorded her first LP called "Se Acaso Você Chegasse".

A few years later, she represented Brazil in Chile at the World Cup, where she met the football star Garrincha. They began a stormy romance, and in 1966 the couple got married.

Elsa Suarez and Garrincha
Elsa Suarez and Garrincha

Over the years, Elsa has released many hits, including "Só Danço Samba", "A Banca do Distinto", "Pressentimento". After she lived in Italy for several years, Suarez decided to return to her homeland.

Later works

Elsa Suarez
Elsa Suarez

Over the next decade, Elsa was introduced to countless other styles and collaborated with many Brazilian artists, from Cayetano Veloso and Zeka Pagodinho To Flavio Renegado and Kiko Dinucci! In the late 90s, a woman received an award Premium Sharp Award as the best samba performer, and in the early 2000s, her life was depicted in a musical.

In recent works, Suarez raised acute social issues: from racism to class inequality. During her dazzling long-playing career, she has recorded 36 studio albums, performed at the opening ceremony Olympic Games 2016 in Rio and was recognized the greatest singer of the last millennium.

The sunset of an era

Elsa Suarez
Elsa Suarez

Despite worldwide success, personal life Elsa Suarez was overshadowed tragedies. She lost several children at an early age. So, her 9-year-old son died in 1986 year in a car accident. After that, the woman did not want to live. Nevertheless, she found the strength to move on and devoted herself to creativity. After many years of searching, she was reunited with her daughter. But in 2015 year lost her son: 59-year-old Gerson died from complications of a urinary tract infection.

Elsa Suarez with a child
Elsa Suarez with a child

In recent years, Elsa has enjoyed a well-deserved rest:

"I'm great! I live a peaceful life: I practically don’t leave the house, go in for sports, listen to music… This is how I spend my days,” she said in a recent interview.

January 20, 2022 the voice of the millennium is gone. Legendary Brazilian singer dies 91st year of lifeleaving behind a great legacy.

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