Marília Mendonça, one of the most popular Brazilian pop singers who was known as “The Queen of Suffering” for her angst-filled ballads, was killed on Friday in a small plane crash in the southeastern state of Minas Gerais in Brazil. She was 26.
The singer’s press office confirmed Ms. Mendonça’s death and said her producer, Henrique Ribeiro; her uncle who was also her assistant, Abicieli Silveira Dias Filho; and the pilot and co-pilot of the plane were also killed.
The plane had been headed from the city of Goiania to Caratinga, where Ms. Mendonça was to have performed in a concert on Friday night. There was no immediate word on the circumstances leading up to the crash. The authorities said they were investigating.
Ms. Mendonça was iconic in a type of Brazilian country music called sertanejo, a popular genre in Brazil. Her legions of fans found power in her song lyrics, which implored women to reject bad and abusive relationships, and told the stories of flawed characters.
Ms. Mendonça was a social media sensation, with 7.8 million followers on Twitter, 22 million on YouTube and more than 38 million on Instagram.
Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, said on Twitter, “The whole country receives in shock the news of the death of the young country singer Marília Mendonça, one of the greatest artists of her generation, whom, with her unique voice, charisma and music won the affection and admiration of all of us.”
Anitta, a funk singer popular in Brazil, said on Twitter: “I just found out. I can’t believe it.”
Some in Brazil’s cosmopolitan circles had scorned Ms. Mendonça’s country ballads as “‘brega,’ or corny music,” NPR reported in 2019.
“Sentimental or not, her songs offer a woman’s perspective that hasn’t been heard much in sertanejo’s machismo culture, and it’s made Mendonça the leading voice of a new subgenre called ‘feminejo’ — music by and for women,” NPR said.
Ana Ionova contributed reporting.