On with yet one more Singer that Died Before his Time…
Cássia Eller (December 10, 1962 -December 29, 2001) was a Brazilian musician. She was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1962, but spent most of her adolescence in Brasília.
In 1990 she returned to Rio and her recording career took off. Her most popular album is the live recording Acústico that she did for MTV Brasil (essentially the Brazilian version of an MTV Unplugged album), and her best-known hit songs are her cover of “Malandragem” (video below), originally written by Cazuza and “Segundo Sol”. Eller is known for her fusion of rock and MPB, and for her extremely deep and husky singing voice. She is also notable as one of Brazil’s most prominent lesbian artists. Her sexuality, along with her musical style, has caused some to draw comparisons with Ani DiFranco and the Indigo Girls as well as Melissa Etheridge.
Eller died in December 29, 2001 after being rushed to hospital in Rio de Janeiro by a girlfriend. She was admitted in a delirious and incoherent state during which she suffered a series of heart attacks; a police investigation concluded that these were due to a heart condition rather than to drug use (although many believe drugs played a part). She was 39 years old, and at the time of her death, left a young son behind whose custody was assumed by her partner after her death.
Eller still has a devoted following in Brazil, and her popularity after her untimely and unfortunate death has continued to grow. Her music continues to be played daily on various Brazilian radio stations and her CDs are still prominently for sale in stores.