Yet another great singer who died before his time…
Agenor Miranda Araújo Neto, better known as Cazuza (4 April 1958 – 7 July 1990) was a Brazilian composer, singer and poet, born in Rio de Janeiro. Along with Raul Seixas, Renato Russo and Os Mutantes, Cazuza is considered one of the best exponents of Brazilian rock music.
In 1980, after shortly living in San Francisco, he returned to Rio, where he worked with the theatrical group Asdrúbal Trouxe o Trombone (Asdrúbal Brought the Trombone). There he was noticed by the novice singer/composer Leo Jaime, who introduced him to a beginning rock band that needed a vocalist, the Barão Vermelho. With this very successful eighties Brazilian rock band, who had their greatest success with “Bete Balanço”, a song that was part of the soundtrack of a film, Cazuza began his career as a singer. In 1985, Cazuza took part in Rock in Rio with Barão Vermelho, and around this time, Caetano Veloso claimed he was the greatest Brazilian poet of his generation. It was also in this same year that Cazuza was infected with theAIDS virus, precipitating his desire to leave the band in order to obtain a greater freedom in composition and expression, both musically and lyrically.
After he left the band, Cazuza’s music began to diversify, incorporating elements of the blues in songs such as “Blues da Piedade” (Blues of Compassion), “Só as mães são felizes” (Only Mothers Are Happy) and “Balada da Esplanada” (Ballad of the Esplanade), which was based on a poem of the same name by Oswald de Andrade; showcasing increasingly intimate lyrics, like those in “Só se for a Dois” (Only If It Will Be Two), as well as opening itself up to influences from Brazilian pop music with interpretations of Cartola’s “O Mundo é um Moinho”, Raul Seixas’s “Cavalos Calados” (Silent Horses) and Caetano Veloso’s “Esse Cara” (This Guy).
Contrary to what usually happens once an artist leaves a band that has made them famous, Cazuza’s solo career proved to be more successful than that of his former group. “Exagerado” (Exaggerated), “O Tempo não Pára” (Time Doesn’t Stop), and “Ideologia” (Ideology) were his greatest hits and proved to be a great influence on subsequent Brazilian musicians.
In 1989, he admitted publicly for the first time that he had AIDS and released his last album: Burguesia. Cazuza was openly bisexual but was not active in the gay movement. However his openness about being a person with AIDS helped to change public perceptions and attitudes about HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment. Cazuza died in Rio de Janeiro on July 7, 1990 at the age of 32 from an AIDS related illness.
Faz Parte do Meu Show (Be a part of my show)