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Maria Rita took the MPB world by storm in 2003 with her debut album, winning all kinds of awards and crossing over abroad in light of her mammoth success. The beautiful and beautiful-sounding young lady is the daughter of one of Brazil's most (if not the most) legendary vocalists, the late Elis Regina, and if that alone weren't enough to make her a star in waiting, her father is César Camargo Mariano, one of the country's top arrangers, producers, and pianists, and her namesake is Rita Lee, yet another MPB legend. Add to that a close musical partnership with Milton Nascimento, who penned "A Festa," the opening track of her debut album, and you can see why the MPB world was eagerly awaiting her recording debut.
Born September 19, 1977, in São Paulo, Rita began singing professionally at age 24. Her debut album, Maria Rita, released domestically in late 2003 and internationally in 2004, spawned two big hits, the aforementioned "A Festa" and "Cara Valente." On the heels of the album's blockbuster success -- both critical and commercial -- Rita released a similarly self-titled DVD that captures her 2004 live performance at Bourbon Street in São Paulo. Among the awards won by Rita in 2004 were Latin Grammys for Best New Artist and Best MPB Album. Rita's second album, Segundo (2005), was even more popular than her first (selling over 700,000 copies in Brazil alone), if not as critically acclaimed. A live DVD, Segundo ao Vivo, followed in 2006. Rita's third album, Samba Meu (2007), was a change of style: a collection of acoustic sambas.
Maria Rita (Portuguese pronunciation: [maˈɾiɐ ˈʁitɐ]; born September 9, 1977, in São Paulo, Brazil) is the performance name of Maria Rita Camargo Mariano, a Brazilian singer. She is the daughter of famed pianist/arranger César Camargo Mariano and the late Brazilian singing legend Elis Regina and sister to Pedro Mariano and music producer João Marcelo Bôscoli. Her namesake is family friend and famed Brazilian rock legend Rita Lee. Maria Rita majored in Latin American studies and communications at New York University, and worked as a journalist at a magazine for adolescents.
Maria Rita began singing professionally at the age of 24, although she had wanted to sing since she was 14. Her first CD, Maria Rita, launched her career symbolically, with the first cut on her first album, A Festa (The Party), being written by Milton Nascimento, a Brazilian singer-songwriter whose career was launched by Maria Rita's mother, Elis Regina. The CD went platinum and was a hit worldwide, making her an international star. Her mother's reputation as one of Brazil's greatest female singers has been a major influence in Maria Rita's life although she respectfully avoids the songs identified with her mother; she has said that she was always conscious of being the only daughter of a great singer. Despite having her mother's vocal DNA, she has developed her own jazzy vocal style, with singers like Ella Fitzgerald as her model.
She won the 2004 Latin Grammy Awards for Best New Artist in the General Field, Best Song in Portuguese (“A festa”) and her debut album Maria Rita won the Best MPB (Musica Popular Brasileira) Album award for that year. The world hit that “Segundo” turned out to be, granted her in 2006, two additional Grammys Latinos – Best MPB Album and Best Brazilian Song with “Caminho das Águas” authored by Rodrigo Maranhão – and over 50 shows abroad, with full public and reviews acceptance in the Montreux Jazz Festival, North Sea Jazz Festival, Irving Plaza (NY), San Francisco Jazz Festival, among others.
Maria Rita was nominated for the BBC Radio 3 Awards for World Music in 2008. On 28 June 2008, Maria Rita performed in London for the first time, with a production by Tuba Productions and JungleDrums Magazine.