Born June 23, 1930, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the Brazilian singer Elza da Conceição Soares, known as Elza Soares is one of the most talented and respected singers in Brazil’s scene.
After a painful childhood, in which she lived in a simple community and grew up with all the difficulties it comes with. She was forced to marry when she was only twelve years old by her father and in about one year later she had given birth to her first son. Even though she was young she needed to start thinking about raising her son and working was the only solution for her to do it. She found her sunlight in singing and decided to participate in an auditory program that searched for new singers. That’s where she started, wowing the audience with all her talent.
When she was fifteen years old, with the second son on the way and due to her husband’s illnesses, she went to work in a soap’s factory. He died later on, and she saw herself alone with five children to take care of while she was only twenty-one years old. At that time the only certainty was that she wanted to become a singer.
At the end of the 60’s she fell in love with a famous soccer player, Garrincha, and it was enough to make the people start to hate her in a way that her house used to be hit by tomatoes and eggs. It was all due to the fact that he had a girlfriend at that time and Elza was a singer that still in the beginning of her career, so the media said she did that just to become famous. On April 13th of 1969, her mother’s died in a car accident, to make things worse for them. Garrincha was drunk while driving the car with their daugther, Elza and her mother. Rosária was the only one who died.
In 1983, Garrincha died and in 1986 she lost her son. She took the last loss too hard, and Elza admitted she wanted to die at that time, instead, she decided to get out of Brazil for a period. That’s when she went on tour in Europe and in the States.
Even after all the sad moments of her life, she’s known for always appear with a smile on her face.
In 1943, she went to audition for a televised talent show popular in Brazil. Her unconventional look and way of speaking made the presenter try to minimize her live, but all he gained was a raw answer from her and a big acceptance of the audience to her talent.
Elza suffered an amount of personal losses during her career but all of them encouraged her to keep on with her dream of singing.
Her voice was compared to Louis Armstrong’s voice when she introduced the famous scat in the song “Se Acaso Você Chegasse” and in 1963 she went to Chile to represent Brazil in the World Cup. There, she had a chance to meet Louis in person.
It’s all about 33 albums in more than five decades of a respectful career in which she has won a lot of prizes and status. Sha has also been nominated for the Grammy Awards as she launches new records.
The worst moment in her career was when she fell off the stage during a show and it provoked a flattening column and she’s been undergoing surgeries until nowadays not to lose her voice and body moves. That’s why she only sings sitting and quiet. But always like a real queen!
But it didn’t affect her importance in the Brazilian cultural scene. She’s been in front of the black people and women’s movement.
About the black movement, she affirmed during a recent interview:
“We have fought a lot, haven’t we? I see no reference in Brazil, for example. The black person who is growing up today is all complexed. There is almost no public policy for him/her. There are no references.”
About being a feminist she said that she doesn’t know if she is one of the feminists or not. In her words, she is a woman. A woman that shouts, fights, that does her things to achieve the better, always.
About herself she said:
I need to sing in a moment of pain and hurt. I need to reinvent myself. If you don’t search for the best for yourself, you won’t get anywhere. I keep on searching, claiming, sambaing, wishing… and the artists who are following me are into this atmosphere.