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Brazilian music star Marília Mendonça dies in plane crash

A statement posted to Mendonça's Twitter account confirmed the deaths of the musician and four other people on board the plane.
Image: Marilia Mendonca
Singer Marilia Mendonca performs in Sao Jose dos Campos, Brazil, on Sept. 25, 2021.Will Dias / Futura Press via AP file

Marília Mendonça, a Brazilian music star who drew millions of women to the nation's traditionally masculine country-style music scene, died Friday in a plane crash, the chief of her record label confirmed.

Mendonça was 26.

"It is confirmed, an enormous tragedy," Marcelo Soares, CEO of the Som Libre record label said by email. "Marília was an amazing person and a unique artist."

A statement posted to Mendonça's Twitter account confirmed the deaths of four other people on the plane, including her music producer, Henrique Ribeiro; her uncle and adviser, Abicieli Silveira Dias Filho; and the plane's pilot and co-pilot, who were not named.

Civil police in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil, said the plane crashed in the area of Caratinga, a municipality north of Rio de Janeiro.

Mendonça was traveling from Goiânia to Caratinga, where she was scheduled to perform Friday night, the statement on her Twitter said.

Earlier Friday, Mendonça posted a video to her social media accounts that showed her walking, suitcase in-tow, toward a twin-engine plane.

Mendonça, often cited as one of Brazil's top music stars, was a purveyor of the country-style sound of sertanejo, so much so that she helped inspire a related genre called feminejo.

In 2019, she won the Latin Grammy award for Best Sertaneja Music Album. Her YouTube page has nearly 14 billion views.

On Thursday, a Netflix trailer that featured Mendonça's music announced a forthcoming drama series, "Só se for por amor [Only if it's for love]," that features a number of up-and-coming sertanejo musicians.

In a tweet, Brazilian reality television star, musician and lawyer Juliette Freire expressed her sadness over the loss of Mendonça, whom she called a Brazilian icon.

Mendonça is survived by a 1-year-old son, Billboard reported.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.