Cássia Eller

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Cassia Eller
Cassia Eller 000.jpg
Eller performing in 2001
Cássia Rejane Eller

(1962-12-10)December 10, 1962
DiedDecember 29, 2001(2001-12-29) (aged 39)
Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil
Cause of deathMyocardial infarction
  • Singer
  • musician
Years active1990–2001
  • Maria Eugênia Vieira Martins (m. 1990)
Musical career
  • Vocals
  • guitar
Associated acts

Cássia Rejane Eller (December 10, 1962 – December 29, 2001) was a Brazilian musician. She performed a fusion of rock and MPB.

She was rated as the 18th greatest vocalist and 40th greatest Brazilian musician by Rolling Stone Brasil.[1]

Acting career[edit]

Daughter of an Army parachutist sergeant and a housewife, her name was suggested by her grandmother, who was devoted to Rita of Cascia.[2]

Born in Rio de Janeiro, RJ, she moved with her family to Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais at six years old. At 10, she went to Santarém, Pará and at age 12 returned to Rio. Her interest in music began when she received a guitar as a gift at age 14. She played mostly Beatles songs. At 18 she arrived in Brasilia, where her family moved. There she sang in choir, auditioned for musicals, worked in two operas as a showgirl, and performed as a singer for a forró group. She was also part of the first electric trio of Brasilia, called Massa Real, and played the Surdo drum in a samba group. She played and sang in several bars (including Bom Demais). In 1981 she appeared in a spectacle of Oswaldo Montenegro.

A year later, at age 19, wanting her personal freedom, she moved to Belo Horizonte for a place to live and a job. As soon as she arrived, she went to work as a bricklayer. "I made mortar and set up bricks," she said. There she lived in a small rented room. She did not finish high school because the shows she was doing every day on a different shift did not allow her a schedule to study.[3]

Characterized by deep voice and her eclectic choices of material, she played songs of great composers of Brazilian rock such as Cazuza, Renato Russo and Rita Lee, as well as of MPB like Caetano Veloso and Chico Buarque, and of pop like Nando Reis, and of sambas like Riachão and of international rock like Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, John Lennon and Nirvana.

She had a significant musical career, even though short, with ten recorded albums over the course of the twelve years. In fact, it was only in 1989 that her career took off. Helped by her uncle, she recorded a demo tape with the song "Por Enquanto" by Renato Russo. This uncle took the tape to PolyGram, which resulted in Cássia being hired by the label. Her first participation in disc was in 1990, in the album of Wagner Tiso titled "Baobab".

Cássia Eller always had a very intense stage presence and preferred albums recorded live. She was constantly invited for special participations and personalized interpretations.

She declared herself to be an interpreter of others work, having composed only three of the songs she recorded: "Lullaby" (with Márcio Faraco) on her first album, Cássia Eller, in 1990; "Eles" and "O Marginal" (with Hermelino Neder, Luiz Pinheiro and Zé Marcos) on the second album, O Marginal (1992).

Cassia had a son in 1993, Francisco (affectionately called Chicão), as the fruit of a casual relationship with a friend, Tavinho Fialho. Tavinho was married and he died in a car accident a week before Chicão was born. Chicão was raised by Cassia and Maria Eugênia Vieira, who lived together. The two had met at a Cassia concert, became friends and fell in love. They stayed together until the end of the singer's life.

Cassia was a passionate fan of Clube Atlético Mineiro, and was even contacted to receive the Silver Rooster, an honor given to the illustrious fans of the Club. However, with her untimely death, the trophy ended up being delivered in 2002 to her mother, Nanci Eller, according to whom: "Last year Cássia performed in Curitiba, and Levir Culpi sent a Rooster shirt for her, her son. All of her instruments have the Athletic shield. She always put the shield on the things she won. There is even a shield on the door of the studio that Cassia had in her residence".[4]

Cassia's request was that if something happened to her, Maria Eugênia would be responsible for the care of Francisco, and after her death her companion did raise the boy.[5]

2001 was a very productive year for Cássia Eller. On January 13, 2001, she performed at Rock in Rio III in a show where baião , samba and MPB classics were sung in a rock rhythm. On this day the sequence of acts was as follows: REM , Foo Fighters , Beck , Barão Vermelho , Fernanda Abreu and Cássia Eller. 190 thousand people attended the presentation.

Between May and December, Cássia Eller did 95 shows. This included recording a DVD (live, as she preferred), Acoustic MTV, between March 7 and 8 in São Paulo. The project included artists of high artistic and technical ability: Nando Reis (musical direction / authorship, voice and guitar in "Relicário" / voice in "De Esquina" de Xis ), the musicians of the band: Luiz Brasil ( Musical Direction / Cifras / Guitars and Mandolin ), Walter Villaça ( Guitars and Mandolin), Fernando Nunes (bass), Paulo Calasans (Acoustic Piano and Organ Hammond ), João Vianna ( Drums , Surdo , Ganzá , Grater and Blade ), Lan Lan ( Percussion and Vocal ) and Thamyma Brasil ( Percussion ), guest musicians Bernardo Bessler ( violin ), Iura (Cello), Alberto Continentino ( bass sound), Cristiano Alves ( clarinet and bass clarinet ), Dirceu Leite ( sax ,flute and clarinet ), among many others. The album was composed of 17 tracks, plus the Making Of , photo gallery, discography and i.clip . [ 4 ] The album has sold more than a million copies to date and became the biggest hit in Cassia's career. Up to then she was not considered an extremely popular singer despite good sales and experience. [ 7 ]

In the same year of 2001, she would perform at MTV's Video Music Brasil in her MTV Unplugged alongside Rita Lee, Roberto de Carvalho and Nando Reis (doing Os Mutantes' "Top Top" d'Os Mutantes).

At the end of the year, she was scheduled to perform at Praça do Ó, in Barra da Tijuca, Rio, during the celebrations of the new year. She passed away two days before, on December 29. Luciana Mello was her replacement. At several points in Rio de Janeiro, there was a minute of silence during the homage of the passage of the year in memory of Cássia Eller. Several artists also paid homage to the singer at their shows at the turn of the year.


Cássia Eller Room in Brasilia, this space, opened in 1977 with the name Sala Funarte, underwent a major renovation in 2001, being renamed the following year in a posthumous tribute to the singer.

Cássia Eller died on December 29, 2001, in the Santa Maria clinic in the Laranjeiras neighborhood, in the south of Rio de Janeiro, after suffering three cardiac arrests due to sudden Myocardial infarction. She was 39 years old and at the peak of her career. She had been hospitalized at 1 pm and was placed in the ICU (Intensive Care Center). According to her manager, the singer was feeling bad and complaining of nausea due to overwork. The symptoms, he said, were thought to be the result of stress caused by overwork. "She had been working a lot. In seven months, she's done over a hundred shows," she said.[6] The hypothesis of drug overdose was raised, since she was a cocaine user since adolescence.[7] This was initially considered as the cause of death, but was dismissed by the expert reports of the Medical Institute of Rio de Janeiro after necropsy.[8][9][10] She is buried in the Jardim da Saudade Cemetery, in the Sulacap neighborhood, in the city of Rio de Janeiro.[11]


External links[edit]


  1. ^ "THE 100 GREATEST VOICES OF BRAZILIAN MUSIC". Rolling Stone. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  2. ^ ""Saiba mais sobre a cantora Cassia Eller"". Época. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  3. ^ "Leia a biografia de Cássia Eller". Folha de S.Paulo (in Portuguese). Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  4. ^ "Portal Terra". Terra Networks. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  5. ^ ""Mãe, você não é mulher"". Terra Networks. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  6. ^ Folha Online, Folha Online. "Cássia Eller morre aos 39 anos no Rio". Folha de S.Paulo. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ "Juíza rejeita denúncia contra médicos que atenderam Cássia Eller" - Folha Online
  9. ^ "UOL". Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  10. ^ "Folha Online". Retrieved April 4, 2018.
  11. ^ Folha de S.Paulo