|Born||3 June 1953|
|Died||19 January 2017(aged 63)|
Loalwa Braz Vieira (3 June 1953 – 19 January 2017) was a Brazilian vocalist and musician. She was known for providing the lead vocals for the French-Brazilian recording act Kaoma for their 1989 cover of Ulysses Hermosa’s “Llorando se fuo” (lead singer of the popular Bolivian folk group “Los Kjarkas”) later renamed as Lambada". She was fluent in four languages, and recorded songs in her native Portuguese, as well as in Spanish, French and English.
Braz was born in Jacarepaguá, Rio de Janeiro, to a family of musicians: her father was an orchestra leader and her mother a popular and classical pianist. She learned to play the piano at the age of four and started singing at 13. She lived in Paris from 1985 and in Geneva from 2010 until her death in 2017.
She grew up surrounded by Brazil’s rhythms, which shine through her songs. Her natural gifts are strengthened by hard work. Braz quickly obtained many awards, and started performing at Rio’s most prestigious night clubs. Her talent gained her the recognition of Brazil’s greatest pop artists Gilberto Gil, Tim Maia, Alcione, Maria Bethânia, Emílio Santiago, Gal, Costa, Caetano Veloso, who became her stage and recording co-workers from 1975 to 1985. She moved to Paris in 1985, after her success at the Palais des Sports, with the show “Brésil en Fête”.
Braz appeared at major show business venues: Paradis Latin, Méridien (Paris), Olympia (88 and 92), TLP Dejazet, New Morning, Zenith, Madison Square Garden, London Palladium, Waldorf Astoria. In 1989, Braz provided vocals for the Lambada song, which became a worldwide hit but was a song originally composed by Ulysses Hermosa the leader of the popular folk group “Los Kjarkas” from Bolivia and used without his permission; a settlement for an undisclosed sum was later reached.Lambada's success also brought new attention to Latin music in non-Latin regions.
Braz composed and sang two songs for the sound-track of the movie “Le Roi Desperados” – produced by French TV studio Canal + - and performed with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, in Abbey Road, for the sound-track of the French movie “Dis-Moi Oui”; directed by Alexandre Arcady and music by Phillipe Sarde. Many songs have marked her career: Chorando se Foi (Lambada), Tago Mago, Dançando Lambada, Mélodie d’Amour, La Media Noche, etc. Braz's adaptation of Stevie Wonder’s song “Another Star” (Outro Lugar) into Portuguese demonstrates her skills, and that is why great names of world music were interested in her compositions and arrangements.
Braz was a member of the Arts, Sciences and Literature French Academy; she was decorated with the silver medal (Prix Thorlet) in 2003.
A new solo album was released in 2006, a trip between romanticism and the explosion of rhythms which characterize the artist's musical style. A new title enriched the singer's career, who had just been honorably named Ambassadress of the Association Francophone pour la Promotion de l'Esprit Sportif (AFPES) all over the world.
In the early hours of 19 January 2017, police found her body in a burnt-out car next to a road in Saquarema, 73 km from Rio de Janeiro. According to witnesses, two men had been seen earlier in Braz's home, not far from the place where the vehicle was found. Police detained three men as suspects in her death, describing the crime as "a robbery gone awry". According to the police investigation, she was murdered by one of her employees who had started work at the singer's inn just 15 days prior to her death.
- Brésil (1989)
- Recomeçar (2003)
- Ensolarado (2011)
- with Kaoma
- Worldbeat (1989)
- Tribal-Pursuit (1991)
- A La Media Noche (1998)
- Céspedes, Gilka Wara (1993). ""Huayño," "Saya," and "Chuntunqui": Bolivian Identity in the Music of "Los Kjarkas"". Latin American Music Review : Revista de Música Latinoamericana. 14: 52–101. JSTOR 780009.
- "Loalwa Braz, do Kaoma, é achada morta em carro incendiado, diz polícia". Gl.globo.com. Retrieved 2017-01-19.
- "Lambada singer Loalwa Braz found dead in Brazil". BBC. 19 January 2017. Retrieved 19 January 2017.
- "'Lambada' Singer Loalwa Braz Murdered in Brazil". Billboard. Retrieved 2017-01-22.