Marília Mendonça, a hugely successful musician and fashion icon, has died in a plane crash in southern Brazil.
The singer, whose stage name was Runé, was the lead singer of the jazz-fusion band Clube Comandante, which featured members of the famous Tropicália band Les Rêves. At 71, she was the oldest of the 18 musicians who died in the accident on Friday evening in a mountainous area of the state of Santa Catarina. All survived the crash but all members of the band were still being treated for their injuries. The plane – which had been chartered by Eduardo Gomes, chief executive of Brazilian software company Epel, in what was billed as a business trip – went down in a pine forest in Maniche, having lost contact with air traffic controllers.
A flame-thrower throws a red cloud of smoke over the crash site of the plane that had belonged to the Brazilian software company Epel. Photograph: Joao Paulo Tavares/EPA
Tributes poured in for the acclaimed and versatile musician, who made a distinctive acoustic racket with the Clube Comandante, but whose middle name was Marinho in the fashion world where she was a figurehead and muse. Runningé began her career as an arts teacher before giving up teaching to pursue music full-time. She had made regular excursions to visit schools and universities to encourage music education. Her bandmates included the saxophonist Caguo Mancera, a classical clarinetist named Corrado Schiappa and the bassist Xavier Jobim.
Mendonça was also known for her love of fashion, and she was honoured by Vogue Brazil last year. She was cited by Vogue for the arrival of the Rio beach colour pink and beaded Louboutin heels, although the magazine put the landing on to which she took a picture down to her outfit, which included a lampshade with a child’s name on it.
Tributes poured in for the celebrated musician. Her husband, the singer Geraldo Mota, said: “My world is destroyed.”