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Lady you should know about: Rita Lee

June 26, 2010

A founding member of Brazilian psych-rock band Os Mutantes, Rita Lee left the band and struck out on her own in the early ’70s. She partnered with Lucia Turnbull to form Cilibrinas do Éden, and eventually became a solo rock artist with Tutti Frutti as her backing band.

There is some debate as to whether Lee left Os Mutantes voluntarily or not, but either way – she’s had a successful run on her own. With more than 20 solo releases, Lee is not only a gifted singer and actress, but she’s made her career on her own terms, even refusing to join the most recent Os Mutantes reunion. Lee has also written children’s books and hosted a radio comedy show and a TV talk show, and she’s well known as an animal rights activist.

A superstar in Brazil, but barely known in the United States, she’s collaborated with everyone from Marisa Monte to Caetano Veloso. And as of 2009, at age 62, Lee was still touring. Not too shabby!

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