Related topics

Brazilian Pop Musician Cazuza Dies of AIDS at 32

July 7, 1990 GMT

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (AP) _ Cazuza, a top pop singer and composer in Brazil who emerged as a national symbol in the fight against AIDS, died in his sleep Saturday after a four-year struggle with the disease. He was 32.

Cazuza, who suffered from respiratory problems his last three days, died in his parents’ home in the beachfront neighborhood of Ipanema.

″Fortunately, he died without pain, sleeping,″ his father, Joao Araujo, director of one of the largest record companies in Brazil, said on television.

TV film footage showed hundreds of weeping fans crowding into Sao Joao Batista Church in Rio’s Botofogo neighborhood where a wake was held.

Cazuza began as a singer in small clubs. His career took off in 1984 when he joined the hard-rock band ″Barao Vermelho,″ Portuguese for Red Baron. The band produced three hit records before Cazuza left to record on his own.

Mixing Bossa Nova music with 1960s British and American rock, he composed and recorded ″Cazuza,″ his first solo album in 1985, a record known for its biting, sarcastic tone and lyrics.

Cazuza’s music underwent a transformation after doctors confirmed he had AIDS in 1986. His songs gained a poetic quality, the lyrics focusing on his struggle to live.

He produced four more records, including the live album ″Time Doesn’t Stop″ and the hit ″Ideology,″ for which he received the Sharp Prize for Best Brazilian Pop-Rock Artist in 1988. His solo records combined have sold 1.1 million copies in Brazil.

In April, he returned from Boston where he underwent AIDS treatment, pledging to return to the stage. However, he was bedridden for much of the time until his death.

His funeral was held Saturday at the Sao Joao Batista cemetery. He was survived by his parents.