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Who is Anitta, the coolest Brazilian singer of the moment

Here's everything you need to know about the star of "The Girl From Rio"

Who is Anitta, the coolest Brazilian singer of the moment Here's everything you need to know about the star of The Girl From Rio

In just 10 years, Anitta has become Brazil's biggest pop star, going from being a little girl in the favelas of Rio who sang using deodorant as a microphone to international fame, which has also been confirmed by two Netflix docuseries (Go, Anitta and Anitta: Made in Honório) about her life and achievements. And the young singer has had many successes. She performed live during the Olympics, led the Rio Carnival parades, was on the soundtrack of the film Charlie's Angels starring Kirsten Stewart. She has appeared at major festivals; her stadium tours are constantly sold out and she has collaborated with artists such as Madonna, Cardi B, Snoop Dog, Ricky Martin, Major Lazer, Maluma and J Balvin. How did she do it? Thanks to a mix of talent, personality, concentration, determination and a series of irresistible pop-funk hits that are paving the way for her in our country. In Italy we know her mainly for her recent singles in heavy radio rotation Boys don't cry and Girl from Rio or for her summer duets with Fred De Palma, but in the rest of the world she can count on more than 60 million Instagram followers and an even larger fan base that listens to her music, recording billions of views on YouTube.  

Anitta, pseudonym of Larissa de Macedo Machado, was born in Rio De Janeiro on 30 March 1993 and is an Aries. The youngest daughter of an artisan and a car battery salesman, she grew up with her mother in the barrio of Rio Honório Gurgel. Since she was a child, her true passion has always been music and show business. Despite a diploma in business administration, she never stopped studying singing, dancing and English, laying the foundations for an international career at a very young age. At the age of 8, she sang in the Santa Luzia church choir. As a teenager, she posted YouTube videos of herself performing using a deodorant as a microphone. When she was 17, she won the Revelation of Music award, got a contract with a Brazilian record company and finally changed her first name to Anitta, inspired by the main character in the TV miniseries Presença de Anita, "a lolita with chameleon-like qualities", which she liked because she thought it was feminine, sexy and never vulgar. 

The true turning point came a few years later, thanks to her contract with Warner Music Group. The first singles, Meiga e Abusada and Show das poderosas, together with the 5 albums released so far made her popular nationwide, but Bang!, released in 2015, was the work that made her cross the borders of Brazil. The success of that album earned her an invitation to perform alongside fellow Brazilians Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil at the opening ceremony of the 2016 Olympics and won her the award for Best Latin American Artist at the MTV Europe Music Awards. Since then, she has collaborated with J Balvin, Maluma, Rita Ora, Madonna and other major artists. The most recent was with Cardi B in 2020 for Me Gusta, a hit that will be part of Anitta's fifth album, which will be released entirely in English and produced by OneRepublic leader Ryan Tedder.

Her sound, which combines pop, Carioca funk and reggaeton, is not the only reason why Anitta has become the most popular Brazilian star ever. Her fans love her sincerity, her first-person exposure, including her flaws.  For two years, she has been heavily criticized for not taking a public stance on Jair Bolsonaro, Brazil's far-right president, for example by participating in the #EleNao (#NotHim) movement. The singer responded that at the time of the election campaign (2018), although she was already 25 years old, she had not yet developed a real political conscience based on facts. Since then, her attitude has changed and Anitta, who is openly bisexual, began to defend the rights of the LGBTQI+ community, demonstrated against racial inequality and deforestation in Brazil, and spoke out against an amendment that would have worsened the way artists perceived copyright fees. 

Claiming to make regular use of cosmetic surgery, she helped dispel the 1990s myth of the beautiful, perfect-bodied Brazilian woman who dominated the fashion catwalks and magazine covers, the same one made famous by the song The Girl From Ipanema. Anitta revisited the Brazilian music classic that became The Girl From Rio. In the video, as she sings "Let me tell you about a different Rio /The one I'm from, but not the one that you know/ The one you meet when you don't have no Real.", she alternates between images of her in a glamorous 1940s/50s pin-up version and real-life alters of women of different sizes, styles and ethnicities on the beach. Another example? In Me Gusta she shows the beauty of Afro-Latin Americans and people from the LGBTQ communities living in the Salvador de Bahia area.

After having been a guest at Paris Fashion Week, Anitta is ready for new challenges and successes. Her next commitments? The release of her new album and her participation in Coachella 2022.