August 09, 2020
Born in Rio’s favelas, Anitta became Brazil’s biggest pop star. Then a political awakening made her even more influential. She talks Bolsonaro, Black Lives Matter and bisexuality
Brazilian pop sensation Anitta: Run for president? Im 27!
Anitta had imagined that this summer would be a break: a period in which she could record new music. It would have followed 10 years in which she became Brazil’s biggest pop star, including stadium tours, a Netflix docuseries about her life, and hits with Madonna, Snoop Dogg and Rita Ora – all of which skyrocketed her from a Rio favela to fame. Instead, she’s been quarantining at home with her five dogs, infiltrating her country’s politics and being touted as a future Brazilian president.
I speak to her in early June, just as the Coronavirus pandemic is tightening its grip in Brazil. (The country’s death toll is now the second-highest in the world.) Demonstrators have gathered to denounce the president, Jair Bolsonaro, who has urged governors to open states while dismissing Covid-19 as “a little flu” and reminding Brazilians that “we’re all going to die one day”. Some of the protests have expanded to include the issues of systemic racism and police brutality that plague Brazil’s population, which is 50.7% black or mixed race, according to a 2010 census. The country is hot with unrest.
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