Maria Rita is the performance name of Maria Rita Camargo Mariano, a Brazilian singer. She is the daughter of famed pianist/arranger CÃƒÂ©sar Camargo Mariano and the late Brazilian singing legend Elis Regina and sister to Pedro Mariano and music producer JoÃƒÂ£o Marcelo BÃƒÂ´scoli. Her namesake is family friend and famed Brazilian rock legend Rita Lee. Maria Rita majored in Latin American studies and communications at New York University, and worked as a journalist at a magazine for adolescents.
Maria Rita began singing professionally at the age of 24, although she had wanted to sing since she was 14. Her first CD, Maria Rita, launched her career symbolically, with the first cut on her first album, A Festa, being written by Milton Nascimento, a Brazilian singer-songwriter whose career was launched by Maria Rita's mother, Elis Regina. The CD went platinum and was a hit worldwide, making her an international star. Her mother's reputation as one of Brazil's greatest female singers has been a major influence in Maria Rita's life although she respectfully avoids the songs identified with her mother; she has said that she was always conscious of being the only daughter of a great singer. Despite having her mother's vocal DNA, she has developed her own jazzy vocal style, with singers like Ella Fitzgerald as her model.