25 years after the death of Renato Russo: remember the singer’s career and life


For 25 years, the striking, poetic and deep voice of Renato Russo was silent. The singer and composer, owner of songs like Eduardo and Mônica, Still is Early and Pais e Filhos, died prematurely at the age of 36, on October 11, 1996, after a long career in the band Legião Urbana and, above all, with a full life of memorable moments.

Even with these more than two decades of absence, Renato is still celebrated for his songs with strong lyrics, which speak to various audiences. It is the indignation of Que País É Este, the choked cry of Pais e Filhos, the love story with common people by Eduardo and Mônica, or even the musical-loving epic of Faroeste Caboclo.

To celebrate Renato Russo, remember the main moments of his life and work:

Before being Renato Russo

Despite being known as a rock icon in Brasília, Renato Manfredini Júnior was born in Rio de Janeiro, on March 27, 1960. He lived there until he was six years old, on Ilha do Governador, in the north of the city, when he moved with the family to New York. It was only in 1973, in his early teens, that Renato arrived in Brasília with his family. Until entering the world of music for good, he did a little of everything: he studied English and, shortly thereafter, became a language teacher. In addition, he worked as a radio announcer, presenting jazz and Beatles programs.

bone disease

At the age of 15, in Brasília, Renato went through a difficult time when he was diagnosed with epiphysiolysis, a bone disease. For the treatment, he had to implant three platinum pins in the pelvis, and then he went through a difficult recovery: he spent six months in bed with almost no movement and the recovery of movement lasted more than a year and a half.

the new name

It was precisely during this period of recovery that Renato had the idea of ​​retiring Manfredini and adopting the artistic name Renato Russo. According to him, it was a tribute to the Englishman Bertrand Russell and the French Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Henri Rousseau.

Begin of carreer

Five years after arriving in the Brazilian capital, in 1978, Renato Russo met Fê Lemos. This meeting was the seed that was missing to start a band: Aborto Elétrico. With a clear influence of American punk rock, the band achieved some recognition in the region of Brasília, integrating Turma da Colina, a movement of bands from the Central Plateau created during this period. But a fight between Renato Russo and Fê Lemos ended up putting an end to the group and opening space for the Legião.

urban Legion

With the early end of Aborto Elétrico, Renato Russo joined Marcelo Bonfá, Eduardo Paraná and Paulo Guimarães – and later with Dado Villa-Lobos taking over the group’s guitar – to form the band Legião Urbana, in 1982. In that decade they launched some one of the most played songs on radios in the period, such as Sera, from 1985; Eduardo and Monica, 1986; What Country Is This, 1987; and Pais e Filhos, from 1989. Thus, quickly, the band left the federal capital and gained recognition throughout the national territory.

Giuliano Manfredini

Renato Russo’s only son is Giuliano Manfredini, the result of the singer-songwriter’s involvement with a fan, Raphaela Manuel Bueno. She would have gotten pregnant with Renato at the beginning of their relationship, but had no contact with the singer of Legião Urbana during her pregnancy. He returned to Renato’s life only when Giuliano was already three months old. Due to the death of Renato and his mother, victim of a car accident, Giuliano Manfredini ended up being raised by Renato’s family until he came of age.

Death of Renato Russo

Renato Russo died in the early morning hours of October 11, 1996 due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, septicemia and urinary tract infection – consequences of AIDS. Renato had been HIV-positive since 1989, but he never publicly admitted to the disease.