The man who made Brazil's musical movement Tropicalismo into aÂ global marketing phenomenon has died today in Rio de Janeiro. Music producer Guilherme Araújo was 70 and had been sick for the last few years.
According to Araújo's sister, Marilza, the producer's body will be watched over at the São João Batista cemetery in Rio and then cremated in the Caju cemetery, as was Araújo's wish.
He was a very influential figure in the development of the career of the Bahia's four: Maria Bethânia, Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil and Gal Costa.
After helping the group launch the Tropicália movement in 1967 he continued managing the career of the Baiano musicians throughout the 70s, during a time the word marketing didn't have all the buzz and importance it would get later.Â
While Caetano and Gil were the musical geniuses, it was Araújo who knew better than anyone how to sell their talent to the media. There was a phase in which Araújo and Gil fought over the composer's rights over his musical work. They ended up getting into an agreement though.
The producer first called attention to his work after directing in 1966, at Rio's Cangaceiro night club, the show "Recital" starred by then beginner Maria Bethânia.
Bethânia hired him to be her manager after that and presented him to her friends who also ended up working with him. He had a reputation not only for producing shows, but also for being able to select a repertoire, set up a show and promote an artist's image.
Araújo had been taken three weeks ago to the Ipanema Hospital's Intensive Treatment Center, in the south side of Rio, where he was being treated for several ailments including hypertension and diabetes. According to a hospital bulletin, he died from generalized infection.
Marilza told reporters that her brother was admitted to the hospital March 6 due to an infection in the left leg, which had to be amputated. Moreover, she said, the 70-year-old man was hypertensive, diabetic and had a heart condition.
"It was very hard," the sister told O Globo. "He was very well treated in the hospital and by the doctors. We did everything we could. But Guilherme was cardiac, hypertensive and diabetic and had lots of complications. It comes a time when God alone can help."
In 2001, the producer donated his house, in Ipanema, which was turned into the Guilherme Araújo Cultural Center. Araújo never married or had any children. Besides sister Marilza, he leaves a brother, who lives outside Rio.
Gal Costa Sings Divino Maravihoso at Record TV Song Festival in 1968