Gilberto Passos Gil Moreira (born June 26, 1942), better known as Gilberto Gil (IPA: [ʒiu̯bɛrto ʒiu̯]), is a Grammy Award-winning Brazilian singer, guitarist, and songwriter, known for both his musical innovation and his political commitment. From 2003 to 2008, he served as Brazil's Minister of Culture in the administration of
President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.
Gil met guitarist and singer Caetano Veloso at the Universidade Federal da Bahia (Federal University of Bahia) in 1963, and the two immediately began collaborating and performing together, releasing a single and EP soon afterwards. Along with Maria Bethânia (Veloso's sister), Gal Costa, and Tom Zé, Gil and Veloso performed bossa nova and traditional Brazilian songs at the Vila Velha Theatre's opening night in July 1964, a show entitled Nos, por Exemplo (Us, for Example).Gil and the group continued to perform at the venue and he eventually became musical director of the concert series, along with Alcivando Luz, Gil collaborated again with members of this collective on the landmark 1968 album Tropicália: ou Panis et Circenses, whose style was influenced by The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, an album Gil listened to constantly.
Early on in the 1960s, Gil earned income primarily from composing jingles for television advertisements;he was also briefly employed by the Brazilian division of Unilever, Gessy-Lever. He moved to São Paulo in 1965 and had a hit single when his song "Louvação" (which later appeared on the album of the same name) was released by Elis Regina. However, his first hit as a solo artist was the 1969 song "Aquele Abraço".Gil also performed in several television programs throughout the 1960s, which often included other "tropicalistas", members of the Tropicalismo movement.As Gil describes it, Tropicalismo (or Tropicália) was a conflation of musical and cultural developments that had occurred in Brazil during the 1950s and 1960s—primarily bossa nova and the Jovem Guarda (Young Wave) collective—with rock and roll music from the United States and Europe, a movement deemed threatening by the Brazilian government of the time. In the late 1960s he performed with the São Paulo psychedelic rock group Os Mutantes.
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