Caetano Emanuel Vianna Telles Veloso|
(August 7, 1942 - living) Brazil
Singer, songwriter, musician
Born in Santo Amaro da Purificação, Bahia, Caetano was the fifth of the seven children that José Telles Velloso, a clerk at the Mail and Telegraph Department, and Claudionor Vianna Telles Velloso had. In 1960, he moves with his family to Salvador. After going to junior high school in Santo Amaro da Purificação, he starts high school.
In the mid-1960s Veloso moved to Rio de Janiero with his sister, vocalist Maria Bethania. Both artists quickly became stars. Their ambiguous sexual personas and the constant rumors about their bisexuality or homosexuality fueled passionate support among gay and lesbian fans.
Caetano's first national success came in a series of songwriting competitions and television appearances. In 1967, his growing notoriety led to a recording contract with the Philips label, a PolyGram subsidiary which more or less cornered the market on the new musical style.
In addition to his fame as a performer and songwriter, Veloso became a Brazilian political and cultural icon. Tropicalia, a musical and socio-artistic movement which he had helped found, was a thorn in the side of the military junta which had taken over the country in 1964.
Although it was explicitly not a part of the traditional Brazilian Left, Tropicalia challenged the dictatorship. Few writers were more skillful or as popular as Caetano, and in 1968, both he and his friend Gilberto Gil were briefly imprisoned by the military dictatorship.
Following their release from prison, Caetano and Gilberto went into exile for several years, and Veloso settled mostly in London. During their exile, both artists continued to release albums in Brazil and provided new material for other MPB stars to record. When they returned to Brazil in 1972, they were even bigger celebrities than when they had left.
Caetano's artistic brilliance partly lays in his ability to appropriate popular sounds, such as mainstream rock and jazz fusion instrumentation, without letting contemporary technique overwhelm his own personal style. His albums embrace successive waves of pop music, from bossa nova to blues, acid rock and folk balladry, to blatant AOR. Caetano is considered one of the great songwriter-poets of the Portuguese language.