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Caetano Veloso – Biography and Artist Profile

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Photo Courtesy Quim Llenas / Getty Images

Caetano Veloso

Photo Courtesy Quim Llenas / Getty Images

Caetano Veloso is one of the most influential Brazilian artists in history. Along with Gilberto Gil, he was one of the leading artists of the Tropicalia movement, which was known in Brazil as Tropicalismo. He is not only a singer but also an outstanding songwriter, guitar player, writer and political activist. Let's take a look at the life of this Brazilian music legend.

Early Days

Caetano Emanuel Viana Teles Veloso was born in the state of Bahia in 1942. His first musical influence was Bossa Nova. In particular, he was captured by the music of Joao Gilberto. In 1960, he moved with his family from his native town of Santo Amaro da Purificacao to the city of Salvador in Bahia.

While he was in Salvador, he studied philosophy and had the opportunity to meet other young and talented artists like Gilberto Gil, Gal Costa and Tom Ze. By the end of the decade, he was already enjoying music success and was starting to develop the music of the Tropicalia movement along with his friends from Bahia.

The Tropicalia Years

In 1967, Caetano Veloso released his first album Domingo, which became a popular work thanks to songs like "Coracao Vagabundo" and "Domingo". However, by that time Caetano was already developing the music sounds that shaped the Tropicalia movement. In fact, the same year he produced his album Caetano Veloso, which included his famous song "Tropicalia." This production also included other celebrated tracks like "Alegria, Alegria" and "Onde Andaras."

In 1968, Caetano Veloso got together with his colleagues from Bahia and along artists like Gilberto Gil, Gal Costa and Os Mutantes released Tropicalia: Ou Panis Et Circensis, an album that became the leading flag of the Tropicalia movement.

However, the Brazilian dictatorship banned Tropicalia music because of its critical lyrics against any sort of oppression. As a result, many of the artists of the Tropicalismo movement in Brazil were jailed and forced to exile. Caetano Veloso was one of them and in 1969 he was forced to leave the country. He spent the next three years of his life in London.

A Prolific Music Career

Caetano Veloso went back to Brazil in 1972. He returned to live in a country that was still dominated by a dictatorial regime. In fact, he had to life along the military rule until 1985. Nevertheless, Caetano Veloso enjoyed prolific years since he returned to his country. He has produced some of the best songs in Brazilian music and his long career producing music has been one of the most successful ones in the history of Brazilian music. His talent as a songwriter was even acknowledge by the New York Times, which referred to Caetano Veloso as one of the most influential composers of the 20th century.

Best Caetano Veloso Songs

The best way to appreciate Caetano's music is by taking a look at some of his best songs. The following is a list of some of the most popular singles produced by Caetano Veloso:

Suggested Albums

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