Roberto Carlos Biography

Roberto Carlos Braga, 19 April 1941, Cachoeiro de Itapemerim, Espírito Santo, Brazil. Today Carlos is a Latin pop superstar whose stranglehold on glossy, romantic ballads is rivalled only by Julio Iglesias. Back in the 60s, however, he was a Brazilian rocker par excellence. With a mix of original songs and American hits sung in Portuguese, Carlos rode up the charts to be crowned ‘the King’, a title he still bears today. In his teens he formed his first group, the Sputniks, with Tim Maia, who later became a pioneer of Brazilian soul and funk, but the band was short-lived. In 1959, Carlos recorded his first single ‘João E Maria’. In 1962, songwriter/childhood friend Erasmo Carlos introduced him to his new version of ‘Splish Splash’ and the duo, known simply as Roberto-Erasmo, started to attract attention. By the time Carlos released 1964’s É Proibido Fumar, he was already a well-known figure, and the record’s success placed him at the forefront of the new musical genre called ‘iê-iê-iê’, the first musical movement in Brazil aimed specifically at youth. His numerous hit songs and television appearances as host of the show Jovem Guarda turned him into a national idol and 60s Brazilian rock icon. Starting with the huge success of the song ‘Jesus Cristo’ in 1970, however, his career took another turn, and Carlos became known as an interpreter of romantic songs with religious messages, aimed at the Spanish-language market. In subsequent decades, he has released an album nearly every year, most of them self-titled and most selling more than a million copies each. Although his music has softened from his early days, he is still considered the King, as demonstrated by the 30 Years Of Jovem Guarda series of tribute albums, featuring performances by many of Brazil’s top contemporary rock bands. Pra Sempre Ao Vivo No Pacaembu was awarded a Grammy for Best Romatic Album in 2005.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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