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Chico Buarque Biography
Chico Buarque is one of the towering figures of Brazilian music, one of the country's greatest singer songwriters.
Although he was a contemporary of tropicalia artists like Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil during the turbulent 60s, he never adopted their pop-orientated approach; instead he aligned himself with the more traditional music of Antonio Carlos Jobim or Vinicius De Moraes (who would later become his song-writing partner) Through the years his songs have been recorded by countless performers. From early on, Chico was acquainted with artists and intellectuals. In 1964 he started playing gigs at schools and festivals, and in the following year his first single was release, featuring "Pedro Pedreiro" and "Sonho de um Carnaval".
Chico soon became a national sensation, and started to make frequent appearances on television (on Elis Regina/Jair Rodrigues' show) as well as in the popular song festivals. He became more famous all over the country when "A Banda", sung with Nara Leao, was placed joint first in the TV Records MPB Festival in 1966.
Chico then took a huge career chance in 1968 writing and scoring a bleak, existential play Roda Viva that was critical of obsessive fan culture. The military dictatorship disapproved and Buarque himself was jailed briefly. He went into self imposed Exile to Italy but returned to Brazil in the early 70's, thereby enduring the consequences of the authoritarian regime then in power. Many of his songs were censured including "Apesar De Voc" (In Spite Of You). However, despite this constant scrutiny, he continued to challenge the status quo, earning the enduring loyalty of his fans. He became the leading spokesman for the new generation.
Aside from his many solo albums, he has composed music (60s with "Roda viva" and 70s "Calabar", "Gota d'água") for numerous film and stage productions and published several novels ("Estorvo" and "Benjamim"). In 1999, Brazil's leading newsmagazine voted Chico Buarque the Century's Greatest Musician - high praise in a country full of great musicians..