Bebel Gilberto  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Bebel Gilberto (born Isabel Gilberto on May 12, 1966 in New York City) is a Grammy Award-nominated Brazilian popular singer often associated with bossa nova. She is the daughter of João Gilberto and singer Miúcha. Her uncle is singer/composer Chico Buarque. Bebel has been performing since her youth in Rio de Janeiro.



At the age of seven, Bebel made an appearance on her mother's first solo album 'Miucha'. At age nine, Bebel performed with her mother and jazz saxophonist Stan Getz at a jazz festival in New York's Carnegie Hall. Back in Brazil, Bebel performed and recorded for the soundtrack of the children's musical 'Os Saltimbancos', written by Sergio Bardotti and Chico Buarque. Later on Bebel joined an experimental theatrical group and was a member of the founding team of the performance space 'Circo Voador' (Flying Circus) at Ipanema Beach. In this group she met singer/songwriter Cazuza, who became a close friend and soon a major rock star in Brazil during the '80s.

At this time Bebel started to write songs with collaborators such as Dé and Cazuza, co-writing 'Preciso Dizer Que Te Amo', which became a national hit and won several music awards. Bebel's first solo album was the 1986 EP Bebel Gilberto for Warner Music. In 1991 Bebel moved to New York, where she performed at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM) in a special tribute to Brazilian star Carmen Miranda (directed by Arto Lindsay also featuring Naná Vasconcelos and Laurie Anderson). Bebel soon started performing in New York with her own band in downtown clubs such as The Metronome, Lion's Den, Zanzibar and venues such as The Ballroom, The Rainbow Room, SOB's, Town Hall Theater, The Greatest Bar On Earth (at the top of the World Trade Center) and Lincoln Center.

Throughout the 1990s, Bebel collaborated with a variety of musical stars such as Arto Lindsay, Thievery Corporation, David Byrne, Towa Tei, Caetano Veloso and Chico Buarque. In 1996 Bebel was featured in the AIDS charity project Red Hot + Rio, produced by her close friend and collaborator Béco Dranoff. By the mid '90s, Bebel also had successes as songwriter with the international dance hits "Technova" and "Batucada" in collaboration with producers Towa Tei and Arto Lindsay.

Bebel was featured on the soundtrack of Brad Anderson's film 'Next Stop Wonderland' with Vinicius Cantuária and Mauro Refosco. In the late 1990s, Bebel moved to London where she began to develop the sound featured on her critically acclaimed debut album 'Tanto Tempo'. During this period, she met Suba, the multi-talented Serbian producer living in São Paulo who ended up writing and producing several tracks on 'Tanto Tempo'. While in London, she also worked with DJ/producer Amon Tobin, Dutch duo Arling & Cameron and singer Nina Miranda.

In 2000, Bebel's 'Tanto Tempo' album was released on the Ziriguiboom imprint Crammed Discs and has sold over one million copies worldwide. The album was also nominated for two Latin Grammy Awards. Her second album, 'Bebel Gilberto' (2004), was also released to great critical acclaim, receiving a MOBO Award in the UK and also a World Music Grammy nomination.

Two critically acclaimed remix albums with songs from both albums were released and many of her songs were included in compilations and feature and TV films. The song "Lonely" was featured in the FX television show Nip/Tuck. The songs "Samba de Benção", "Tanto Tempo", and "Mais Feliz" are used in the art exhibition scene in the 2004 movie Closer. Bebel also tours the world extensively bringing her music to audiences all over the world

In 2006, Bebel duetted with Mike Patton on the song "Caipirinha" which appears on his Peeping Tom album, released on May 30, 2006.

Also in 2006, Bebel started writing and producing the songs that would become part of her third album Momento, released in April 2007. On this album, Bebel collaborated with UK producer Guy Sigsworth, her friends Didi Gutman and Sabina Sciubba (from NY based band Brazilian Girls) and the Rio based Orquestra Imperial.

Bebel is single and still resides in New York City where her band is based.

Shortly before her 2007 tour, and ten days before the release of her album "Memento", she broke her foot, preventing from walking and making it difficult to rehearse with the band prior to the tour. In a Reuters article, Gilberto said that she used Skype to rehearse with the band during her recovery.



  • Bebel Gilberto (EP) (1986) / Warner
  • De Tarde, Vendo O Mar (with Luizão Maia & Banzai) (1991)
  • Tanto Tempo (2000) Ziriguiboom / Crammed Discs
  • Bebel Gilberto (2004) Ziriguiboom / Crammed Discs
  • Momento (2007) Ziriguiboom / Crammed Discs


  • Tanto Tempo Remixes (2001) Ziriguiboom / Crammed Discs
  • Tanto Tempo (Special Remix Edition) (2003)
  • Bebel Gilberto Remixed (2005) Ziriguiboom / Crammed Discs


  • Bring Back The Love - Remixes EP 1 (2007) [digital-only]
  • Bring Back The Love - Remixes EP 2 (2007) [digital-only]
  • Live Session (iTunes Exclusive) - EP (2008) [digital-only]

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Bebel Gilberto" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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