Born João Gilberto do Prado Pereira de Oliveira on June 10, 1931, in the town of Juázeiro in the northeastern state of Bahia, Brazil. His father was a wealthy merchant who insisted that all of his seven children receive an education. Gilberto defied his father's wishes however, devoting himself to music after receiving a guitar from his godfather at the age of 14.
By the age of 18, Gilberto had moved to Salvador, the capital of Bahia, where he sought to earn a living as a radio performer. While never finding major success as a solo artist on radio, he gained the attention of a member of the vocal group Garotos da Lua (Boys from the Moon), who performed regularly on Radio Tupi in Rio de Janeiro, and he was invited to join the group. Gilberto moved to Rio to replace the group's vocalist, Jonas Silva, whose subdued style displeased the group's artistic director. Ironically, Gilberto would later popularize a whisper-like vocal method highly reminiscent of Silva. Gilberto lasted only one year with Garotos da Lua. After showing up late or altogether missing several performances, the group fired him.
Read more articles