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Milton Nascimento

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Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (1942 – present)

Milton Nascimento (born 26 October, 1942) is a singer-songwriter who is considered one of the icons of Brazilian Music.

Nascimento was born in Rio de Janeiro, and grew up in Três Pontas, Minas Gerais. His mother was the maid Maria do Carmo Nascimento. When he was just a few months old, the boy was adopted by the family for whom his mother had previously worked: the couple Josino Brito Campos (a banker, mathematics teacher and electronic technician) and Lília Silva Campos (a music teacher). He lived in the boroughs of Laranjeiras and Tijuca in Rio de Janeiro. When he was 18 months old, his biological mother died and he moved with his adoptive parents to the city of Três Pontas, in the State of Minas Gerais.

In the earlier stages of his career, Nascimento played in two groups, Evolussamba and Sambacana. In 1963 he moved to Belo Horizonte, and his friendship with the Borges brothers (Marilton, Márcio e Lô Borges) led to the Clube da Esquina (“corner club”) movement. Other members included Beto Guedes, Toninho Horta, Wagner Tiso, and Flavio Venturini.

Nascimento is famous for his chime-clear falsetto and tonal range, as well for highly acclaimed songs such as “Canção da América” (“Song from America”) and “Coração de Estudante” (“Student’s Heart”). The lyrics of “Coração de Estudante” remembers the funeral of the student Edson Luís, killed by police officers in 1968. The song became the hymn for the diretas Já campaign in 1984 and it was also played in the funeral of the late president Tancredo Neves the next year, who died before assuming the presidency.

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