26 September 1945 (age 77)
Salvador, Bahia, Brazil
Maria da Graça Costa Penna Burgos (born September 26, 1945 in Salvador, Brazil), best known as Gal Costa, is a popular Brazilian MPB singer and acoustic guitarist, regarded by many as Brazil's greatest female singer of all time. She's also known as the "Muse of Tropicália."
Gal became one of Brazil's foremost Tropicália counterculture movement singers during the late 1960s and early 70s, quickly earning the title as one of the best and most acclaimed singers in Brazil, following a very succesful career with many hits and prestige over the years. During Tropicália, she became a political activist, coming into conflict with Brazil's government when dissent in music was censored, and later coming to represent the movement all alone in her country when her fellow Tropicália members and friends were exhiled to London due to the heavy dictatorship that was going on at the time.
Fellow musician Caetano Veloso, introduced her to Gilberto Gil and Tom Zé in 1963 (and later Maria Bethânia), who managed to secure her a recording deal in São Paulo for her debut album Domingo with Caetano Veloso. A bit before recording her first album, "Father of Bossa Nova" João Gilberto, met her and after a couple of hours hearing Gracinha (as she was known at the time) sing for him as he was playing the acoustic guitar, he said: "Gracinha, you're Brazil's greatest female singer". In the following years, Gal would prove his statement right with a fruitful and rewarding career, and with the encouragement of João Gilberto himself; her biggest idol.
Gal has recorded songs composed by a number of Brazil's most popular songwriters such as Antônio Carlos Jobim, Jorge Ben Jor, Chico Buarque, Rita Lee and especially her close friends Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil. She's also a member of the supergroup Doces Bárbaros, active in 1976, 1994 and 2002.
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