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 legendary Jazz saxophonist Stan Getz at a Jazz festival in New York's Carnegie Hall . Back in Brazil Bebel performed and recorded in the soundtrack of the children's musical 'Os Saltimbancos' written by Sergio Bardotti and Chico Buarque which created a major impact. 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-writting 'Preciso Dizer Que Te Amo', which became a national hit winning 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 NY with her own band in such 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 in the company of such acts as Everything But The Girl, Maxwell, George Michael and more. By the mid 90's, 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 also featured in the soundtrack of Brad Anderson's film 'Next Stop Wonderland' with Vinicius Cantuária and Mauro Refosco. In the late 1990s Bebel moved to London and 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.