Gilberto Passos Gil Moreira (born 26 June 1942), known professionally as Gilberto Gil (Brazilian Portuguese: [ʒiwˈbɛʁtu ˈʒiw]), is a Brazilian singer, guitarist, and songwriter, known for both his musical innovation and political activism. From 2003 to 2008, he served as Brazil's Minister of Culture in the administration of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Gil's musical style incorporates an eclectic range of influences, including rock, Brazilian genres including samba, African music, and reggae.
Gil started to play music as a child and was a teenager when he joined his first band. He began his career as a bossa nova musician and grew to write songs that reflected a focus on political awareness and social activism. He was a key figure in the Música popular brasileira and tropicália movements of the 1960s, alongside artists such as longtime collaborator Caetano Veloso. The Brazilian military regime that took power in 1964 saw both Gil and Veloso as a threat, and the two were held for nine months in 1969 before they were told to leave the country. Gil moved to London, but returned to Bahia in 1972 and continued his musical career, as well as worked as a politician and environmental advocate.
Gilberto Gil carries out a fundamental role in the constant modernization process of Brazilian popular music. Partaking of this scene for 41 years, he has developed one of the most relevant and renown careers as a singer, composer and guitar-player in this field. Gil has had his albums released abroad since 1978, the year of his successful performance at the Montreux Jazz Festival, in Switzerland, recorded live. Every year he tours Europe, North America, Latin America and Japan with his contagious pop music spoken in Portuguese-Brazilian and international language, a music with a strong rhythmic appeal and melodic richness, as mixed as its people.