Luiz Paulo Bello Simas was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1948 in the neighborhood of Tijuca, in the north zone of Rio, into a typical middle class family. His father worked in a bank, and his mother, who later became a math teacher, was a homemaker. He was still an infant when his family moved to Leme, in Rio's south zone, then to Copacabana, where he started piano lessons at the age of four. He practiced on his great grandmother's old Pleyel. They moved again to Rio's north zone, and then back to the south zone to settle in the neighborhood of Ipanema. His grandfather, a dentist who was a pioneer in the use of dental implants in Brazil, bought a large apartment with the help of money he had won in a lottery.
At this time Luiz used to listen to a varied cocktail of genres on the radio: samba-canções by Miltinho, Caubi Peixoto and Ângela Maria, samba-de-breques by Moreira da Silva, and a variety of styles by other Brazilian singers