Christened Gilberto Passos Gil Moreira. Born on 29 June 1942 in the city of Salvador in the Brazilian province of Bahia.

As a young working-class boy, Gilberto Gil showed musical talent at an early age mastering several instruments. After hearing João Gilberto on the radio he taught himself to play the guitar and the bossa nova rhythm that became his hallmark.

Gilberto Gil has since released over 30 albums, which have sold 5 million copies worldwide. The Tropicalist genre he introduced secured his fame internationally as well as at home. Among his greatest hits are the tracks 'Domingo no Parque', 'Expresso 2222' and 'Não chore mais' (Tropicalist version of Bob Marley's 'No Woman, No Cry').

Over the years, his political activism, such as environmental activism, gained prominence alongside his musical career. His political career reached its height in 2002 when he was appointed minister for culture by the socialist government of President de Silvas.