Roberto Carlos Braga (Portuguese pronunciation: ; born April 19, 1941 in Cachoeiro do Itapemirim, Esp?rito Santo, Brazil) is a Grammy Award-winning Brazilian singer, who has achieved a great deal of success and recognition in his 50 year career.
Most of his songs are written in partnership with his friend, singer and songwriter Erasmo Carlos. Roberto Carlos has sold over 100 million albums around the world. He is considered one of the most influential artists in Brazil during the 1960s, being cited as a source of inspiration by many artists and bands up to the 1990s.
Influenced by his idol Elvis Presley and the 1950s rock revolution, he rose to stardom as the main figure of the 1960s musical movement known as Jovem Guarda (Young Guard) (in opposition to the 'Old Guard' of Brazilian music). Although being the name "Jovem Guarda" a phrase that became from Russian Lenin, about the new concept of youths of Russian Revolution, it was created by Paulo Machado de Carvalho. "Jovem Guarda" was the first manifestation of the Brazilian pop rock movement. Since then, Roberto Carlos has been called 'O Rei' (the King), as well as Elvis, Pel? and Michael Jackson.
When his first single and first LP (Louco por voc?, 1961) were commercial failures, Roberto Carlos was in danger of being fired from CBS in favor of S?rgio Murilo, the first successful rock singer in Brazil. Nevertheless, Murilo was fired instead for colliding with musical director Evandro Ribeiro over repertoire and payment, opening up space for Roberto Carlos.
During the 1960s, Roberto Carlos also starred in a few motion pictures directed by Roberto Farias, many of them heavily inspired by the Beatles movies. Later, he moved towards a more serious, adult contemporary approach to singing, whilst consistently continuing to score hits throughout the 1970s and 1980s, in his country, throughout Latin America, Portugal, Spain and Italy. He remained active through the 1990s and beyond, focusing on romantic songs. Every year, Roberto Carlos hosts a special TV show singing his greatest hits along with special guests. The show has become a tradition in Brazilian television.
In the 1980s, Roberto Carlos also started to record in English and French (he had already recorded albums in Spanish, Italian, and, naturally, Portuguese). He has won the Globo de Cristal trophy, awarded by CBS to Brazilian artists who sell more than five million copies outside Brazil. At the same time, his albums continued to break records in his country. "Caminhoneiro" (1984) was aired 3,000 times in a single day, another record soon beaten by his own "Verde e Amarelo" (1985), with 3,500 spins. In 1986, he had success at Radio City Music Hall (New York, NY) and, two years later, won the Grammy as the Best Latin American Pop singer.
In 1989, Roberto Carlos became one of the only Brazilians ever to win a Grammy Award in the category of Best Latin Pop Album with Roberto Carlos / Tolo.
In the mid 1990s, with the retro Jovem Guarda wave, Roberto Carlos, who was worn out among the younger generations who had only known his romantic and sentimental hits directed at a middleaged audience, had his importance retrieved by younger musicians such as C?ssia Eller, Adriana Calcanhotto, Chico Science e Na??o Zumbi, Bar?o Vermelho and Skank. Skank also recorded Rei, a tribute to Roberto Carlos with his ancient "Jovem Guarda" hits.
In 1998, his second wife, Maria Rita, discovered she had cancer (she would die in 1999), which shattered his peace of mind. After one year of reclusion, Roberto Carlos returned to recording and performing. In 2001, he broke his contract with Sony (ex-CBS), the recording company through which he had released a vast majority of his albums, due to commercial reasons related to his wife's death. However, in a 2008 interview, Roberto Carlos stated that he had no intention of retiring from the music industry anytime soon. By the time, he was working on an album that was released in 2008.
On July 11, 2009, to celebrate his 50th career anniversary, Roberto Carlos performed a major show at Maracan? Stadium. It was his first presentation in the stadium. The estimated audience was about 70,000 people.
The house where he was born turned into a museum dedicated to him.