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The latest in a long line of sultry Brazilian singers, CeU enjoyed a big boost for her career when Starbucks made her the first international artist signed to their Hear Music Debut series in 2007. But don't let that put you off: her soulful delivery and command of Brazilian idioms make her a sultry addition to the stable of young Brazilian singers that includes Cibelle and Rosalia de Souza. Nominated for a Best New Artist Latin Grammy in 2006, CeU (born Maria do Ceu Whitaker Pocas) had been turning heads for years before that. Trained on the violao and in music theory in Brazil, CeU relocated to New York City for a few pivotal years after she completed her education. There she discovered everyone from Billie Holiday to Erykah Badu, and that unsanctioned education encouraged her to experiment with jazz and soul in her sound. A fortuitous connection with Antonio Pinto, who composed the score for City of God, also helped gain her entree into the Brazilian music world. Her self-titled debut was remarkably mature, never straying far from her roots (hints of samba are ever-present) but continually flirting with jazz, funk and soul.
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