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Maria Bethânia

Biography

She's Caetano Veloso's sister, but that's not why she's famous. Bethania has a voice that's markedly different from her brother's: her gutsy, throaty delivery stands out in the Brazilian Pop tradition and has made her one of the genre's definitive singers. Her career is a story of accident and resistance. She originally intended to be an actress, and seemed headed in that direction when Veloso convinced her to sing in a play and then appear in a few concerts he was organizing. Their successes bolstered her name recognition as a singer, and the balance tipped when she substituted for another Brazilian singer on a TV show. The rest is history. Despite her reluctance, Bethania's enjoyed a vibrant career since the 1960s. You can hear her influence on such latter-day singers as Virginia Rodriguez.

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