A year before the Beach Boys embarked on their Surfin' Safari, Roberto Carlos was redefining South American music — that was 50 years ago. Though Brazil's pop-rock movement kicked off in the 1950s, Carlos is considered one the pioneers of Jovem Guarda.
For more than half a century, the affable singer has recorded original music and cover songs in his native Portuguese as well as Spanish, Italian, and English. He's sold more records than Justin Bieber, and he's endlessly toured the globe. In 1961, Carlos released his first record, Louco Por Você, in Brazil.
Heavily influenced by 1950s rock 'n' roll, the young singer steered away from traditional Brazilian music at the time, opting for a more youthful sound comprised of catchy lyrics and even catchier melodies. In 1965, Carlos' Jovem Guarda record knocked the Beatles' Help! album out of the top spot on the Brazilian charts. By 1970, Carlos had already released ten albums and achieved international superstardom. But the singer kept going, releasing at least one album through 2008.
He's currently on tour promoting 2011's Projeto Emoções em Jeruzalém, a live album and DVD.