Bebel Gilberto (born Isabel Gilberto on 12 May 1966 in New York City) is a Brazilian popular singer often associated with bossa nova. She is the daughter of João Gilberto and singer Miúcha and her uncle is singer/composer Chico Buarque.
Bebel has been performing since her youth in Rio de Janeiro. At the age of seven, Bebel made an appearance on her Mother’s first solo album Miucha. At age nine, Bebel performed with her mother and jazz saxophonist Stan Getz at a Jazz festival at Carnegie Hall.
Back in Brazil Bebel performed and recorded on the soundtrack of the children’s musical Os Saltimbancos written by Sergio Bardotti and Chico Buarque which created a major impact.
Later, Bebel joined an experimental theatrical and formed founded the performance space ‘Circo Voador’ at Ipanema Beach. At this group she met singer/songwriter Cazuza, who became a close friend and later on a major rock star in the 1980’s.
At this time Bebel started to write songs with collaborators such as Dé, with whom she co-wrote
Preciso Dizer Que Te Amo, which became a national hit winning several music awards. Bebel’s first solo album was the 1986 Bebel Gilberto EP.
In 1991 Bebel moved back to New York where she performed first at the Brooklyn Academy Of Music in a special tribute to Carmem Miranda, directed by Arto Lindsay (also featured Naná Vasconcelos and Laurie Anderson). Bebel later started performing with her own band in such downtown New York clubs like Metronome, Lion’s Den, Zanzibar and in several venues such as The Ballroom, The Rainbow Room, SOB’s, Town Hall Theater, The Greatest Bar On Earth (at the top of the World Trade Center), and Lincoln Center.
Throughout the 1990’s, Bebel collaborated with a variety of musical stars such as Arto Lindsay, Thievery Corporation, David Byrne, Caetano Veloso and Chico Buarque. In 1996 Bebel was featured in the AIDS charity project Red Hot + Rio, produced by friend and collaborator Béco Dranoff in the company of such acts as Everything but the Girl, Maxwell, George Michael and more. in the 1990’s, Gilberto also had success as a songwriter with the international dance hits “Technova” and “Batucada” in collaboration with producers Towa Tei and Arto Lindsay.
Bebel was also featured in the soundtrack of Brad Anderson’s film Next Stop Wonderland with Vinicius Cantuária and Mauro Refosco. By the late 1990’s, Bebel had moved to London and started developing the sound of her acclaimed album Tanto Tempo. There, she worked with Amon Tobin, Arling & Cameron, Nina Miranda, and met Suba, a Serbian producer living in São Paulo. He went on to write and produce Tanto Tempo.
In 2000, Bebel’s Tanto Tempo album was released on Ziriguiboom/Crammed Discs, selling over one million copies worldwide to date. Bebel received two Latin Grammy nominations for the album.
In 2004, the second album, Bebel Gilberto was released also to great acclaim receiving a MOBO Award in the UK and also a World Music Grammy nomination.
Bebel is single and still resides in New York City where her band is based. After touring extensively, Bebel is currently working with UK producer Guy Sigsworth on her new release for later in 2006.