Gilberto Gil (born June 29, 1942) is a Brazilian singer and songwriter, best known for his late 1960s tropicalismo recordings. He is the nation's current Minister of Culture. He began his career as a bossa nova musician, but soon began writing songs that reflected a new focus on political awareness and social activism, along with fellow singer Caetano Veloso.
In 1969 (see 1969 in music), Gil and Veloso were arrested by the military government of Brazil for anti-government activities. Upon their release, the pair both moved to London. Gil began playing with groups like Yes, Pink Floyd and the Incredible String Band, while continuing his solo career. In the 1970s, he toured the US and moved into jazz-oriented material, before working with Jimmy Cliff and released a cover of "No Woman, No Cry" (Bob Marley & the Wailers; 1980; (see 1980 in music) that was a massive Brazilian hit.
Gil continued recording, performing and involving himself in various social causes, and was eventually elected to office in Salvador, Brazil, his hometown, in the early 1990s. After Lula was elected, the new president named Gil as Minister of Culture of Brazil.