Famous Brazilian Songs

“Listen & read about popular and famous Brazilian songs”

There has been a variety of Brazilian songs that have helped shape and influence many musicians worldwide.

When most people think of Brazilian music, the first thing that comes to mind are Samba and Bossa Nova with their unique rhythm. But, there is so much more than just those two specific genres.

Below is a list that includes some of the most popular Brazilian songs recorded in a specific genre. The first list include a group of artists that were responsible for shaping the sounds of Brazilian music. If you want to listen to some wonderful Brazilian songs and learn a bit more about the music of Brazil than see below.

First, lets have a look at the best of Brazilian music and some of the most popular Brazilian songs from the 1930’s to the 1970’s.

1. Ary Barroso – “Aquarela Do Brasil” (Watercolor of Brazil) (1939)
Ary Barroso - Aquarela Do Brasil

This song is one of the most famous Brazilian songs in history. It was written in 1939 by Ary Barroso, he invented the so-called Samba of Exaltation, his songs were focused on music that highlighted the beauty of Brazilian nature. This song Aquarela do Brazil (“Watercolor of Brazil”) has been the most recorded Brazilian single after “Garota de Ipanema” (“The Girl From Ipanema”).

Here is a Disney Version of the song.



2. Waldir Azevedo – “Brasileirinho” (1947)
Waldir Azevedo - Brasileirinho

Waldir Azevedo wrote one the most popular and unforgettable Brazilian songs called “Brasileirinho” in 1947. This song is one of those Brazilian songs that have become part of the collective soul of Brazil. This style of song is called choro and is played with a cavaquinho, which is a type of Brazilian instrument that looks like a small guitar similar to a Hawaiian ukulele. This musical style has became a point of musical reference for the old and new generations in Brazil and has touched almost every corner of the Brazilian music.



3. Tom Jobim & Vinicius de Moraes – “Chega de Saudade” (1957)
Girl From Ipanema

Tom Jobim and Vinicius de Moraes produced a variety of hit songs, one of them was Chega de Saudade. This was written by those two in 1957 in the Album Cancao Do Amor Demais. This song is one the most important piece of Bossa Nova and became a big inspiration for several Brazilian artist and another version of it was produced by Joao Gilberto that became a big hit in Brazil.



4. Joao Gilberto – “Desafinado” (1959)
Girl From Ipanema

In 1959 Joao Gilberto recorded this song “Desafinado” from one of his albums and become one of the most famous Brazilian songs of all time. This song helped influence the whole Bossa Nova Movement and its revolutionary guitar playing style influenced a variety of other artists. This song became one of the best singles from his album and it was a worldwide sensation after it was recorded by Stan Getz and Charlie Bird in 1962.



5. Tom Jobim & Vinicius de Moraes – “Garota De Ipanema” (1962)
Girl From Ipanema

The Girl From Ipanema is another popular song by Tom Jobim and is probably the most famous Brazilian song in history, and its still the most recorded Brazilian song from different artists around the world. This song won a Grammy for Record of the year in 1965. The song was written by Tom Jobim and Vinicius De Moraes about a girl walking through the Ipanema beach in Rio de Janeiro.



6. Jorge Ben – “Mas Que Nada” (1963)
Mas Que Nada

Jorge Ben was one of the most innovative Brazilian artists and his song Mais Que Nada got the attention of all Brazilians because of his unique musical style and unique character. A later version of this song by Sergio Mendes is probably the most popular version of this song. In 2006, Sergio Mendes re-recorded the song with The Black Eyed Peas.

Mas Que Nada by Sergio Mendes & The Black Eyed Peas



7. Os Mutantes – “Panis et Circensis” (1968)
Panis et Circensis

The song “Panis et Circenses” (Bread and Circus) was a collaboration by Gilberto Gil, Caetano Veloso, Nara Leao and Gal Costa. This song is a good reference for the people with interest in knowing a little bit more about the sounds that shaped the Brazilian Popular Music (MPB) and the Tropicalia the movement that changed the Brazilian Music in 1906s.

Os Mutantes – “Panis et Circenses” (English version)



8. Chico Buarque – “Roda Viva” (1968)
Chico Buarque - Roda Viva

In 1968, Chico Buarque wrote a song called “Roda Viva” which was the first Brazilian song that spoke about the dictatorship of 60s and 70s. This song is pioneer in the fight against oppression and censorship in Brazil. Chico Buarque was considered one of the best Brazilian musicians in history.



9. Roberto Carlos – “Detalhes” (1971)
Roberto Carlos - Detalhes

“Detalhes” is a song written by Roberto Carlos that played an important role in the making of modern Brazilian Pop music. This Brazilian song even today is still listened to by thousands of people and he is often considered the king of pop in Brazil. He is considered one of the most influential artists in Brazil during the 1960s, being cited as a source of inspiration by many artists and bands up to the 1980s.



10. Elis Regina & Tom Jobim – “Aguas De Marco” (1974)
Elis Regina & Tom Jobim - Aguas De Marco

This song “Aguas da Mata” (Waters of March), produced by Elis Regina and composed by Tom Jobim in 1974 has remained one of the most famous Brazilian songs. It is a song that talks about the natural environment that gives birth to life. In 2001 it was named as the best Brazilian song in history in a poll of more than 200 Brazilian musicians, other artists, and journalists in a contest conducted by Brazil’s leading Folha de Sao Paulo.



Brazilian Songs 1990’s – Today

Lets have a look at some of the most famous Brazilian songs produced from the 1990’s to today.


1. Ivete Sangalo – “Quando a Chuva passar”
Ivete Sangalo - Quando a Chuva passar

Ivete Sangalo is one of the most popular and best-selling Brazilian artists of the present. She has won various Latin Grammy Awards and she often considered the best Brazilian Axé and MPB singer in Brazil. Her solo career has sold a total of over 12 million albums worldwide. Quando a Chuva Passar is one the best hit of Ivete Sangalo



2. Zezé Di Camargo & Luciano – “E O Amor”
Zezé Di Camargo & Luciano - E O Amor

Zezé Di Camargo & Luciano are brothers and Brazil’s most famous sertanejo/country singing duo. They had their first album recorded in 1991 and their song “E o Amor” the most popular song of that year and one of the most famous sertanejo songs ever.



3. O Rappa – “Pescador de Ilusões”
O Rappa - Pescador de Ilusões

O Rappa is a reggae/rock band that combine many styles such as rock, reggae, funk, hip hop and samba. O Rappa’s songs contain sharp protests against the social problems occurring in Brazil and the members of the band themselves are supporters of numerous social projects. One of the most famous songs of the group is a song called “Pescador de Ilusões”.



4. Jota Quest – “So Hoje”
Jota Quest - So Hoje

Jota Quest is a Brazilian pop rock band that was formed in 1995. “Só Hoje” (Only Today) is one of the group’s
biggest hits.



5. Djavan – “Oceano”
Djavan - Oceano

The song “Oceano” by Djavan is one of the most beautiful and touching Brazilian songs that has been written by a singer. Djavan combines traditional Brazilian rhythms with popular music drawn from the Americas, Europe and Africa. His musical style can be categorized in any of the following musical genres: Música Popular Brasileira (Brazilian pop), samba, or Latin dance.



6. Caetano Veloso – “Burn it Blue”
Caetano Veloso - Burn it Blue

This song “Burn It Blue” is a duet together with Caetano Veloso and Lila Downs is considered one of the best songs composed by Caetano Veloso. This song was played in the film Frida.



7. Maria Rita – “Caminhos das Aguas”
Maria Rita - Caminhos das Aguas

In 2006 Maria Rita hit the top of the charts with the song “Caminhos das Aguas” and she won the Latin Grammy Award of best Album and song, and the song became very popular in the world of Jazz.



8. Zeca Pagodinho – “SPC”
Brazilian songs SPC

Zeca Pagodinho is an singer and songwriter working in the genres of samba and pagode. One of his best known songs is “SPC”. It is about a blacklist of bad debtors from which it is hard to get one’s name removed. It tells the story of someone who asks a friend to use their credit card on his behalf; afterwards, the relationship breaks up.



9. Ana Carolina – “E isso Ai”
Brazilian song - E isso Ai

In 2004, Ana Carolina performed a show with singer Seu Jorge, they released together a live CD and DVD of the show called Ana & Jorge. The song, “É Isso Aí”, a Portuguese version for Damien Rice’s “The Blower’s Daughter”, reached the 1 spot on the charts.




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