Born in Mato Grosso, Brazil, in 1976, singer and composer Vanessa da Mata grew up listening to venerated artists like Antonio Carlos Jobim, Milton Nascimento, and Luiz Gonzaga, as well as the sounds of Rio she picked up on her radio. At 15, she relocated to UberlÃ¢ndia, Minas Gerais, and began performing in clubs, soon moving to SÃ£o Paulo to continue her career. She joined a reggae band, even singing with the famed Jamaican group Black Uhuru for a stint, while playing basketball and working as a model in her free time. But despite the strength of her voice, da Mata found her first taste of success as a composer. Teaming up with Chico CÃ©sar, she wrote the song "A ForÃ§a Que Nunca Seca," the title track for Maria BethÃ¢nia's 1999 album, and soon she was also working on pieces for Daniela Mercury, Ana Carolina, and CÃ©sar himself. Now with some years of experience under her belt, da Mata decided to finally record her own solo material, releasing her self-titled debut in 2002. It was her next album, Essa Boneca Tem Manuel, however, that really pushed her into the limelight, aided by the strength of the single "Ai Ai Ai." Three years later the singer's third album, Sim, was released, and featured appearances from the acclaimed pianist JoÃ£o Donato and American rocker Ben Harper, among others. ~ Marisa BrownPortions of Content Provided by Rovi Corporation.
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