Top 13 Brazilian Female Singers

Photo of Astrud Gilberto
Astrud Gilberto. Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Besides the vibrant beats and sweet notes of the musical universe surrounding Brazilian music, the voices of artists like Elis Regina, Astrud Gilberto, and Marisa Monte have also played a major role in the worldwide appeal that Brazilian music enjoys today.

The seductive, sweet melodies of Brazil perhaps have no greater representation than the females who brought their music to the rest of the world. The following list, which provides a mix of legendary and contemporary stars, introduces some of the most influential women in Brazilian music.

Maria Rita

Maria Rita At SummerStage
Jack Vartoogian/Getty Images

Maria Rita is one of today's most popular Brazilian female singers. The daughter of the legendary Brazilian artist Elis Regina, this singer from Sao Paulo achieved worldwide fame thanks to her album "Maria Rita," which sold over 2 million copies worldwide.

Top songs from this talented artist include "Cara Valente," "Corpitcho" and the unique version of the legendary Spanish song "Dos Gardenias."

Astrud Gilberto

Astrud Gilberto became a worldwide sensation thanks to her version of "The Girl from Ipanema," the most famous famous Brazilian song in history.

After her initial success, Gilberto developed a career mostly singing Bossa Nova classics. Besides "The Girl From Ipanema," top hits from Astrud Gilberto include singles like "Agua De Beber" and "Berimbau."

Ivete Sangalo

Ivete Sangalo is a Latin Grammy winner and one of the most beloved singers and songwriters of Brazilian Pop music. The beginning of her career was marked by her role as a lead singer for the Axe group Banda Eva.

Since 1997, however, she has recorded seven albums as a solo artist. Some of her most famous hits include tracks such as "Sorte Grande" and "Nao Precisa Mudar."

Clara Nunes

Known in Brazil as The Queen of Samba, Clara Nunes developed a successful career singing memorable tracks from artists such as Paulinho da Viola and Chico Buarque.

Her music was heavily influenced by her interest and passion for Afro-Brazilian culture. During her lifetime, she recorded 16 albums and timeless hits such as "Canto Das Tres Racas," "Portela Na Avenida" and "Morena De Angola."

Daniela Mercury

The best selling artist with over 20 million albums sold worldwide, Daniela Mercury has developed a music career shaped around the sounds of Axe, Samba-Reggae and Pop music.

Her exhilarating repertoire includes tracks like "Rapunzel," "O Canto Da Cidade" and "Batuque," which propelled this Portuguese songstress to international fame and recognition.

Adriana Calcanhoto

Adriana Calcanhoto is the owner of one of the sweetest voices in Brazilian music. Her romantic and melancholic style has been mainly defined by Pop music and Bossa Nova.

Some of her best tracks include her version of the famous Brazilian love song "Eu Sei Que Vou Te Amar" and the eclectic hit "Previsao," which she recorded alongside the group Bossacucanova.

Nara Leao

Although she was known as The Muse of Bossa Nova, Nara Leao also played a significant role in the Tropicalia movement that confronted the Brazilian dictatorship of the 1960s and 1970s.

She was, in fact, featured on the movement's iconic album "Tropicalia: Ou Panis et Circenses," which was produced by the pioneering Rock band Os Mutantes alongside artists such as Gilberto Gil and Caetano Veloso.

Her musical legacy includes singles such as the worldwide hit "A Banda" and famous Bossa Nova tracks like "O Barquinho" and "Ate Quem Sabe."

Marisa Monte

Marisa Monte is one of the most beloved female artists from Brazil. Her gorgeous voice and pleasant style have allowed this singer from Rio de Janeiro to capture audiences all over the world.

Although she conquered the Brazilian market from the very beginning of her career, she achieved international exposure thanks to "Tribalistas," the hit album she recorded alongside the popular Brazilian artists Arnaldo Antunes and Carlinhos Brown.

Top songs by Marisa Monte include "Ja Sei Namorar," "Bem Leve," "Ainda Lembro" and "Ainda Bem."

Rita Lee

Rita Lee is one of the most alternative and innovative artists in Brazilian music, and in 1966, she became the lead singer of the Rock band Os Mutantes. Because of this, she was also an important figure of the Brazilian Tropicalia movement.

Some of her most famous songs include "Lanca-Perfume" and "Mania De Voce."

Gal Costa

Just like Nara Leao and Rita Lee, Gal Costa was also featured on the album "Tropicalia: Ou Panis et Circenses" because of the influence her own music had on the movement.

From that album, her version of Caetano Veloso's track "Baby" became a sensation in Brazil. Since then, Gal Costa has been mostly singing Brazilian Popular Music (MPB) and Bossa Nova classics.

Some of her best songs include hits like "Aquarela Do Brasil" and "Modinha De Gabriela."

Beth Carvalho

For more than four decades, this talented singer and musician has been defining the sounds of Brazilian music. Although she was part of the early Bossa Nova movement, the music of Beth Carvalho has been defined by Samba.

Some of the best songs recorded by this legendary artists include "Coisinha Do Pai," "1800 Colinas" and "Vou Festejar."

Maria Bethania

Maria Bethania is one of the most iconic Brazilian women in history with her low and melancholic voice as well as the feeling she brings to music setting her apart from the rest of Brazilian female singers.

Some of Maria Bethania's best tracks include titles such as "Negue," "Mel, "Explode Coracao" and "Eu Preciso De Voce." She is the sister of Caetano Veloso.

Elis Regina

Elis Regina is widely considered the most important female singer from Brazil, an idea that was reinforced after her tragic death in 1982.

Her 1974 collaboration work with the legendary Antonio Carlos Jobim "Elis & Tom" placed Elis Regina at the top of her popularity.

Top hits from Elis Regina include "Aguas De Marco," "Aquarela Do Brasil/Nega Do Cabelo Duro," "So Tinha De Ser Com Voce" and "Madalena."