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Céu (Portuguese pronunciation: [sɛu]), whose full name is Maria do Céu Whitaker Poças,[1] is a Brazilian singer-songwriter whose first American album was released on the Six Degrees Records label in April 2007. She was born in São Paulo, Brazil on April 17, 1980, into a musical family, her father being a composer, arranger and musicologist. It was from her father that she learned to appreciate Brazil's classical music composers, particularly Heitor Villa-Lobos, Ernesto Nazaré and Orlando Silva.

Céu @ sesc pompéia.jpg
Céu live in São Paulo on Aug 13, 2009.
Background information
Birth nameMaria do Céu Whitaker Poças
Born (1980-04-17) April 17, 1980 (age 39)
OriginSão Paulo, Brazil
GenresMPB, bossa nova, world music
InstrumentsVocals, keyboards, percussion
Years active2002-present
LabelsUrban Jungle, Six Degrees
MembersMaria do Céu Whitaker Poças
Lucas Martins
Bruno Buarque
DJ Marco
Guilherme Ribeiro

By age fifteen she had decided to become a musician and by her late teens she had studied music theory, as well as the violão (nylon-stringed Brazilian guitar). Her songs reveal her many influences, which include samba, valsa, choro, soul, rhythm and blues, hip hop, afrobeat and electrojazz music.[2]

In particular, she cites as influences the music of African-Americans Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Lauryn Hill, and Erykah Badu, as well as Brazilian Jorge Ben.[3]

Céu was performing onstage with major artists and exploring the repertoire of the marchinhas (turn-of-the-century carnival music) by her late teens. Soon after that she relocated temporarily to New York City, where she had a chance meeting with fellow Brazilian musician Antônio Pinto. She later learned that he was actually a distant cousin. Their relationship was renewed when he teamed up with lead producer Beto Villares, composer of the musical score for the movie O Ano em Que Meus Pais Saíram de Férias (2007), to help her record her album. Pinto, who produced Céu's song "Ave Cruz" is the composer of the musical score for two Oscar Nominated films, Central Station (film) (1999) and City of God (2002).[citation needed]

Originally issued in 2005 on the São Paulo-based Urban Jungle, Céu was picked up by Six Degrees/Starbucks/Hear Music in the US and UK, JVC in Japan and Harmonia Mundi in France and in the Netherlands. Céu received a Latin Grammy nomination for "Best New Artist" of 2006.[citation needed]

In 2009, her critically acclaimed second album Vagarosa reached #2 on the US Billboard's World Music charts. The album has since been nominated for a 2010 Latin Grammy Award for Best Brazilian Contemporary Pop Album.[4] In 2010, Céu was invited by Herbie Hancock to record a version of "Tempo de Amor" for The Imagine Project album.[citation needed]

In 2011, she contributed a version of the track "It's a Long Way" in collaboration with Apollo Nove and N.A.S.A. for the Red Hot Organization's most recent charitable album Red Hot + Rio 2. The album is a follow-up to the 1996 Red Hot + Rio. In 2012, Céu received her fourth Grammy nomination for "Best Contemporary Brazilian Pop Album" for her critically acclaimed third album Caravana Sereia Bloom.[citation needed]

In 2014, she released in Brazil her first live DVD/CD entitled Céu – Ao Vivo, the concert was filmed in August 2014 in São Paulo and contains 15 tracks in total, including the never before released cover versions of all time classics "Piel Canela" and "Mais Uma Noite de Amor", behind the scenes footage of the band and more. Céu - Ao Vivo also includes live versions of Céu's greatest hits, "Lenda", "Malemolência", "10 Contados", "Cangote" and "Baile de Ilusão".[citation needed]



  • Céu (céu) means "sky" and "heaven" in Portuguese.[1]
  • Booking Agency: Loop Productions (Europe) - The Agency Group (USA, Australia, Japan)
  • The song "Malemolência" was featured on the soccer game by EA Sports, FIFA 08.[5]
  • Starbucks has promoted her album in its coffeehouses through its Hear Music Debut CD series. She is the first international artist chosen by Starbucks for promotion.
  • Céu performed at the opening ceremony of the 2007 Pan American Games.
  • In 2008 Céu formed the São Paulo collective Sonantes with Brazilian musicians and producers Rica Amabis, Gui Amabis, Pupillo, Dengue.
  • Céu is one of the relatively few Brazilian artists who has performed at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival (2010).
  • Between 2013 and 2014 Céu performed a series of concerts in Brazil to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the release of Bob Marley and the Wailers’ legendary album Catch a Fire.


Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Awards Category Recipient Outcome Ref.
2006 Latin Grammy Best New Artist Céu Nominated
2007 MTV Video Music Brazil Best New Act Céu Nominated
Grammy Awards Best Contemporary World Music Album CéU Nominated [6]
2009 APCA Trophy Best Female Céu Won [7]
MTV Video Music Brazil Best MPB Act Céu Nominated
2010 Latin Grammy Brazilian Contemporary Pop Album Vagarosa Nominated
MTV Video Music Brazil Best MPB Act Céu Nominated
2012 Latin Grammy Best Brazilian Contemporary Pop Album Caravana Sereia Bloom Nominated [8]
2016 Best Portuguese Language Contemporary Pop Album Tropix Won [9]
Best Engineered Album Won
Multishow Award Brazilian music Best Engineered Album Won
Best album cover Nominated
Version of the year (Superjúri) Won
Best Video Perfume do Invisível Nominated
Best clip direction Won
Best clip photo Won
Song of the Year Nominated


  1. ^ a b "Ceu: From Brazil with Love: World Cafe". NPR. 2007-04-13. Retrieved 2016-05-23.
  2. ^ Garcia, Adriana (2007-04-20). "Singer Ceu brings sexy back to Brazilian music". Reuters. Retrieved 2016-05-23.
  3. ^ Slater, Russ (2011-07-26). "It's Natural: An Interview with Céu". Retrieved 2016-05-23.
  4. ^ Slater, Russ (2010-09-10). "Céu, Banda de Turistas and Choc Quib Town nominated for Latin Grammys". Retrieved 2016-05-23.
  5. ^ "FIFA 08 Soundtrack". 2007-09-11. Retrieved 2016-05-23.
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 12, 2007. Retrieved December 12, 2007.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  7. ^ "Confira a lista dos vencedores do prêmio APCA 2009 - Cultura - Estadão". 2009-12-10. Retrieved 2016-05-23.
  8. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 26, 2012. Retrieved January 8, 2016.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  9. ^

External linksEdit