Infobox Musical artist
Name = CéU

Img_capt =
Img_size = 220
Landscape =
Background = solo_singer
Birth_name = Maria do Céu Whitaker Poças
Alias =
Born = birth date and age|1980|4|17
Died =
Origin = São Paulo, Brazil
Instrument =
Voice_type =
Genre = Brazilian
Occupation = singer/songwriter
Years_active =
Label = Urban Jungle, Ambulante DIscos, Six Degrees Records, Oplus Music
Associated_acts =
URL = http://www.urbanjungle.com.br/
Current_members = Maria do Céu Whitaker Poças
Lucas Martins
Bruno Buarque
DJ Marco
Guilherme Ribeiro
Serginho Machado
Past_members =
Notable_instruments =

CéU (spelled with the uppercase "U" and pronounced IPA2|sɛw), whose full name is Maria do Céu Whitaker Poças, [http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=9914274 David Dye, "CéU: From Brazil with Love," World Cafe (National Public Radio), 30 April 2007, on NPR.org.] is a Brazilian singer-songwriter whose first American album was released on the Six Degrees 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.

By age fifteen she had decided to become a musician and by her late teens she had studied music theory, as well as the " [http://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viol%C3%A3o#Viol.C3.A3o_popular 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.

As CéU herself explained, "I have a passion for Black culture, from Jazz divas to Afro beat. Everything comes from Africa. With Samba, I have a very strong connection to the old school that we call 'Samba de raiz' (Root Samba). I am a vinyl listener, so I tried to bring some of that to the CD, mixing it with modern things like rap or even 'Brega', which is the newest thing in Brazil." [http://www.reuters.com/article/gc08/idUSN1940558420070420 "Singer Ceu brings sexy back to Brazilian music" (Reuter's report), 20 April 2007.]

In particular, she cites as influences the music of Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Lauryn Hill, and Erykah Badu.

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 Antonio Pinto, who became her flat mate while he was going through some financial difficulties. She later learned that he was actually a distant cousin, and their relationship was renewed when he teamed up with lead producer Beto Villares, composer of the musical score for the 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 (film) (2003.)

Originally issued in 2005 on the São Paulo-based Urban Jungle and Beto Villares’ Ambulante Discos, CéU was picked up by Six Degrees/Starbucks/Hear Music in the US and UK (in partenrship with WhatMusic), by LCL in Canada, JVC in Japan and Oplus in France and in the Netherlands. CéU has a Latin Grammy nomination for “best new artist” of 2006 and just received a Grammy nomination for "Best Contemporary World Music Album." of 2007. She is also riding high on a wave of international success in France, where the influential Les Inrockuptibles recognized her as one of the top 5 musical revelations of 2005, Holland, and Italy, as well as in Canada, where she was recently the fourth highest-selling artist for the Archambault chain of music shops while simultaneously holding the number 32 slot on the pop charts.Debut album in the U.S. with Six Degrees Records as the first international artist on Starbucks' Hear Music Debut Series. Her album was received with critical praise from NPR's Morning Edition, The Associated Press, Reuters, and many more, hailing her as "…a fresh new face in the Brazilian music scene." Her album has sound scanned over 90,000 copies to date, making her the biggest selling Brazilian artist of 2007. CéU reached unprecedented chart numbers for a Brazilian female artist -- 1 on Billboard's Heatseekers (New Artist) Chart, 57 on the Billboard Hot 100 and 1 on Billboard's World Music charts. In 2008, CéU received a Grammy nomination for “Best Contemporary World Music Album” of 2007 for her debut album CéU.


*"CéU" ("céu") means "sky" in Portuguese. [http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=9914274 David Dye, "CéU: From Brazil with Love," World Cafe (National Public Radio), 30 April 2007, on NPR.org.]

*Ceu's labels around the world: CéU's album was produced by São Paulo based labels Ambulante Discos (ambulantediscos.com.br) and Urban Jungle Records (urbanjungle.com.br) and has been released around the world in partnership with: USA/UK/Germany - Six Degrees Records-sixdegreesrecords.com - France/Benelux/Italy - Oplus Music -oplus.org - Canada - LCL Music - fusion3.com - Japan - JVC Music - jvcmusic.co.jp - Brazil/Mexico/Chile/Argentina/Spain/Portugal WarnerMusic - warnermusic.com

*Booking Agency: International Music Network - imnworld.com

*The song "Malemolência" was featured on the soccer game FIFA 08.

*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. [http://sixdegreesrecords.com/artists.php?artist=C%E9U CéU's Biographical Sketch at SixDegreesRecords.com.]

* 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.


*2005 - "CéU" (#57 Billboard 200/#4 Top Independent Albums/#1 Top Heatseekers)
*2007 - "Remixed EP" (digitally released only)

Awards and Nominations

* 2006 Latin Grammy nomination for “best new artist” of that year.
* 2007 Grammy nomination for “Best Contemporary World Music Album (Vocal or Instrumental)” of that year for her debut album CéU. [http://www.grammy.com/GRAMMY_Awards/50th_Show/list.aspx#16, 50th Grammy Awards Nomination List]



* [http://www.myspace.com/ceuambulante Official MySpace]
* [http://www.ceumusic.com/ Official CéU Web Site]
* [http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=9521671 "CéU's Brazilian Melting Pot," Morning Edition (National Public Radio), 13 April 2007, NPR.org]
* [http://sixdegreesrecords.com/artists.php?artist=C%E9U CéU's Biographical Sketch at SixDegreesRecords.com]
* [http://www.reuters.com/article/gc08/idUSN1940558420070420 "Singer Ceu brings sexy back to Brazilian music" (Reuters report)]
* [http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=9914274 David Dye, "CéU: From Brazil with Love," World Cafe (National Public Radio), 30 April 2007, NPR.org]

External links

* [http://music.download.com/ceu/3600-9050_32-101038200.html “Ave Cruz” - free mp3 at music.download.com]
* [http://www.last.fm/music/C%C3%A9U, CéU on Last.fm]

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