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Edson Arantes Do Nascimento

Pelé was a Brazilian soccer player, known as one of the greatest players of all time. Across his long and storied career, he also dabbled in music and in acting. He was born Edson Arantes do Nascimento on October 23, 1940, in Três Corações, Brazil. Pelé began playing soccer at a very young age, signing on to Santos FC at just 15. This led to him becoming a star player, and soon he joined Brazil’s national team. Pelé went on to represent Brazil in four World Cups, winning three of them. Pelé soon became a superstar on the national stage, routinely appearing on television shows and even movies. He also embarked on a music career, releasing several singles in Brazil during the 60s, 70s, and 80s, including the Elis Regina collaborative single "Perdão, Não Tem" (1969). In 1977, he worked with composer Sérgio Mendes on the soundtrack of a documentary about his life, contributing vocals to the songs "Meu Mundo É uma Bola" and "Cidade Grande." He performed a mix of Brazilian and international pop and rock songs. In 2006, having long retired from soccer, Pelé released the album Pelé Ginga. The album included songs such as the title track, featuring the participation of Brazilian rapper Rappin’ Hood. “Ginga” refers to Pelé’s football playing style, referring to the agility and fluid motion of “swaying” with the ball. The album also included the collaboration of legendary musician Gilberto Gil on the song “Quem Sou Eu.” This was followed by the release of the single "Esperança" in 2016 and the Rodrigo & Gabriela collaboration "Acredita no Véio" in 2018. Following a year-long battle with colon cancer, Pelé passed away on December 29, 2022, at age 82.  


©Copyright Music Story Evelyn Duskey 2023
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