Carlos Lyra is the winner of the 25th Shell Brasil Music Award

Shell Brasil announced on may 10th that the winner of the Shell Music Award 2005 is Carlos Lyra. The singer and songwriter was chosen by a jury made up of the musicians Liliane Secco, Wagner Tiso and Dado Villa-Lobos and the journalists Hugo Sukman and Beatriz Coelho.

"He is a great composer of bossa nova and, although he has produced some exceptional work, he is one of the few members of his generation who is yet to be honoured by this award", summarised Tiso.

The Shell Music Award, which is completing 25 years, pays homage to a living composer, who has contributed to the enrichment of Brazilian popular music 'for the collection of his work'.

Since its creation, the Award has already honoured Chico Buarque, Tom Jobim, Paulinho da Viola, Baden Powell, Milton Nascimento, Gilberto Gil, Rita Lee and, last year, the duo Aldir Blanc and João Bosco. The list of all the previous winners of the award can be seen below.

Know more about Carlos Lyra (Source: websites and

Prominent melodist, the name Carlos Lyra appeared at the same time as bossa nova, together with such personalities as João Gilberto, Tom Jobim, Vinicius de Moraes, Ronaldo Bôscoli and Roberto Menescal, peers from his youth. Indeed, Lyra and bossa nova are often confused, but the author of Primavera has always preserved his musical identity.

The author's style became apparent in his first album, Carlos Lyra - Bossa Nova, launched in 1959, with classics such as Quando Chegares, Menina and Rapaz de Bem. In the same year, three compositions from this work had been included in the album Chega de Saudade, from João Gilberto: Maria Ninguém, Lobo Bobo and Saudade fez um Samba, the last two in partnership with Bôscoli.

In 1960, he made soundtracks for films and plays and, with Vinicius de Moraes as a partner, launched hits like Você e Eu, Coisa mais Linda and Minha namorada. With the same partner, in 1963, he wrote the musical Pobre Menina Rica, that was turned into a record in 1964, in which new hits were launched such as Sabe Você?, Primavera, Maria Moita and Samba do Carioca, interpreted many times by Tom Jobim. But his strong link with the theatre and the movies started to politicize his work. Lyra's third album, launched in 1963, brought us Influência do Jazz, Aruanda, Maria do Maranhão and Marcha da Quarta-feira de Cinzas.

Carlos Lyra took it upon himself to transform the jovial and romantic bossa nova into a style of music more in tune with the reality that had already started to show signs of turbulent politics. This personal crusade led him to exile himself from the country on two occasions, one from 1964 to 1971 (year he launched an LP with Chico Buarque participation) and the other in 1974, when he caused a stir with the scathing Herói do Medo - a record filled with double meaning which attempted to illustrate that while the population eased their national conscience by watching mind-numbing soap operas and by cheering for the national football team, others were being tortured and killed in their struggle for democracy.

Closely linked to a golden age, Lyra continues to travel this path, a path highly praised by Tom Jobim. Tracks which are and always will be some of the most inspiring of Brazilian music.
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