Sérgio Santos Mendes (Brazilian Portuguese: [ˈsɛʁʒju ˈsɐ̃tus ˈmẽdʒis]; born February 11, 1941) is a Brazilian musician. He has over 55 releases, and plays bossa nova heavily crossed with jazz and funk. He was nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Song in 2012 as co-writer of the song "Real in Rio" from the animated film Rio.
Mendes is married to Gracinha Leporace, who has performed with him since the early 1970s. Mendes has also collaborated with many artists through the years, including The Black Eyed Peas, with whom he re-recorded in 2006 a version of his breakthrough hit "Mas Que Nada".
Mendes formed the Sexteto Bossa Rio and recorded Dance Moderno in 1961. Touring Europe and the United States, Mendes recorded albums with Cannonball Adderley and Herbie Mann and played Carnegie Hall. Mendes moved to the U.S. in 1964 and cut two albums under the Sergio Mendes & Brasil '65 group name with Capitol Records and Atlantic Records.
The first album on A&M was Herb Alpert Presents Sergio Mendes and Brasil '66, an album that went platinum based largely on the success of the single "Mas Que Nada" (a Jorge Ben cover) and the personal support of Alpert, with whom Mendes toured.
Karen Philipp replaced Hansen as the second female vocalist, while veteran drummer Dom Um Romão teamed with Rubens Bassini to assume percussionist duties. Claudio Slon joined the group as drummer in 1969, and played with Mendes for nearly a decade. Sebastião Neto was the new bassist and Oscar Castro-Neves, the guitarist. This line-up had a more orchestrated sound than its predecessors. Most significantly, in the early 1970s, lead singer Hall pursued a solo career and became Alpert's second wife. Some accounts claim that Mendes was upset with Alpert for years for "stealing" Hall away from his group.
In 1983, he rejoined Alpert's A&M records and enjoyed huge success with a self-titled album and several follow-up albums, all of which received considerable adult contemporary airplay with charting singles. "Never Gonna Let You Go", featuring vocals by Joe Pizzulo and Leza Miller, equalled the success of his 1968 single "The Look of Love" by reaching No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart; it also spent four weeks atop the Billboard adult contemporary chart. In 1984 he recorded the Confetti album, which had the hit songs "Olympia", which was also used as a theme song for the Olympic games that year and "Alibis". The '80s also found Mendes working with singer Lani Hall again on the song "No Place to Hide" from the Brasil '86 album, and as producer of her vocals on the title song for the James Bond film Never Say Never Again.
The 2006 re-recorded version of "Mas Que Nada" with The Black Eyed Peas had additional vocals by Gracinha Leporace (Mendes' wife); this version is included on Timeless. In Brazil, the song is also well known for being the theme song for the local television channel Globo's Estrelas. The Black Eyed Peas' version contains a sample of their 2004 hit "Hey Mama". The re-recorded song became popular on many European charts. On the UK Singles Chart, the song entered at No. 29 and rose to and peaked at No. 6 on its second week on the chart.
Mendes served as co-producer on the soundtrack albums for two animated films about his homeland: 2011's Rio and its 2014 sequel.
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